Cooper Union Part-Time Faculty Votes in Favor of Tuition-Free Education


School’s been out for weeks, but the controversy over Cooper Union’s leadership instituting tuition for the coming school year is still moving along at a nice clip. The latest entry: The Cooper Union’s part-time faculty have joined the fray, dissenting against the school’s administration.

The Voice has obtained a copy of a statement submitted just hours ago to President Jamshed Bharucha, the Board of Trustees, the students still occupying the president’s office, and the alumni organization’s publication, the Alumni Pioneer, in which the part-time faculty come down in favor of continuing tuition-free education.

As the tuition controversy continues, this is a crucial vote by the 149 professors classified as part-time form the majority of the faculty at the school. Check out the body of the letter after the jump.

Of a gathering of 80 part-time faculty referring to itself as the Ad Hoc Committee of Part-time Faculty of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 78 voted in favor of the text.

The Part-time faculty of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, numbering upwards of three-fourths of the school’s total faculty, is a vital component of
the Cooper community. We state our unequivocal support for the Mission of the school and stand in affinity with the students and faculty who have registered their dissatisfaction with the recent decisions on charging tuition by the Board and Executive administration. We urge the administration to build a substantial dialogue with participants of the uprising to develop collaborative methods to re-affirm the core values of a tuition-free education.

Gail Buckland, adjunct professor at Cooper Union since the 1970s, tells the Voice that because part-time faculty are compensated at far lower rates than at other institutions and don’t get benefits, their payment comes in the form of high-achieving students, many of whom would not have been able to attend Cooper Union were it not for the free tuition.

“We want a place that students receive a brilliant education, where there is equality in the classroom resulting in everyone having a full scholarship and that no student owes a debt to bankers–only to society,” Buckland says.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 28, 2013


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