The meeting was held at 41 Cooper Square in room LL101 from 6:35 to 8:30 PM.

The meeting was opened by CUAA President John Leeper, AR’85 who acknowledged the presence of Dean of Engineering, Teresa Dahlberg; several Cooper Board of Trustee members; Cooper President, Jamshed Bharucha; and members of the CU Alumni Affairs Office. 

CUAA President John Leeper, AR’85 mentioned that members of the Executive Committee met with members of the CUAA office on August 13, 2013, to discuss how the CUAA Council can work better with the Office of Alumni Affairs and asked Robert Tan to provide a summary of the meeting.

Secretary/Treasurer, Robert Tan, AR’81 said that members of the Executive Committee and the Office of Alumni Affairs explained their roles and began the process for improving work processes.  Another meeting is being planned that will include Derek A. Wittner, Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development.  CUAA President John Leeper, AR’85 added that the goal is to look forward, to look for areas where we can improve, and think about ways to work more strategically with the office of Alumni Affairs.

CUAA President John Leeper, AR’85 announced the election results for the new Working Group. A total of 575 votes were cast.  The Engineering School representative is Barry Drogin, EE’83/ME’86.  The Art School representative is Victoria Sobel, A’13.  The Architecture School representative is Robert Tan, AR’81.

Council Member, Dennis Kong, IDE’08 asked how the other parties are coming on choosing their representatives. Casey Von Gollan, A’14, reported that the students have collected nominations (three from each school) and will be having an election very soon. The goal is to complete the election by September 1st.  John Leeper reported that the faculty representatives are not yet chosen.  Mark Epstein, A’76, Chair of Board of Trustees (BOT), said that the BOT representatives are Jeffrey Gural, Michael Borkowsky, ME’61, and Catharine Bond Hill.  According to Epstein, Catharine Hill is the current president of Vassar College and brings experience with financial investigations. President Bharucha said that two of the Administration representatives are Lawrence Cacciatore and Engineering Dean,Teresa Dahlberg.  The third representative is yet to be determined.

Yinna Wang, A’07, provided an overview of plans for the Founder’s Day Celebration in 2014.  The format for the celebration is inspired by street fairs, and block parties and is planned as a daytime outdoor celebration combined with an evening gallery event.  The Founder’s Day committee is considering making this a “Met Museum Style, pay what you think is fair” event which will make the event more inclusive.  The venue will be the public streets and park that make up Cooper Square.  Mark Epstein, A’76 commented that it will be necessary to check with the city about availability of 4th Avenue because of planned construction.  Michael Lebron, A’76, added that some of that construction work like moving shrubs, is already beginning. Council Member, Edmundo Majchrzyk, A’08 said that committee members were aware of the construction. He also mentioned that they welcome other alumni who would like to become involved in the Founder’s Day Event planning.  John Leeper mentioned that there is a new form on the website to use for volunteering, Volunteer Sign-up.  Please, use this to site to volunteer for all volunteer opportunities in the CUAA.

Events Committee, Co-Chairs, Alexis Lenza, CE’05 and Margaret Matz, AR’83 gave the Events Committee Report. A report with a listing of all events is on the website Events Report. During August, there was an event at Ryan’s Pub on 8/14/13 that 18 alumni attended and an event on Long Island on 8/17/13.  The following events are scheduled for September:

9/1/2013   Coordinate with Dean Steve Baker to work with the Athletics department during Freshman orientation.  We will man two tables.  One will be a welcome table for new students.  The other will be a t-shirt workshop table. Council members, Xenia Diente, A’99 and Kelly Occhiuzzo Zach A’90, will be organizing that event.

9/8/2013      Alumni will tour Ringwood Manor (on grounds of former Green Camp).  Alumni are encouraged to come and participate in an oral history activity.  VP for Alumni Events, Rocco Cetera, CE’99 will be organizing this event.

9/25/2013    Casual event at a Brooklyn Pub.  Alexis Lenza, CE’05, will be organizing this event

9/28/2013    Will participate in the Fab Festival on East 4th Street between Bowery & 2nd Ave. between 1 and 5 PM.  This event is organized annually by the 4th Street Cultural District.  Xenia Diente, A’99, Kelly Occhiuzzo Zack, A’90, and Margaret Matz will coordinate CUAA involvement.

Council Member, Gary Kazin, ChE’69 mentioned the Turkey Roast, held the Saturday after Thanksgiving at Ringwood.  Originally a Cooper Union Hiking Club activity, it has evolved into a Sierra Club event.  It is led by Donald Wade, EE’63 and alumni are encouraged to contact Donald if they wish to attend.

Council Member, Dennis Kong, IDE’08 encouraged other alumni to suggest additional casual events and use the website form to submit them.  Pop-up Event Form.  Dennis is also the Class Rep. leader and he stated that he has been training the class reps on how to use the website to send group emails to their classmates.  Several class Reps used this too to convey information about the special election.  The class Reps and liaisons between the CUAA Council and the greater alumni community.

Council Member, Sangamithra Iyer , CE’99 reported on the Ad Hoc Committee to explore the Associates of The Cooper Union. This group is described in the School’s Charter and it may be a group that we would like to form.  The Ad Hoc Committee currently has 12 members and has had 2 meetings so far.  One meeting was held jointly with the Events Committee.  The committee needs Alumni Trustee participation.  The motion passed during the July CUAA Council meeting requires representation from Alumni Trustees to study The Associates of the Cooper Union and make a recommendation to the Council by December 2013 to support or not support the formation of this group.  CUAA President, John Leeper said that he will appoint a couple of alumni trustee members to the committee.

Co-Chair of Communications Committee, Sean Cusack, BSE’98 showed where the Communications Committee reports can be found on the new Communications Committee page on the website. Communications Page.   He thanked Christine Moh, Katie Moore and Mary Lynch for their articles in the July Newsletter and announced the content deadline for the August newsletter is today, 8/21/13.  He thanked Xenia Diente, Andrew Lavenia, and Katie Moore for their work on ballot communications associated with the recent election for Working Group representatives. Co-Chair of Communications Committee, Mary Lynch, ChE’82 mentioned that we welcome submissions of alumni art events, as well as alumni publications and presentations.  We publicize these on Facebook and on the website.  You can submit them by posting information on the FaceBook page CU@FB, emailing the information to her directly, or using the form that is found at the top of the exhibits page on the website. Alumni Exhibits

Co-Chair of the Annual Fund CommitteeDarrell Low, EE’89 stated that the Annual Fund committee had a recent meeting where it discussed possible ways to increase the participation rate and increase transparency, and developed a schedule for fundraising events to be held during the 2013-2014 school year.  Annual Fund Report.  The desired participation rate is 30%. The proposed schedule of fundraising events is as follows:

September – Welcome back and financial goals solicitations.

December – End of the tax year solicitations.

February – Peter Cooper Birthday Celebration and pre-Phon-a-thon solicitations.

March – Phon-a-thon

April – Tuition decision day fundraiser – would be a longer fundraiser that concluded on the date the BOT decided to go to a tuition model in 2014.

June – End of the year solicitations.

A wish of the committee is to have a target value provided by the CU Administration for the amount of new fundraising required to avoid charging Tuition for the class that begins in 2014.  They crafted a motion for the Council to discuss and vote on.  Co-Chair of the Annual Fund CommitteeKelly Smollar, indicated that she believes that the Target value is close to $12 million based on the posted FAQ, but would like that number to be confirmed.

Motion:  In order to have a more successful fundraising effort this financial year, the

Alumni Association Annual Fund committee working with the Annual Fund

Director is requesting that – The Board of Trustees provide by August 29th concrete dollar values reflecting the cost to operate the school annually and the cost to offset tuition for one year.

This motion was voted on with 20 Council Members voting for it.  Motion passed.

A second wish of the Annual Fund committee is to ask the Working Group, should they find it not possible to identify sufficient cost cutting measures to avoid charging tuition, they examine student fees in lieu of tuition.  The motion proposed is as follows.

Motion:  The Working Group research and the Board of Trustees agree to a larger student fee instead of a tuition implementation, and determine what that value is and how much would need to be saved and raised this year to allow for this. If milestones need to be met prior to the end of the fiscal year to prevent any staff hiring and other tuition support structures from being implemented, this needs to be identified as well.

This motion generated considerable discussion and was not voted on.  Some attendees felt it was premature.  Council Member Dennis Kong, IDE’08 made a suggestion that this motion be tabled until a later meeting.  CUAA President John Leeper , AR’85seconded that suggestion. 

President Bharucha spoke to the council for approximately 30 minutes.  His presentation was followed by a question and answer period lasting another 30 minutes.

Council member, Curtis Wayne, A’75 moved that we close the meeting.  Alumni Trustee, Don Blauweiss, A’61 seconded the motion.  An Aye-Nay vote showed that the motion was carried.

The next CUAA Council meeting will be Tuesday, September 17, 2013.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Video of August 21, 2013 Council meeting: Live stream Video of Meeting