College President Gets His Office Back

Summer is not considered prime time for student takeovers of college presidents’ offices, but at New York’s Cooper Union, one such takeover, launched May 13, lasted 65 days, until this past Friday. The issue was a decision by the Board of Trustees to charge tuition at the school for the first time in a century. The Trustees had approved an expensive new building that the school couldn’t afford, depending on a stock market rise to pay the freight. In a deal with the students, the trustees promised to explore alternatives to tuition, agreed to a student representative on the board and granted amnesty to the student offenders. The students did not suffer much hardship during the takeover. They had nightly light shows, air conditioned comfort and gourmet food sent in by alumni supporters.

John Leo

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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