The president of an elite New York college has resigned amid infighting and legal troubles



Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Students sit in front of Cooper Union. Cooper Union recently announced that for the first time in more than a century it will begin charging undergraduates to attend the school starting in the fall of 2014.

The president of Cooper Union, Jamshed Bharucha, announced his resignation effective the end of June, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.


That announcement has followed months of infighting and an investigation, by the New York State attorney general, into its controversial decision to start charging tuition.

The announcement also followed news on Tuesday that five trustees on Cooper Union's board were stepping down due to differences of opinion.

In April, Cooper Union's board told the AG that it was willing to not renew Bharucha's contract after this year if the AG would help end an investigation and litigation against the school, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The decision was made without Bharucha in the room, and one trustee, Daniel Libeskind, called Bharucha a scapegoat for a board who "were worried about the threat of further investigation," according the Journal.


Other members of Cooper Union's Board disagreed and said that a "...leadership change would benefit the school once Mr. Bharucha's contract is up, even if Mr. Schneiderman wasn't probing the school," the Journal reported.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been investigating how the school got into the financial trouble that spurred its decision to start charging tuition after more than 100 years of being free. Professors, alumni, and students are also suing over the dramatic change in tuition policy.

Starting in the current school year, Cooper Union began charging tuition to students, a move that school officials said was made avoid insolvency.

That change angered many people affiliated with Cooper Union and led to protests among students, faculty, and alumni.

Cooper Union is located in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. It was established in 1859 by Peter Cooper who created the school under the believe that it should be "open and free to all." The school has an endowment of $735 million.


We reached out to representatives at Cooper Union and we'll update this post if we receive responses.

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