Dear Members of the Cooper Community,
Teresa Dahlberg, dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering and chief academic officer, has accepted a position at Syracuse University as dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science and professor of engineering and computer science. She will leave The Cooper Union at the end of this academic year. Her letter to the engineering faculty is included, below.
While I am sad that Cooper will lose Teresa, I am delighted about her success. In less than two years at Cooper, she has proven herself to be a strong, energetic and visionary leader. She has shown extraordinary courage and integrity under unprecedented circumstances. Aspiration, innovation and high standards have characterized her work at Cooper, and her contribution will be lasting. She has been a key member of our leadership team, and I am proud to have worked with her.
Upon her arrival at Cooper in the fall of 2013, Teresa immediately set about driving forward the Financial Sustainability Plan, which calls for the creation of new academic programs that build on Cooper’s distinctive strengths and broaden the revenue base. She has laid the groundwork for a future in which Cooper can more fully realize its ambitions in disciplines where science and art unite. She has advanced Cooper’s qualitative and financial goals by articulating a distinctive vision for engineering, including its traditional rigorous, project-oriented curricula and cohort pedagogy, complemented by creativity and invention. In 2013, freshman engineering enrollment was at a 20-year low. Teresa’s leadership helped us increase the size of the current freshman class, in accord with the Financial Sustainability Plan, while maintaining the exceptional quality of our students. The applicant pool for the class enrolling next fall is 67 percent larger than last year and 33 percent larger than ever in the history of The Cooper Union. Again, the academic qualifications of the new class are strong as ever.
Under Teresa’s leadership, enrollments in our masters of engineering programs has doubled, even while introducing tuition. She has more than doubled enrollment in the STEM High School program, converting it to a fee-based program that awards scholarships to students with need, and launched Cooper’s first massively open online courses (MOOCs) with two grants from edX to develop Advanced Placement courses in chemistry and computer science. She has increased Cooper’s research profile and its international partnerships by increasing the proportion of our faculty who pursue research and dedicating an associate dean’s role to developing research opportunities and our graduate program. As a result, the number of research proposals submitted by our faculty each year is increasing. The Kanbar Center has established its first undergraduate summer research fellowship program, to begin this summer. Teresa also established a new international program with the Indian Institute of Technology, one of the leading engineering schools in the world.
I am grateful to Teresa for all her work here at Cooper. Please join me in wishing her the best success in her new venture at Syracuse.
May 4, 2015
This morning, I turned in my resignation to the President. I will leave The Cooper Union on June 30, 2015.
It has been my privilege to lead the Nerken School of Engineering during this time of historic reinvention. I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished, together, in the Engineering School, in concert with the President and his administration, and with the other faculties. When I joined The Cooper Union, the Financial Sustainability Plan was already in place, with ambitious goals. We have been wildly successful in meeting or exceeding those goals by every measure. The challenge facing Cooper at this moment is in embracing this plan or another viable plan. I wish the Cooper community much success.
I hope to spend most of July on a warm beach with my family, resting up for the next adventure. On August 1, 2015, I begin a new role as dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science and professor of engineering and computer science at Syracuse University. I am excited about the opportunities at this forward-looking, aspirational university.
As I move on to this next challenge, I will carry with me warm feelings for The Cooper Union.