Monday, April 16, 2012

FAKE LETTER suggests that NYU taking over 41 Cooper Square in 2015

Updated: Ha. We saw this item below on Gothamist and quickly linked to it. However, after we posted it, Gothamist had an update: Turns out the whole thing is a fake. So. With that in mind. Here is the original post ... keep in mind the whole thing is some kind of prank...

Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha announced today that the school is going to lease out its newish 41 Cooper Square to NYU's Polytechnic Institute, according to a post on Gothamist.

Gothamist is citing a letter from Bharucha that reads, in part:

Beginning in academic year 2015, The Cooper Union will lease its recently completed New Academic Building at 41 Cooper Square to NYU-Poly to ensure $20 million in new revenue annually by 2018, putting our institution on a sustainable path for the future while maintaining reverence for its past.

The 41 Cooper Square has been, for the community, a reminder of past ill-planning and fiduciary neglect. We have, and must continue, to live within the means provided to us in order to preserve Peter Cooper's innovative social mission. We shall not falter in this regard.

In the coming weeks, I will be appointing a Relocation Task Force comprised of engineering faculty, alumni, students, and industry leaders who will be charged with locating an ideal, alternative site for the Albert N. Nerken School of Engineering and the School of Art studios in one of New York's neighboring boroughs. This bold plan of relocation will not be without contention, so we are launching as an information hub and receptacle for community opinion.

As an administrator, it is my understanding that generosity begets generosity, and so, as a first goodwill gesture to the community, I am also announcing a relocation of my own. The President's Residency at the landmark 21 Stuyvesant St. will be moving to the Cooper Union's academic housing at 29 3rd Avenue. Known as the Stuyvesant-Fish House, No. 21 was built by Petrus Stuyvesant, great-grandson of Peter-Stuyvesant, in 1803, and gifted to the Cooper Union. Per its intended use, No. 21 will be promptly leased to generate further revenue for the preservation of our institution.

Notes Gothamist: "Guess the stories about Cooper Union being broke were true."


Anonymous said...

This is fake. Gothamist got pranked.

Anonymous said...

Why would somebody fake this? What was their gain? what was the point?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:40 - either to cause a fuss (which it did), or for the sake of satire. Pretty genius actually.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:08
Still don't "get it".
1) You can do ANYTHING and "cause a fuss" (??)
2) I don't see the satire (??)
Again; you can "satirize" ANYTHING if you want. What was the big "ooooh, BURNNN" HA! (??) Or rather; what was the "genius" here?
Illustrate C.U. waste of money?
NYU takes over the world?
Internet bloggers are gullible?
I just don't get the point the satirist was making.

Anonymous said...

At Anon 1:40/4:08

I think this is exactly the reaction they were aiming for.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it did a pretty good job getting you worked up.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:43 PM
(probably no one reading this post anymore, but...)

No, no. I'm not worked up at all. I swear to god. I just didn't get it, I still don;t get it. "What" is exactly the reaction they were aiming for??

To me it seemed like {example}:
It's been reported that the Starbuxs on Fred street is being replaced by a Dunkn doonuts.
Newsflash! it's now clear that the report was an elaborate hoax!
was it implausible? Does somebody care one way or the other?

I just didn't get it... (and I have some time to post silly responses that nobody cares about) so, carry-on.

Chris said...

As an alumni of this once venerable institution who has been present during many of the deliberations during Cooper Union's self-declared "financial crisis", I see the point of this "hoax".

If you are left confused as to why someone would make a fake website, try substituting the word "demonstration" for "hoax". Negotiations have proved dismal for any positive resolution of Cooper's financial situation. Student's feel helpless and ineffective, what else is there to do but demonstrate?

Allow me to elaborate. Over the past 6 months the Cooper Union community has been strung along by a new administration hell-bent on emphasizing the "peril" of Cooper's finances. While much of the financial misguidance is in fact real (Cooper lost a substantial amount of money during the financial collapse of 2008 and has $117+ million mortgage on their new flagship building) administrative spending is at an all time high, yet there has been zero willingness to reduce expenditures outside of faculty hiring freezes. A "revenue task force" has been formed, but so far its only tangible "revenue stream" is a plan to institute for profit graduate programs, which will at best make an additional million a year. Cooper's annual deficit is estimated at $16 million. So pending someone winning the lottery and paying off the $117 million mortgage on 41 Cooper, all efforts seem to be in vein. It seems that the implementation of tuition is inevitable, even worse that the actions of the board administration seem almost per-meditated, as if the decision has already been made.

After 110 years of tuition free degree programs in art, architecture, and engineering financed by a decent portfolio of real estate holdings and a half billion dollar endowment, it seems the well has run dry for Cooper, having spent far too much trying to compete with behemoths like NYU. Pending some act of god of a grave miscalculating of the books, future students will pay $37,500 a year to attend the Cooper Union.Some students will receive assistance, but seriously who can afford to pay even $20,000 a year plus the cost of living in new york? Future students will spend the next 20 years of their life paying off debts and Cooper student's absence from New York city's cultural affairs will be detrimental to such a burgeoning metropolis.

A society riddled in debt is a society in stasis, incapable of innovation, festering in dangerous inequities where social relations and human desires are eclipsed by the forces of the market. Cooper Union was a beacon of humanity and one of the last free (in price and thought) institutions of high learning in America. The implementation of tuition at the cooper union will be a marker of the imminent collapse of New York City's cultural and intellectual prowess. Guess it's time to move to Berlin.

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