Joseph T. Colonel (EE ’15)
The Wall Street Journal announced on March 24 that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will investigate the Cooper Union’s finances and the decisions that led to the charging of tuition to undergraduates.
Justin Harmon told the website The Villager, “We have engaged in regular briefings with the A.G.’s office since realizing that The Cooper Union’s financial circumstances would likely require us to change its financial model. We initiated contact with the office again after the lawsuit was filed, so as to be available to answer any questions the allegations in the lawsuit might raise. We are cooperating fully and providing as much information and perspective as we can.”
This announcement came on the heels of President Bharucha’s “The State of Cooper Union” report, which made no mention of the lawsuit against the school nor any possibility of an investigation. In response, the Committee to Save Cooper Union released its own “The Real State of the Cooper Union,” writing that Bharucha’s report “is rife with bald-faced inaccuracies, clumsy attempts to misdirect and mislead readers, and the careful omission of information that undermines its assertions. […] Faculty, students, and alumni have repeatedly gone on the record opposing the dismantling of Cooper Union’s founding mission and voiced their complete lack of trust and confidence in the course taken by the Board and President; hundreds have donated time and money to support the CSCU’s lawsuit to counter the improper imposition of tuition by the Board of Trustees; and there is a constant drumbeat of despair and fury rising up from all corners of the Cooper Community as academic processes are circumvented and administrative costs skyrocket. The crisis is not over and the storm is as active as ever.”
On April 9, the Wall Street Journal announced the Board of Trustees had decided to not renew Bharucha’s contract when it expires at the end of this semester. According to the Journal, “though there is no guarantee that [this move] will end the litigation or the attorney general’s investigation, trustees said they believe it will help.”
Neither the A.G. investigation nor the Board’s decision have been officially communicated to the Cooper community by the administration.