Sunday, February 16, 2014

Who Rules Cooper Union?--Part 6

WHO RULES COOPER UNION?—Part 6: A Look at Cooper Union’s Bristol-Myers Squibb and Vassar College-Yale University/Bain Capital Connections

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

“The administration, Board of Trustees of The Cooper Union and those members of the Cooper Union community who have been occupying the Office of the President since early May have reached an agreement that ended the occupation on Friday, July 12. A working group…will be set up, chaired by Trustees Mike Borkowsky and Jeff Gural….The definition of a sustainable financial model will be provided by the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees….Any financial information that is more detailed than what is used in public reporting will be shared with the Working Group only on the basis of strict confidentiality.

“The Working Group will submit its report to the Administration and Board of Trustees by December 1, 2013. The Board of Trustees will consider the recommendations at the following meeting….

--from a July 15, 2013 statement/press release on the Cooper Union website

“Mr. Borkowsky retired from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in June 2000 as Vice President for Corporate Development after spending fifteen years in various positions…”

--from the Cooper Union website

“A band of AIDS activists…invaded the global headquarters of drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., disrupting its Christmas party by shouting allegations the company was price-gouging on its newest medicine against the HIV virus…But…they were quickly ejected by company security officers.

“The ACT-UP members staged the event…to protest the price Bristol-Myers is charging for a new `enteric’ formulation of its drug Videx that is easier to take and easier on the gastrointestinal tract.

“The drug is a member of the family of anti-HIV medicines…Four protesters raced through the third-floor offices of the company, distributing leaflets and chanting `Greed-Death’ before being escorted out…”

--from a December 20, 2000 Reuters article

“Having been duly nominated in March, Catharine Bond Hill, President of Vassar College, was elected to the Cooper Union Board of Trustees today. Her election to the Board was unanimous. …”

--from a June 12, 2013 Board Report of the Cooper Union board of trustees

“President Richard C. Levin confirmed the election of Catharine B. Hill…as an alumni fellow and announced the appointment of Joshua Bekenstein…as a new successor trustee to the Yale Corporation. Their terms begin July 1.

“Hill will succeed Mimi Gardner Gates…who was elected to Yale's governing board in 2007. Bekenstein will succeed trustee Edward P. Bass…Catharine (`Cappy’) Hill is president of Vassar College….

“`Cappy Hill…will be a valued contributor to the work of the Corporation,’ said Levin.

“…At the start of her career she worked for the World Bank…Hill is a trustee of Ithaka Harbors, Inc., a…parent company of digital library website JSTOR, and in 2011 joined the board of trustees of Yale-NUS College…Joshua Bekenstein is a managing director of Bain Capital and has many years of experience both as a senior executive of a large investment firm and as a director of companies in various business sectors….He helped found Bain Capital in 1984…Prior to joining Bain Capital, Bekenstein spent several years doing strategic consulting at Bain & Company.

“Bekenstein has focused on consumer and retail companies at Bain Capital…At Yale, he is a member of the Yale Investment Committee….

“President-elect Peter Salovey added, `I am looking forward to working closely with Josh and Cappy. Both are wise and thoughtful leaders with a deep love for this University. I am thrilled that they will join the Yale Corporation just as I begin my presidency.’…

“The Yale Corporation is the governing board and policymaking body for Yale University… “

--from a May 28, 2013 article on the "Yale News" website

“…Bain Capital, a private equity firm that makes its money by buying functional US manufacturing and service firms and rendering them dysfunctional. Bain guts American companies, ripping out whatever parts are profitable and then tossing the workers aside.

“Bain forces cuts in wages, benefits and pensions. It outsources work. And it offshores production—harming American workers and communities and undermining American industries…. “

--from a July 16, 2012 article in "The Nation" magazine

“Totaling $19.3 billion on June 30, 2012, the Endowment contains thousands of funds… Approximately three-quarters constitute…gifts restricted by donors…The remaining one-quarter represent…monies that the Yale Corporation chooses to invest and treat as endowment.”

--from the Yale Investments Office website

“For the fiscal year ending in June 30, 2011, the total funds in Vassar endowment were $814,130,058, placing its endowment 16th in a ranking of the top 25 `US News and World Report' liberal arts schools by endowment size….”

-- Jessica Tarantine on November 29, 2012
(end of part 6)

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