Last night five members of the Cooper Union’s board of trustees resigned: real estate mogul Mark Epstein (the board’s former chairman), Vassar College president Catharine Bond Hill, architects Daniel Libeskind and Francois de Menil (the board’s vice chairman), and investment banker Monica Vachher. Three of the departing trustees — Epstein, Libeskind, and Vachher — have written public resignation letters [...]. — hyperallergic.com
Following are the three resignation letters by Epstein, Vachher, and Libeskind — all widely claimed as strong tuition supporters and loyal to hotly contested Cooper Union president Jamshed Bharucha — in full length as published on the Committee to Save Cooper Union from the Committee to Save Cooper Union (CSCUFCSCU) website.
I am writing to you from under two hats. One as trustee, and one as donor.
As a Trustee, I am hereby resigning from the Board, effective immediately. During my term as Chairman we were able to put the school on a path to sustainability. It was going to be a difficult path with some hurdles to get over. We were on our way, but have now gotten so far off of that path due to the actions (or inactions) of the Board that I no longer want to participate. I know that there are some in the Cooper Community that will take my resignation as a false victory of some sort. I am not resigning due to any pressure from that group, rather that I no longer want to associate with them.
As a donor, I am withdrawing my financial support for the college. Although I respect the rights of those of the faculty, alumni, and students, to act as they see fit, I no longer want to support them.
If the schools fail in the future, it will not be due to the change in the scholarship policy (a major part of the sustainability plan) as some will claim. It will be due to the organized opposition to it.
I’ve spent a good part of the last 30 years being pretty active for the benefit of The Cooper Union. These were not easy decisions to make.
Colleagues on the Board,
It is with tremendous disappointment that I tender my resignation from the board of Cooper Union, effective immediately. As a fiduciary of Cooper Union, I began my board engagement with great enthusiasm and excitement about restoring the institution to a financially stable position, and renewing and burnishing the preeminence Cooper Union had historically enjoyed.
Regrettably, it has become clear that these fiduciary goals are not shared by many on the board, and that the board is unwilling to make or support often difficult decisions that would be in the long-term best interests of the institution.
Since my views on what is best for Cooper Union are at such variance with others on the Board, I do not believe I can fulfill my fiduciary responsibilities and function as an effective board member.
Dear Chairman Lincer
Dear Members of the Board,
I hereby resign my position as a Trustee of the Board of Cooper Union, effective immediately.
As an alumnus of the school who had joined the Board recently, I expected that in this difficult time of change, there would be a meaningful and open discussion – one which would assure Cooper Union’s stability and future. My experience was far from that.
I do not support the leadership and direction of this Board. I believe that decisions being taken are not in the best interest of Cooper Union.
Daniel Libeskind , AR ‘70
New York City
Previously on Archinect: