Representatives of The Cooper Union Board of Trustees, The Cooper Union administration, and The Cooper Union Alumni Association (CUAA) met on Tuesday evening, November 18th, 2014, to discuss matters of importance to all three parties going forward. The meeting was cooperative and productive. A substantial number of topics were discussed and decisions taken in agreement, and a further meeting date has been scheduled for December 4th, 2014, to continue the dialog.
The following statement is a jointly authored summary of the November 18th discussion and decisions reached to date.
Cooper Union Board of Trustees
Richard Lincer, Chairman
Rachel Warren, Member
Cooper Union Administration
Jamshed Bharucha, President
Caitlin Tramel, Director of Alumni Affairs
Cooper Union Alumni Association
John Leeper, President
Peter Ross, Secretary Treasurer
1. On-campus meeting space is available to the CUAA.
The CUAA will resume holding its meetings on the Cooper campus, effective immediately. The CUAA can schedule a room for alumni meetings directly with Caitlin Tramel. Academic and institutional considerations will, as always, have priority but, if a room is not already scheduled for use, it will be made available. The CUAA will lay out its meeting calendar in advance in order to help secure rooms for its meetings. AV and telephony support and any ancillary event costs will be assumed by the CUAA.
2. The CUAA and Cooper Union will continue to endeavor to work cooperatively on alumni events.
Alumni events will be sponsored and administered by either Cooper Union or the CUAA. We will discuss possibilities for collaborative event sponsorship on a case by case basis. Event schedules and planning information may be shared in advance by both parties.
As always, each party will invite the other to participate in events whenever practical.
The Founders Day event in New York City will be wholly sponsored, planned and implemented by the CUAA.
3. CUAA will reactivate its tax-exempt status.
The CUAA will resume its past status as an independent organization: financially independent of the Cooper Union. The CUAA will reactivate its tax-exempt status. Taking this step will permit the CUAA to accept tax-free donations to support the annual costs of its activities and independence. The CUAA is rewriting its constitution to reflect its proposed organization as a 501(c)3 and the points agreed upon with the board and the administration in the course of these discussions.
4. Independent websites and mailing databases will be maintained.
The cualumni.com website will be deactivated shortly. Both the CUAA and The Cooper Union are presently building new alumni sites that they will independently maintain for alumni relations.
Cooper Union will continue to maintain on its alumni site, as it has, the institutional alumni database with contact information. That information will continue to be available to all alumni so that they can contact one another through the website, as was the case with the old cualumni.com site. The CUAA will continue to maintain its own mailing list and database.
5. The parties will consider revisions to the historical Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
The present MOA, an agreement between the Cooper Union Alumni Association and The Cooper Union, in effect since February 1, 1974, was most recently revised on January 5, 2000. It is out of date in two particular respects: The CUAA no longer manages the Annual Fund or the Alumni Affairs Office. As the conversations continue about the relationship between the Cooper Union Alumni Association and The Cooper Union, all parties will consider how a revised MOA should be developed.
6. All parties will meet again to continue discussions.
We are pleased to have initiated these discussions and to work collaboratively toward strengthening Cooper. This is an ongoing process. We have set a date of December 4, 2014, at 6pm, for a next meeting. Topics to be discussed will include:
- Any particulars relating to the launch of the two new websites that merit discussion.
- Administration and planning of alumni events going forward
- Potential revised MOA
- Others, TBD
7. The CUAA, Administration and Trustee representatives attending the meeting agreed to jointly author this statement and to independently issue it at the same time on Friday, November 21, 2014.