The Cooper Union has sustained a legacy of free higher education since 1859. In late 2011, newly inaugurated Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha announced his administration is considering a devastating about-face on the mission of the school and may begin to charge tuition for the first time in its core programs. He has proposed a “reinvention” strategy that does not stop at addressing financial challenges, but suggests programmatic changes that will wholly alter the character of the Institution.
On the eve of Bharucha’s October 2011 inauguration, the most vital part of the mission statement mysteriously disappeared from the “Mission” webpage. Thanks to community intervention, the statement that Cooper Union “admits undergraduates solely on merit and awards full scholarships to all enrolled students” was restored to the mission in time for the ceremony. Friends of Cooper Union was formed thereafter in order to ensure the merit-based admission and full-tuition scholarship policy remain the heart of the School’s mission.
ABOUT FRIENDS OF COOPER UNION
Friends of Cooper Union sustains The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art’s historic mission of free education and the excellence born of that mission. We encourage the practices of shared governance and a culture of accountability that assure the success of any institution of higher education. We also seek to build positive relationships between The Cooper Union, its neighbors, and the City of New York. Through stewardship, innovative programming and events, we extend The Cooper Union’s vibrant community and uphold its legacy.
Friends of Cooper Union was founded in 2011 by a coalition of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends in order to ensure the Institution’s mission is sustained, financial challenges are met, and that The Cooper Union remains vibrant and free for generations to come.
ABOUT COOPER UNION
Over the course of its one hundred and fifty year history, The Cooper Union has evolved into an institution of higher education characterized by an environment of freedom, cooperation, creativity and equality. It offers internationally recognized baccalaureate programs in Architecture, Art and Engineering. The excellence of its programs is founded on the unique mission of The Cooper Union, which is to admit students solely on basis of merit and to award full-tuition scholarships.
Because the financial burden of tuition, under which so many students now labor, has been removed, The Cooper Union remains a place where talented students are free to rise above social distinction. They explore their fullest potential in the company of intellectual equals. They innovate and create without the weight of tuition debt or the financial expectations of their families. They support and engage each other in a free exchange of ideas.