Judge Approves Consent Decree

POSTED ON: December 16, 2015


On December 16, 2015 the Hon. Nancy M. Bannon granted the cy pr​es relief and approved the Consent Decree in a settlement with The Committee to Save Cooper Union and the New York State Attorney General's Office, calling it "a proper solution," in her ruling. Richard Lincer, chairman of the board of trustees of The Cooper Union, released the below statement to the Cooper community.

Today, the Supreme Court of the State of New York approved the consent decree that was agreed to by the New York State Attorney General, The Cooper Union, the Board of Trustees and the Committee to Save Cooper Union in September. We are pleased to have the court’s formal approval on an agreement that clarifies ambiguities in the Charter and Deed of Trust, strengthens our governance and establishes a formal mechanism to evaluate the feasibility of returning The Cooper Union to a full-tuition scholarship model.

Last month, the Board of Trustees adopted amendments to the bylaws of The Cooper Union and related resolutions to reflect and implement the changes provided for in the consent decree. These provisions expand student and alumni-elected representation on the board, as well as adding non-voting observers from our faculty and staff. The resolutions establish a Free Education Committee of the board, which will examine whether The Cooper Union can return to a sustainable, full-tuition scholarship model that maintains its strong reputation for academic quality within its Art, Architecture and Engineering programs at their historical levels of enrollment.

We are now prepared to embark on the important next steps to establish a strong financial plan for the future. These governance changes provide a practical basis for collaboration among all stakeholders. We will continue to work to rebuild trust and appreciate the good will demonstrated by many members of the community in this regard.

Richard S. Lincer
Chairman, The Cooper Union Board of Trustees

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.