Vice President of Academic Affairs

Demetrius Eudell

Photo by Leo Sorel

Dr. Demetrius L. Eudell is The Cooper Union’s first Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA). Dr. Eudell assumed his new role in July 2023, bringing to Cooper a wealth of scholarly experience as a historian and a deep educational commitment to the critical work at the core of Cooper’s disciplines and practices. Dr. Eudell was previously Dean of Social Sciences at Wesleyan University. 

Dr. Eudell’s appointment as Vice President of Academic Affairs followed a national search process guided by the recommendations of an external Visiting Committee and involving a cross-section of Cooper Union faculty, students, and staff. The charge of the VPAA role, identified in the Committee’s report as an essential area of focus, is to coordinate cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, pedagogical collaboration, and global, civically engaged perspectives across the schools of architecture, art, engineering, and the faculty of the humanities and social sciences. 

VPAA Onboarding

To support Dr. Eudell in getting to know The Cooper Union, we have developed a two-phase onboarding plan. The first phase, prior to the beginning of the school year, will consist of a series of meetings and conversations to introduce Dr. Eudell to key colleagues, Trustees, our rich institutional history, and our dynamic current context. The second phase of onboarding will begin with the start of the school year and the return of faculty and students. During this phase, Dr. Eudell will meet with faculty and students across The Cooper Union to become further acquainted with our academic offerings and institutional priorities. He will participate in several community events with internal and external stakeholders. The Cabinet will provide support and assistance throughout the onboarding phase to ensure Dr. Eudell has all of the information and resources needed to be effective and to assist him in forging relationships that will provide a range of perspectives on the opportunities ahead.  


Phase 1 (July 10 – August 18) 

Weeks 1 – 2   

  • Welcome and onboarding overview with President Laura Sparks and Chief Talent Officer Natalie Brooks 

  • Introductory meetings and preliminary coordination with team and cross-functional colleagues 


Weeks 3 – 4 

  • Engage in Cabinet annual planning work 

  • Additional meetings with Cabinet colleagues and administrative departments 

  • Meet with Board Chair Malcolm King and Trustee Anne Chao, Academic and Student Affairs Committee Chair 

Weeks 4 – 6 

  • Develop initial priorities for the year 

  • Participate in external meetings with higher education community and other relevant local stakeholders 


Phase 2 (August 18 – October 18) 

  • Commence fall Executive Leadership Team, Academic Leadership Team, and Cabinet schedule 

  • In collaboration with deans and other administrative leaders, meet with faculty, student leadership, union leadership, alumni, and donors 

  • Participation in key community events 

    New Student Orientation and Welcome Week August 19-27
    Faculty and Staff Welcome Reception August 28
    Convocation August 29
    Welcome Concert with Jon Batiste August 29
    New Faculty Dinner TBD September
    Cooper Union Grant Program Participant Lunch TBD September
    Lifetime Giving Society Donor Dinner October 4


  • Attend quarterly Board and Committee Meetings



  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.