Running For: Alumni Trustee
I consider myself lucky to have attended Cooper and I owe much of my career to my time there – the experience has been the foundation for lifelong success. Learning alongside great artists, architects and fellow engineers, in the center of New York City, for free, was truly the most unique experience I could imagine. It is an experience I hope many others will enjoy for years to come. It is for this reason that, as trustee, my goal is to make Cooper free again.
In my opinion, four years ago, when we needed to start charging tuition, was a wake-up call for our community and we have not been the same since that day. I have read the plan to bring back our identity over the course of the next 10 years. The plan is ambitious and will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders to identify and secure the $250M necessary to meet our objectives. It will take serious belt tightening at all levels of the institution in addition to significant growth in fundraising and donations. The path ahead requires clear and detailed actions with measured milestones to ensure we are making progress; and, most importantly, it requires transparent and open communication to all stakeholders.
It will not be easy making Cooper free again – it will require discipline, hard decisions and time. As a Partner at BCG ($7B global consulting firm), I have unique experience guiding large companies and universities through these types of challenges – laying out the facts, soliciting input from all stakeholders, and aligning on tough decisions that require compromise. I hope to leverage my experience and expertise in leading large cost efforts and unlocking billions of dollars of funding to help Cooper restore the promise of our founder.
I know the above may not promise getting Cooper to be free in 3 or 4 years, but I believe that it is important to focus on a realistic plan that can get us back to our foundation and not waste time rehashing the events that led us to our current position. We need leaders that have the expertise, experience and strength to deliver on promises and restore the community. I have faith and conviction that my years in business and consulting have best prepared me to help Cooper.
As a member of the Board of Trustees, I hope to develop a plan to return Cooper Union to prominence with the goal to uphold Peter Cooper’s vision of providing free education to deliver personal prosperity. If elected, I promise to bring my expertise, my energy and my commitment to open communication and transparency.
I appreciate your consideration of my nomination in advance. Together we can restore Cooper Union as a beacon of higher education. I look forward to working with you and I am happy to talk to anyone should you have any questions.
Aftab Hussain is a Partner and Managing Director and the head of the New Jersey office of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He is a proud alumnus of The Cooper Union where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, served for four years on the student council and was the president of the honor society for Mechanical Engineering. At BCG, Aftab is focused on transforming companies both strategically and financially. He has spent a majority of his time working in retail / consumer goods and higher education. Aftab has supported strategic planning for multiple universities and colleges working with administration, alumni, faculty and students in developing comprehensive short and long-term plans. In addition to leading the New Jersey office for BCG, Aftab sits on BCG’s global Retail leadership team and is core member of the global Operations team. Outside of BCG, he serves as a trustee to the Independent College Fund of New Jersey.
Prior to joining BCG, Aftab was a Finance manager at Unilever HPC in Chicago and he was also a Senior Project Engineer with Lockheed Martin.
Aftab graduated from the Stern School of Business at New York University with an MBA in Finance and Management. He previously earned an MS in Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and graduated The Cooper Union with a BE in Mechanical Engineering.