The former president of Cooper Union is (for an academic) blasting the current administration’s plan to start charging tuition to incoming students–the latest salvo in an increasing controversy over a proposal that has made faculty and students irate.
President Emeritus George Campbell Jr., writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, says he’s “deeply disappointed” in the proposal. He claims that after financial setbacks following the 2001 terrorist attacks, the college improved to “what was arguably the best financial state in its history.”
Currently, he writes, “The bottom line is that the college is in a far superior financial state than during similar external conditions in the past.” He pointed out that down the road, rental revenue from the college’s ownership of the Chrysler Building will balloon to more than $32 million a year by 2018.
Campbell also hit back at his own critics who have suggested he was less than fully open about the college’s finances during his tenure. “In fiscal year 2010, I sent a letter to the community proposing a salary freeze and indicating that officers were taking a cut in pay,” he wrote. “I don’t know how anyone could have missed the fact that we were, like everyone else at the time, experiencing financial stress.”