The results came in on Friday. After announcing his candidacy the day the Cooper Union administration stated it would begin charging tuition starting with the class of 2014, Kevin Slavin, tech entrepreneur and assistant professor at MIT's MediaLab, won as a write-in candidate for alumni trustee to the Cooper Union board.
Slavin, who had been critical of the previous trustees' lack of transparency in decision-making, had been running on a platform of renewed trust. At a Free Cooper Union Community Summit presentation in December of 2011, Slavin brought a $10,000 check to the podium, and asked Cooper Union leadership to use it to find "sustainable resources-- transparency, communication, trust, and integrity.
"If anything, the acquisition of money these days doesn't provide trust--it demands trust," Slavin said.
At that time, Slavin also shared that he had a team of forensic accountants take a look at Cooper Union's 990s, who told him that "they haven't seen anything this fucked up from anyone who wasn't being deliberately obstructive."
The announcement arrived in the heat of criticism directed at the Board of Trustees for--among other things--making large, questionable investments in hedge funds right up until the fiscal crash, and then directing the blame for money woes at lack of alumni giving.More »