Justice Nancy Bannon of the New York Supreme Court approved the settlement in ECBA’s case challenging the decision to charge tuition at The Cooper Union. ECBA represents the Committee to Save Cooper Union (CSCU), a group of alumni, faculty, and students which filed suit in May 2014, arguing that charging tuition violated the trust established by Peter Cooper and seeking to reinstitute free tuition. After the CSCU filed suit, the New York Attorney General launched an investigation into the mismanagement of the school finances. The settlement, which includes CSCU, the Attorney General, and the school, requires the college to commit to exploring the return to free tuition; establish a free education committee on the board of trustees; increase student, alumni, and faculty representation on the board; establish the Associates of Cooper Union; and accept the oversight of an independent financial monitor.
In approving the settlement agreement, Justice Bannon wrote that the plan agreed upon “will most effectively accomplish the general purposes of Peter Cooper’s trust in the context of the present financial position of The Cooper Union.” ECBA lead attorney Richard D. Emery said: “We are extremely optimistic that within a matter of years, the vision of Peter Cooper can be once again in place.”
Read coverage of the settlement approval in The New York Times here.