Monday, September 7, 2015

What went wrong at Cooper Union



Catching up to a long look at the recent turmoil at Cooper Union … via a piece by Felix Salmon at Fusion titled "How one of America’s last free colleges screwed its students and betrayed its legacy."

There's a lot going on to try to summarize for a post here … so here's a quickie overview:

Cooper Union’s finances are dreadful, and the fact that it charges tuition is a dereliction of everything Peter Cooper stood for. George Campbell, Jamshed Bharucha, and Mark Epstein should be shamed for what they did. It will take something approaching a miracle, or at least a couple of hundred million dollars, to get Cooper Union back to where it was.

Salmon also points out that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's 55-page report into what went wrong at Cooper Union "should be required, and sobering, reading for anybody who cares about higher education in America." (You can download a copy of the report via the Fusion article. Some good Labor Day reading.)

9 comments:

cmarrtyy said...

Ok, we get it. Bad management. Bad investments And couple that with unpredictable market trends. IE who foresaw the 2008 recession. But the salient point is the feeling of entitlement the students have. They don't have to pay and once they get theirs they don't have to contribute as alums. Both sides have to answer a lot of questions. But in a world where students pay through the nose to go to a mediocre college... free seems indulgent and anti populist... and laughable.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you acknowledge how rigorous it is to get into Cooper.

Anonymous said...

Awwww no more free college when 99.9% of the rest of the country's college students have to pay for college. Fuck this school's (non-) "plight".

Anonymous said...

Why the whiney bitter? It was an institution that was set up to do something unusual and worthwhile, quality education with no tuition, and then it was run into the ground by mismanagement. That's too bad.

Anonymous said...

I guess you bitching about these exceptional students getting a free tuition just couldn't get around to applying to Cooper Union when you were young? Read the attached article, the school was set up be a progressive (Peter Cooper) man in a time when schools were ONLY for the rich. But if you weren't so lazy and dumb you would already know that. The last 2 presidents of this school royally fuck this great institution over possibly forever by thinking they were running a greedy institution like NYU. We have the Death Star and "mid-town south" thanks to the prick that that ran the school and the asshole board members. We also have the hated beat up tank building which the travelers have turned into a B & B. Former attorney general Spitzer also can take some credit for rubber stamping the approval of this shady and foolish deal. I guess he was late to an appointment to screw a call girl that day. Read the article it is fascinating.

Donnie Moder said...

Too bad. NYU and New School charge students so much and are expanding. Cooper messed up and it may now cost something. Tough luck. If the education is any good it will survive.

Anonymous said...

From the looks of these comments, if Cooper Union switched to selling sour grapes they would make a fortune.

Anonymous said...

I hate the expression "should be required reading." Required by who? The reading police?

Anonymous said...

Free education was part of how we got out of the great depression and into post war prosperity. Its socialist in nature, and it is a basic american ideal of equality in opportunity. People are just crabs in a bucket.