NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York’s attorney general has announced an agreement that would end a lawsuit against Cooper Union and create an independent monitor into the financial management of the engineering and architecture college.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he hopes it could eventually lead to the school restoring its tradition of free tuition.
“Today we are uniting to preserve Cooper Union as a national treasure,” Scheiderman said in a statement. “My office will ensure all sides work together to put Cooper Union back on a path to fiscal sustainability and, hopefully, to one day return the school to its tradition of free tuition.”
The 156-year-old school is renowned for its architecture, arts and engineering programs and its own history. Abraham Lincoln gave his famous “right makes might” anti-slavery speech there in 1860, the NAACP held its first public meeting there in 1909, and it provided a platform for leaders of the labor movement.
The East Village institution began charging tuition in 2014 for the first time in more than a century to avoid financial insolvency. That sparked a lawsuit by the Committee to Save Cooper Union, an alliance of students, alumni and faculty.
“This settlement implements significant reforms and creates a path to restoring Peter Cooper’s vision of education ‘open and free to all,'” said Adrian Jovanovic, President and Co-Founder of the committee.
The agreement was reached with the school’s board of trustees and the plaintiffs. They’re expected to file a consent decree Wednesday that’ll require court approval.
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