Meet the Deans

The "Meet the Deans" series introduces you to each of the deans of The Cooper Union, to learn more about their background, personalities and vision.

Saskia BosLike a wandering sailor guided by the North Star, Saskia Bos has led a peripatetic, international life charted by a passion for art. Dean of the School of Art for seven years, she presides over one of the most selective art schools in the country, admitting only four percent of all applicants.  Now, besides her usual roster of administrating, teaching, writing and curating she must also guide the school through a fiscal “reinvention.”  As part of the Meet the Deans series she took an hour to reveal a bit more about her history, her influences and her look to the future of the school. more...

Dr. Teresa DahlbergDr. Teresa Dahlberg, the Dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering as of August, has all the bona fides that you could ask for in a leader of one of the most selective engineering schools in the U.S. She has experience in the private sector and academia, the vision to create a national engineering student program and the ability to procure millions in funding, among other demonstrable attributes. But there is one thing you will not find on her C.V. that may be her most valuable asset: her sunny, infectious optimism. For her, pivoting a "hidden gem" of a school to one that is more "outward facing" while also shepherding it from a grim financial future to a sustainable model are less challenges than opportunities with a "high risk high reward." In this latest installment the Meet the Deans series we sat down with Dean Dahlberg to discuss her past, how she finds the school now and where she wishes to steer it into the future. more...

William GermanoWilliam Germano, Dean of the faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) has the difficult task of leading the smallest of Cooper Union’s academic staffs to teach the largest body of students. Yet he calls himself “lucky” to be at the helm.  As part of the Meet the Deans series, Dean Germano, known as “Bill” to friends and colleagues, expanded on that lucky feeling, his hopes for HSS and even his less well-known musical talents. more...

Elizabeth O'Donnell, Associate Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, finds herself in charge of steering the school through one of its most critical years by the circumstance of Dean Vidler's long-planned sabbatical. But, as revealed in this latest installment of the Meet the Deans series, O'Donnell's optimism, interest in asking new kinds of questions and her own personal history make her exactly the right person in the right place at the right moment.  more...

Dean Mitchell LiptonMore than anyone else at The Cooper Union, Mitchell Lipton, Dean of Admissions and Records and Registrar, sits at the axis of three schools, the faculty of the humanities and social sciences, and the administration.  Attuned to every nuanced shift in this fine web, Dean Lipton and his office maintain the threads connecting the anchors of the institution.  That's not easy to do when faced with likely but unknown changes to each of the school's offerings and potentially the way students pay for their education at Cooper.  In this fifth installment of the Meet the Deans series, Mitchell Lipton talks about what plans he can make while not yet knowing what the future brings and what he would do with a magic wand. more...

Alan WolfAlan Wolf, professor of physics at Cooper Union for over 25 years and current Acting Dean of the Albert N. Nerken School of Engineering has an oddly fortuitous relationship with the institution. Originally a physics major at Cooper, he became an unwitting member of the “lost” class of 1978.  Later he ended up returning as an assistant professor after an unlikely set of circumstances that began with a jog in Central Park.  Now, thanks partly to a sudden need for an Acting Dean, he finds himself shepherding the engineering school through one of its most challenging periods.  As part of a new series we call “Meet the Deans” we sat down with Alan Wolf to discuss his goals during his tenure, his surprising second career, and why he may not be technically qualified for any of this. more...

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.