This is what I have to say about my experience of Cooper and my intentions for the position of president, if elected:
“Because architecture was in the art school, there was a greater degree of cohesiveness than I feel exists at Cooper right now. But one good thing that has arisen from the current crisis, is a real cohesiveness between and amongst all of us, with our various disciplines. and a sense of argument – good argument – which, in a way mirrors those times.
“That we understand that it is perfectly acceptable, in fact, it is essential that we permit ourselves to be rightfully indignant at what is going on: it is our duty. Then – we were engaged in the Vietnam conflict, and I, for one, had no student deferment. I was 1A. That was pretty dismal.
“And tuition at Cooper Union, equal in cupidity, stupidity and cluelesness to any Nixon foreign policy wonk’s utterances. (I’m looking at you Dr. Kissinger.)
“But Bharucha is no Nixon, or Kissinger. He’s a former provost who has publicly shunned and humiliated so many of us that the list goes on and on. This needs to brought to the attention of the Board. Where do you suppose Chairman Lincer got the notion that we who dissent from the Board’s decisions are “crazies”?
“And a “pretty-cheap Cooper” is not Education as free as air and water. Yes, let’s quibble that it is not Mr Cooper who uttered that, but his son in law Mr Hewitt. And quibbling is what this Board and this president excel at. We shall talk about that, Nils and I – in our two public discussions.
“What, as many have asked me, and I continually ask myself, can we alumni do about the many bad decisions made by the stewards of our alma mater?
“Cooper may have not taught us how to make a fortune, but it did train us how to hone our creative and analytical skills. We, collectively and individually have enormous intellectual capital. So – how do we use this?
“In my opinion, the predatory loan made by Met Life must be given, in all its confiscatory details, widest possible exposure. In the newspapers, in the blogoshpere, in social media, on the television, and in the radio. We can do this. One common thread amongst all Cooper alumni is that we are well-spoken, intelligent, and absolutely rightfully indignant at the hijacking of our school – we are the stakeholders of right, along with the current students and faculty – but we alumni are the predominant stakeholders. And what we believe to be true – that insider dealings have bankrupted the school – we cannot but make known. To all New Yorkers. To all the world.
“The Met Life loan is, and should, and can be – if we stick to message – a PR disaster for that very large financial powerhouse, if only New Yorkers knew that Met Life, essentially, bankrupted Cooper. Let us set aside the culpability of the administration and Board that begged for the loan – for now.
“My platform is this: we must, as I believe it us our obligation to Mr Cooper, to bring the predatory actions of Met Life to the widest possible audience. Met Life – a New York City business – needs to be understood to have bankrupted the most unique educational institution New York has ever seen. Period. This is a political issue, for there is a clear social contract between the people of the City of New York and Cooper Union.
“Cooper receives Payments in Lieu of Real Estate Tax (PILOT) for the Chrysler building, as well as other properties. The people of New York City have subsidized Cooper Union for 156 years. Under this moral construct, Cooper Union cannot charge tuition.
“And then we have the sweetheart deal for the ground rent for the Chrysler Building.”
“My candidacy is focused on Restitution for Cooper. We must mount a civil, but insistent educational campaign aimed at one result: Met Life writing off the NAB loand; and, second, Speyer Tishman willingly renegotiating ground rent for the Chrysler Building – right now – or pay the price in public opinion finding them to be very bad actors.”
Curtis B Wayne, Architect
B.Arch ’75, The Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture
M.Arch ’76 Harvard Graduate School of Design
Curtis B (“CB”) Wayne graduated with a B.Arch. degree from the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture in 1975. He was been licensed as an architect since 1979, and has been involved in projects as diverse as restoration of the Torch of the Statue of Liberty, and design of the headquarters of the Bridgehampton National Bank.
He is the author of “The Shape of Things that Work: The Fourth Architecture” (ISBN-10 1490904557) in which he expressed his ideas about architecture, social contract, and the advancement of culture through the integration of creative arts. He was also the host of the internet radio program “Burning Down the House,” on Heritage Radio Network.
You can hear what he had to say on the topic of Cooper tuition in a broadcast, which first aired on the 12th of April 2012, live-streamed on HeritageRadioNetwork.org, and archived here: http://www.heritageradionetwork.com/episodes/2541-Burning-Down-the-House-Episode-99-CIAM-Brutalism