The November 2018 CUAA Council meeting for 2018 was held on November 1, 2018 in Room 215 of the Foundation Building.  25 alumni, students and staff attended in person.  80 people viewed the Livestream video.

CUAA President, Paul Nikulin CE’06 opened meeting at 6:30 and introduced CU President, Laura Sparks, who spoke on Revitalization and Strategic Planning at Cooper Union.  Below is a general outline of the presentation.

  • First steps in strategic plan were mandated by circumstances
    • Long term financial plan
    • Agreement of goal to return to free tuitions
  • Next steps
    • Create roadmap for next 3-5 years
    • External feedback which includes comments from Mid States Re-Accreditation
    • Listening to internal stakeholders
  • Feedback

All attendees were invited to come up to the front of the room and place dot stickers on the priorities that they consider most important. Laura asked if any priorities are missing from the chart.  Alumni trustee, Cristine Aguirre-Ross AR’81 said that she didn’t see increasing school spirit.  Laura indicated that this has been said in other forums too and she believes that increasing school spirit is important and so is reducing any sense of division that exists, and that increasing engagement is also important.  She will elevate this in future presentations.

  • There has been a marked change in demographics and socioeconomic trends in the U.S.
    • Diversity
      • Focus on increasing inclusion
      • Non-traditional measures of student potential
    • Cooper’s role in NYC
  • What would Cooper look like if we are successful?
    • This slide includes 13 statements like “Students go on to live successful lives where they contribute to the world in their respective fields.” And “Faculty feel supported in their teaching and scholarship.”
  • Pathways for realizing Strategic Priorities
    • Faculty, Students and Alumni answered Survey in October and November of this year.
    • Meetings will be held with faculty, students, and staff
    • Laura will process feedback and present strategic presentations to the Board of Trustees in December.

President Laura Sparks ended her comments at 7:25 pm.

CUAA President, PaulNikulin, opened the regular Council meeting at 7:30 pm. The vote for approval of September 2018 Council Meeting Minutes was postponed until the next meeting. 

Paul Nikulin reissued the call for nominations for The Founder’s Day Awards.  The deadline for nominations is 11/15/18. You can send your nominations directly to Mary Lynch ChE’82, Paul Nikulin CE’06, Laura Spinner A’89, or  Paul Nikulin reissued the call for nominations for Council and CUAA Officer candidates for the Spring 2019 election. The deadline for those nominations is 12/01/18. You can send nominations directly to the Nomination committee chair, Kay Nordstrom ME’77 or to the address.

Paul Nikulin mentioned that we have a very impressive list of alumni events which is a credit to the people hosting them and to the staff at the school who have been a great help with promoting and hosting events. He then announced the list of events that are planned for this fall.  They are:

  • Ringwood Tour Nov 4th (10am Manor Tour Starts with possible Tour of Green Camp.  Please register on-line.)
  • Waxing Winery Nov 6th (Belmont, California)
  • Cooper Union on Wall Street Nov 8th (The Cooper Still 151 2nd Ave 6 -8pm)
  • Socrates Park Tour Nov 11th (32-01 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City 11am – 12:30pm)
  • Thanksgiving Fall Festival (at Cooper Union – turkey and pies)
  • Archival and Artifact (Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, Oct 23 – Dec 1)
  • Thorsten Helbig – Form:Frei (Exhibit on the Third Floor of the Foundation Bldg. Oct 16 – Nov 2)
  • Alumni Trustee Reception Dec 18th (Evening, TBD)
  • Holiday Party (near Cooper Union ~ Dec 11 or 19th, 6 – 9pm)

A review of recent past events was given.  All were well attended.

  • Block Party was held on Saturday, September 22nd
  • Alumni Trustee Mixer was held on September 25th at 7 World Trade Center
  • Mock Interview Night was held on October 4th at 30 Cooper Square. 
  • Jack Eichenbaum EE’59 led Tour was held on October 7th.  Jack was present and explained that the tour began at 1st Ave and 1st Street and finished near Grace Church at 11th street and Broadway. It was a tour of the section of the city where the grid structure has imperfections resulting from the merger of the new streets with the older pre-existing streets.  Cooper Union is part of this merging of the Old New York (before the grid) with the New New York.
  • The Javitz Center Green Roof Tour was held on October 13th. Paul said that the event was filled up.
  • Pittsburgh Alumni Meetup was held October 28th.  Paul relayed Mary Lynch’s message that 20 alumni, faculty, students and friends attended.
  • Jack Eichenbaum EE’59 mentioned his engineering class recently held a luncheon here at the school, that was arranged by the school, that included 8 members of his class and 6 members of the current student class.  It was a a great opportunity to exchange ideas.

Committee Updates

Chairs have been appointed for the John Q. Hejduk and for the Gano Dunn Award Committees.  They are Lilly Zand AR’88 and Ed Palacio EE’75.

The Membership Committee still needs a chair person.  Membership committee is looking for help.  Volunteers are welcome.

Margaret Matz AR’83, Vice President/Faculty and Student Liaison gave a status report.  She is still meeting with the four deans.  She has met with 3 of them so far and will be scheduling one soon with the Dean of Humanities.

Kay Nordstrom ME’77, Chair of Nominating Committee said that every CUAA officer position is open next year.  She welcomes nominations

Barry Drogin EE’83 asked for an update from two of the ad-hoc committees: 501(3)(c) and MOA.

Paul Nikulin explained that the 501(c)(3) status for the CUAA is formally approved by NY State. The federal paperwork is pending.  The CUAA can accept donations, but as of now, we are only fund raising only for school.   

Nils Folke Anderson A’94, Chair of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) committee reported that the process of reconstructing the history of how CUAA and the school have worked together on various processes and shared goals is ongoing.  The MOA Committee is creating report for the Council.  The Committee members will reach out to alumni for feedback.

Paul Nikulin reported that he had a recent discussion with Jennifer Durst in the schools Development office and he is pleased to announce that The Cooper Union Alumni Directory has been recently updated and Paul encourages all to use it.  You get it on using the Alumni tab, and then selecting Find Alumni.   If you have an id. and password for this site already, you may use it, or you can follow the instructions on the screen to create an i.d. and password.  This is sensitive data, so you must be logged in to access it.  There will also be an opportunity to email groups of alumni and we hope to use this as a tool for increasing alumni engagement. 

One alum who is a member of the class of 1969 asked if there would be a Golden Legion event this year. 

Standish Lee AR’11 suggested that we should consider doing some fundraising at some of our events.

The next Council Meetings will be January 10th and February 19, 2019.

Paul Nikulin moved to adjourn the meeting.  Robert Tan seconded the motion.  The Meeting Ended at 8:31 pm.

Minutes taken by Mary Lynch, CUAA Secretary with assistance from Ron Vogel Chair of Communications Committee.