CUAA Special Election 2015 for Alumni Trustees

Adrian Burton Jovanovic

BSE 1989
Seattle, WA and also New York, NY

Current Position, Organization:

Founder & President, eMedia Music Corp., Co-Founder & President, Committee to Save Cooper Union

Relevant Skills:

Management, Fundraising, Non-profit Governance, Finance, Accounting, Communications.

In-depth understanding of the existing situation at Cooper Union and the people involved.

Professional Qualifications:

Founder & President of eMedia Music Corp. (1994 – Present): eMedia is a leading publisher of educational music software which was awarded the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 award and named one of Washington’s top 100 software companies by Washington CEO magazine. eMedia publishes and distributes a variety of music software products, videos and music instruments, including products under the widely known For Dummies brand. eMedia’s products are distributed nationally and internationally. 

Program Manager and Software Design Engineer at Microsoft Corp. (1990 – 1994): Designing and developing tools used for the creation of Microsoft multimedia titles including Microsoft Bookshelf and the Encarta encyclopedia.

Non-profit: Serves as City of Seattle Music Commissioner and has served on several non-profit boards.

At Cooper Union: President of engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi and founder and captain of the division winning tennis team. Upon graduation was awarded the Cooper Union Alumni Association Award for outstanding service and later was inducted into the Society of 1859, recognizing enduring donor gifts.

Personal Statement:

As an alum I was shocked when the board announced they would charge tuition. Free tuition was always at the core of Cooper Union’s mission, enabling it to stand out among other small colleges by creating a unique egalitarian environment where everyone deserved to be there, regardless of their parents’ means. 

Looking into the situation, I found appalling levels of mismanagement, promised expense reductions that never took place, conflicts of interest, and an extravagant new building built without first raising adequate funds. This led to my co-founding Committee to Save Cooper Union and serving as President. After investigating and reviewing all options carefully, we determined that legal action was the only viable option. 

This legal action led to the Attorney General’s investigation, which was assisted by CSCU. The resulting settlement is widely regarded as a success for Cooper Union. It provides for independent oversight, major reforms in governance and transparency, and mandates a continuous good-faith effort to return to free.

In light of the severe mismanagement documented in the Attorney General’s findings, Cooper Union needs to take a careful look at decisions made during that period to identify opportunities for savings and reform to get Cooper Union back to living within its means.

Additional Information:

  • Co-founder and President of Committee to Save Cooper Union; in-depth understanding of current situation.
  • Strong advocate for a Cooper Union living within its means and a vigorous effort to return to free tuition.
  • Former manager at Microsoft Corp., Founder and President of eMedia Music Corp., for 20 years a leading music education software publisher and national distributor of music software and related products.