Cooper Union Finances Probed by New York Attorney General

  • March 26, 2015 11:06

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"Cooper Union New Academic Building from north" by Beyond My Ken. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons

New York Attonry General Eric Schneiderman is investigating the financial dealings of New York's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. The probe follows the school's decision to charge undergraduate tuition after 150 years of keeping it free, and a lawsuit against the school by alumni and students.

“Part of the investigation entails the school's management of one of its most valuable assets, the land underneath the Chrysler Building, said people familiar with the probe," reports the Wall street Journal. “The prized piece of real estate was a gift from the family of school founder Peter Cooper in 1902."

Financial decisions by the school's trustees and administrators will be scrutinized, including the addition of the $167-million Thom Mayne building on its East Village campus in 2009.

A 2014 suit filed by alumni and students claimed, "The Trustees compounded the impact of this mistake by squandering the endowment through investments in risky hedge funds, questionable real estate transactions, and improvident increase in debt."

The pending suit also calls into question the $1-million salary of the school's president and alleges that a former trustee engaged in "improper self-dealing."

Read more at Wall Street Journal


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