The Cooper Union

Sustaining the Mission

Self-Study Report for Middle States Comprehensive Re-accreditation

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

The Cooper Union is a member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and voluntarily participates in the accreditation process run by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Accreditation is a means of self-regulation with the stated purpose " strengthen and sustain higher education, making it worthy of public confidence and minimizing the scope of external control." An important component of accreditation is the decennial review by a Visiting Team of peers and colleagues. The Cooper Union's decennial evaluation will take place April 6-9, 2008. The Chair of the Visiting Team is Dr. N. John DiNardo, Vice Provost of Drexel University, who made a preliminary visit to The Cooper Union on October 26, 2007.

Central to the decennial review is a self-evaluation to examine the institution in the context of the fourteen Middle States Standards. A successful accreditation requires evidence of compliance with each of those standards. As a reminder, our process began with the appointment of a Self-Study Steering Committee that included faculty, students and staff. The Committee is chaired by Professor Peter Buckley of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Committee members were: Kayt Brumder, Gerardo Del Cerro, Ellen Dorsey, Fred Fontaine, Day Gleeson, Claire Gunning, Claire McCarthy, Elizabeth O'Donnell, Ricardo Scofidio, Mary Stieber, Richard Stock, and Milton Yuen. Diana Agrest replaced Ricardio Scofidio upon his retirement. The Steering Committee organized the Self-Study beginning with the formation of five Working Groups, comprised of 53 members of the Cooper Union community. The Committee then produced a Self-Study Design, which was distributed for community review in 2006. The working groups studied the programs and services referenced in the Self-Study Design, existing data and documents, new data collected, materials prepared expressly for this Self-Study, and a number of evaluative reports. The Working Group Reports were used as input by the Steering Committee to produce a Draft Self-Study, which was available for community review through November 9, 2007. Several printed copies of the draft are available in the Offices of the Deans and in the Library.

The Cooper Union community owes a great debt of gratitude to all of those who served on the Working Groups and on the Steering Committee while carrying out their regular duties.