Running For: Alumni Trustee
I spent my industrial career with Unilever, the multinational Food, Detergents and Personal Products company, where I held various Director positions in Research and was a member of our Laboratory Management Committee. I have led successful cost savings teams. I co-Chaired a global team that designed a Project and Risk Management program for 4000 scientists and was then rolled out to the entire global business. I trained and facilitated cross-functional business teams on four continents in these and other skills. After retirement, I taught Chemical Engineering at Columbia University and ran a small consulting company focused on Project & Risk Management and Team Effectiveness. I am now a member of the Alumni Council and of its Membership Committee.
At this time in Cooper’s journey there are two critical skill areas that are essential for a Trustee. It is crucial that we restore financial stability to the school and return to a free tuition model. That requires budget management skills. What has been lacking in the not so distant past, is an understanding of how to manage risk, how to project future revenues and expenses, creativity to develop new solutions to seemingly intractable problems, how to make effective decisions, and how to look at the school as a system to anticipate the effects of proposed changes. I have taught, coached, and practiced these skills. The other critical skill area is team building. We need to bring together all segments of our community so we are all working on the same team with the same goals. My experience in facilitating teams and coaching team leaders will be an important asset.
Cooper Union is one of the most unique educational institutions in the world, but in the recent past its finances have been dissipated and its social fabric has been frayed. We must restore our school to financial stability with free tuition for an outstanding student body. We now have a new President who, in a very short time, has come to understand what Cooper Union is all about. If elected I will work with President Sparks and the rest of the Trustees to put Cooper Union back on the pedestal which is its heritage and restore Peter Cooper’s vision for our institution.
We must recognize that we are in a deep financial hole and it will take time and effort to emerge. A recent projection said that we could be free in 2039. That is unacceptable. We must move a lot faster, but we also must avoid the temptation of high risk quick fixes that have gotten us into trouble in the past. We must assure the quality of our students and faculty and maintain the physical plant. This will require innovative steps to reduce costs and generate new revenue. We must utilize the best technology to make budget projections, then review and revise as new information emerges.
We must also restore effective working relationships among the students, faculty, alumni, administration, Trustees, and our President. If elected, I will represent all these constituencies, and I will serve as a conduit to bring disaffected alumni back into robust participation. Our work must be transparent to maintain the trust of all. We need to take advantage of our unique mix of Art, Architecture and Engineering, along with the Humanities to create graduates who have the skills to thrive in the modern world. When Cooper Union is on your resume it should open doors.
Three Bullet Points About You:
> Retired senior manager with skills in line management and training in critical areas such as risk management, budget planning, creativity and team building.
> I have experience in the business world, in academia, and in local politics.
> I will work tirelessly to restore Cooper to financial stability, which will allow us to return to free tuition as quickly and safely as possible. No other model is acceptable!
BChemE – The Cooper Union
MS Chemical Engineering- The Johns Hopkins University
MS Mathematics – New York University, Courant School of Mathematics
Director and member of the Laboratory Management Committee
> Director of Project & Knowledge Mgt; Dir. New Product Research; Dir. Technical Services
> Headed a successful Lab-wide cost reduction team
> Co-Chair of Global Project Management and Risk Management Teams
> Trained and facilitated multifunctional business teams throughout the world in Project & Risk Mgt.
Columbia University 2006-2011
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Lander & Associates 2003-2014
Consultants specializing in Project Management Training and Facilitation, Risk Management and Team Leadership
Cooper Union Activities:
> Member of the Alumni Council and its Membership Committee
> Class Representative – Class of 1960
> Guest Evaluator for Cooper’s Invention Factory
> Conducted Mock Interview Sessions and coached resume writing for Cooper students
Past Professional Activities:
Unilever Corporate Representative to the Industrial Research Institute
> Member of the Research-on-Research Committee
> Co-founding member of the Process Effectiveness Network
Unilever Representative to the MIT Corporate Relations Program
Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society
Member of the Detergents Steering Committee of the American Oil Chemists’ Society
President, Association of Research Directors
Member, Harrington Park NJ Borough Council (7 years)
President and member, Harrington Park NJ Board of Education (8 years)
President, Northern Valley Joint Boards of Education (2 Years)
Board Member, Ridgewood NJ Camera Club (ongoing)
I enjoy music, dance, theater, and fine and industrial art
> To return Cooper Union to a sustainable financial condition that will restore free tuition for undergraduates, while maintaining the very highest academic standards.
> To enhance our reputation so that being a Cooper Union graduate opens doors in the art, business and academic worlds.
> The Schools of Art, Architecture and Engineering are all essential parts of the spirit of The Cooper Union and we must take advantage of the synergies they can provide.
> To have our school known for projects and activities that have social value.
> To be recognized for supporting deserving students who might otherwise find it difficult to attend a top-notch college.
> To have our faculty recognized for their excellence throughout the academic world.
Short term goals:
> Develop Mission and Vision Statements that include free tuition for undergraduates.*
> Develop a financial plan that is sustainable over the long term.
> Restore a sense of shared community across all segments of the Cooper family –students, alumni, faculty, administration, President and Board of Trustees.
*It may take some time to get back to free tuition. We need to act with urgency, but avoid a quick fix that isn’t sustainable.