Smart Land Deals as a Cornerstone of Free Tuition (2008) vs. Cooper Union Weighs an About-Face (2011)

Janice Chu November 1, 2011

FROM FEB 13TH 2008

“The developer took a 99-year ground lease on 51 Astor Place for $97 million. This deal is part of a campus overhaul that Cooper Union’s trustees hope will sustain its educational mission, said George Campbell Jr., the president of the college, which specializes in art, architecture and engineering.

“We have this extraordinary mission of providing every student admitted with a full-tuition scholarship,” he said. “That’s been a challenge throughout the school’s 150 years.”

This year, the school has its first balanced budget in 25 years, he said.

Cooper Union’s budget deficit reached $15 million annually in the late 1990s.

“We basically were eating the endowment through those years, and that clearly was not a sustainable situation,” Dr. Campbell said. ”

Smart Land Deals as a Cornerstone of Free Tuition


“Cooper Union’s budget deficit—$16.5 million this year—has been growing for decades and was “significantly accelerated” in 2008, said a spokeswoman, Jolene Travis, in a statement. ”

Cooper Union Weighs an About-Face
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