Class 32: Discussion with Interim Director of Finance and Administration Keith Stokeld and presentation on Chrysler Building by Walid

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For our thirty-second class on September 18, 2017 we met at 2pm in 414 Fdn..

We spoke with Interim Director of Finance and Administration Keith Stokeld and heard from Walid a bit about the entanglement of financial/investment & real-estate dealings as they relate to Cooper on the individual to corporate and domestic to global scale.

Please continue to review the documents assigned last week as they'll be coming up frequently and we should all be logging our questions! For comparisons sake here are two relevant class meetings from last year with Bill Mea (former interim President and CFO) and a follow up with Chris Cloud (then VP of Development)- those who were there can offer insights as to how the numbers and narratives have shifted or stayed the same.

  • All of the lawsuit documents are currently being hosted on Cooper's website here, a previous Board Chair's official statement are here.
  • The Free Education Committee was formed as one of the many results of the lawsuit, their periodic updates, reports and committee members can be found here.
  • Fiscal Year 2016 Budget and Financial Projections, this document was released to the community by Bill Mea and includes budget projections through 2020 on Feburary 18, 2017.
  • Cooper Union's 990 filings, this page is current up to 2015 and each year Cooper is required to file a 990 tax return to the IRS which is used by tax exempt organizations to report their mission, programs and finances.

Photos

📸 More photos (Dropbox 🔒)

Emails

Hi Projects class✨,

We're looking forward to seeing you again @ 2pm on Monday in room 414 Fdn. for our second class of the semester! We'll bring some light refreshments but this works best as more of a potlucked effort from week to week so please bring something to share if you are able! 

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This week:

We'll be visited in the first half of class by the 'Interim Director of Finance & Administration' Keith Stokeld. Though we've prepared some general questions to guide our conversation with Keith, this is really our opportunity to get a better sense about about the nature of Keith's new role following the departure of Bill Mea (Vice President of Finance and Administration) as well as Keith's views on all things Finance and Cooper. Please try to prepare some questions- no question is too small!

In the second half of class Walid will walk us through some of Cooper's public financial documents- we'll isolate, track, and compare certain budget items, go over financial terms together, and discuss the interrelatedness of finances to pedagogy, mission, and the lawsuit documents. If you get a chance please review:

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Recap from the first class (9/11/17):

For our first class meeting we briefly began to introduce ourselves via school, year, and general interests. We also went over some of how the previous two semesters of Projects were structured and played out. We reviewed some of the current/significant/binding documents impacting the college and the community as well as some of the committee structures that came out of the Lawsuit negotiation between Cooper Union, the Committee to save Cooper Union, and the office of the Attorney General. We also revisited the language of the course description and how this class came into existence.

As a reminder, the class has been and is comprised of students from all 3 schools (across the years) as well as alumni and other interested participants including exchange students! We'll continue to work on building a shared understanding of what and how this college functions—if there are terms or documents or materials that seem confusing, missing, or need clarification please feel free to being them up before, during, or after class or via email!

In the second half of class we discussed a portion of the Lawsuit documents called the Consent Decree which in part mandated the appointment of faculty and staff representatives to the Board of Trustees and related committees. These participants have been deemed 'Observers' because their role is limited to that of an adviser with no voting power on board or committee decisions. We invited to class and heard from Amy WestphalToby Cumberbatch, and Walid Raad about their experiences as current observers.

Amy Westphal in discussion Projects Class.jpg

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Next week:

We will meet @ 2pm on Monday in room 414 Fdn. before walking over to the Cooper Union Archives to meet with Katie Blumenkrantz and then to the Architecture Archive to meet with Steven Hillyer.

Following the archives we'd like to walk together to see all of your studio and study spaces, maybe we'll drop a trail of breadcrumbs....🐁

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Reminders & Notes:

  • The class wiki is hosted here✨, you can find information, links, documents and pictures from most of the last 2 semesters! All of the previous class emails are hosted here
  • All of the lawsuit documents are currently being hosted on Cooper's website here, a previous Board Chair's official statement are here.
  • The Free Education Committee was formed as one of the many results of the lawsuit, their periodic updates, reports and committee members can be found here.
  • An older essay by Walid about leveraging the community's actionable means is worth revisiting here. The disorientation website hosts an archive of toolkits and essays by other community members and was regularly updated from 2013-2015 and can be explored here.
  • Many Projects class members are involved in hosting the 4th annual Peter Cooper Block party, we're reprising our role having hosted it last year amidst the construction rubble! The theme this year is 'Mission! Means! Union!" and will be outside the foundation building on Saturday September 23rd from 12-5pm 😜.

Peter Cooper Block Party flyer.jpg

Save The Whales bumper sticker.png