CSCU is pursuing legal action as a last resort after Cooper Union’s Board of Trustees proceeded to stop offering the free education required by the Charter.
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Update 2 - Inauguration at the Ivory Tower
Dear Alumni and Friends,
Thank you for your support in which now over 450 contributors have brought us to well over half our goal: over $82,000 and counting!
We are pleased to announce that we have completed and served the Memorandum of Law supporting our petition. It describes, among other things, how Cooper Union has historically used the notion of free tuition to defend the school’s tax exemption.
The exhibits for the Memorandum of Law include details on administration expenditures, such as “Jamshed Bharucha’s Inauguration Budget spreadsheet” showing actual expenses adding up to about $350,000. The guest speaker fee to Fareed Zakaria was $50,000. Food services included breakfast for 150 “delegates” for $8,014, while breakfast for 200 students was $715. The pre-ceremony dinner for 350 people came to $48,000 with added cost for wine/liquor and rentals.
It is interesting to note that in a recent campus-wide email to “correct misinformation,” Board Chair Richard Lincer stated: “The President’s inauguration did not cost Cooper Union the amount cited in the court papers” (which was $350,000). Astoundingly, this lavish ceremony took place at about the same time that the administration was claiming fiscal crisis.
The movie Ivory Tower has opened to critical acclaim, with some reviewers taking special notice of President Bharucha’s role in it. From Variety magazine’s 6/13/14 review:
“It [free tuition] is a venerable tradition that ended under the leadership of president Jamshed Bharucha, who in 2011 announced that, due to increasingly hard economic times, the school would begin charging students for tuition. The closest thing the documentary has to a real villain, Bharucha looks awfully dodgy when Rossi confronts him about the school’s badly mismanaged recent hedge-fund investments, as well as the not-insignificant matter of Bharucha’s own handsome compensation.”
In 1998, President John Jay Iselin’s compensation was about $200,000/yr. President Bharucha’s compensation is about $650,000/yr.
The Committee to Save Cooper Union