Friday, February 14, 2014

Who Rules Cooper Union?--Part 4

WHO RULES COOPER UNION?—Part 4: A Look at Cooper Union’s MITRE/Pentagon, Con Ed, and Real Estate/Gambling Industry Connections Historically

(A shorter version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of the Lower East Side underground/alternative newspaper, “The Shadow”)

Although Cooper Union President Emeritus, MITRE Trustee and Con Ed Director Campbell is African-American, at least 20 of the 23 members of Cooper Union’s board of trustees these days are still white; and only 2 of the Cooper Union trustees are women.

Yet like MITRE and Con Ed board member Campbell, most Cooper Union trustees have business, political, financial or professional involvements with external off-campus organizations whose special economic and political interests conflict with the economic class interests and political interests of most Cooper Union students and Lowest East Side community residents. And Cooper Union trustees are members of “The 1 Percent” that profit most from the U.S. power elite, Real Estate Industry and Wall Street’s undemocratic plutocratic control of the U.S. economic and political system.

According to the Cooper Union website, for example, Cooper Union Trustee Jeffrey Gural—who has sat on the board of trustees since 2003-- is Chairman of Newmark Knight Frank, which is a “real estate management firm” that “currently manages approximately one hundred fifty buildings in the Metropolitan area, of which they have an ownership interest in forty-one buildings;” and Newmark Knight Frank’s clients include corporations like Citigroup, Bloomberg L.P. and the Bank of New York. In addition Cooper Union Trustee Gural is a member of the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Board of New York and a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Times Square Business Improvement District.

Besides sitting on the Cooper Union board of trustees that previously charged no tuition to its students, Real Estate Board of New York board member Gural also sits on the New School University board of trustees that charges its Eugene Lange College students a tuition of over $16,000 per semester. And, according to the Cooper Union website, Cooper Union Trustee Gural has been a “member of the Board of Directors of the UJA Federation”—which has been criticized by Palestinian solidarity activists in the United States in recent years for failing to oppose the Israeli government’s military attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza since 2008.
(end of part 4)

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