Jamshed Bharucha

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Jamshed Bharucha is President Emeritus of Cooper Union, a college located in Manhattan, New York City.[1][2][3] He served as the 12th President of Cooper Union from July 2011 through June 2015.

A few months after taking office, Bharucha announced that the institution had been running massive deficits, had depleted its assets, was facing a looming fiscal cliff, and that the model of free-tuition was no longer sustainable.[4][5][6] Following a year and a half of community debate, including an Expense Reduction Task Force[7] and a Revenue Task Force,[8] the Board of Trustees voted in March 2013 to reduce the traditional full-tuition scholarships for all enrolled students to 50%-tuition scholarships, with need-based financial aid available to offset costs. The tuition plan was launched with the freshmen class entering in 2014. Socio-economic access (as measured by the % of Pell Grant-eligible students who enrolled) increased from 16% to 25% because of the need-based financial aid.[9]

On June 11, 2015, amid the financial crisis at the school, and a day after five of the college's Trustees resigned, he announced that he would be stepping down at the end of the month to become a visiting scholar at Harvard University.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Prior to becoming President of Cooper Union, Bharucha was Provost and Senior Vice President[17] of Tufts University and Professor in the Departments of Psychology, Music and in the Medical School's Department of Neuroscience. Prior to Tufts he was the John Wentworth Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences[18][19] at Dartmouth College, where he received the Huntington Teaching Award. His research is in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, focusing on the cognitive and neural basis of the perception of music. He was Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Music Perception[20] and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is a Trustee of Vassar College, where he received the Distinguished Achievement Award[21] from the Alumnae & Alumni of Vassar College.

Early life and education

Jamshed Bharucha was born in Mumbai, India. His father Jal Bharucha, a Parsi engineer from Mumbai, and mother Elizabeth Bharucha (born Elizabeth Emily Robinson) a musician from Albany, New York, met at the University of Michigan. Jal Bharucha was the first engineer in India to employ computers in structural design, using an early facility at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in the 1960s. Elizabeth Bharucha was organist and choral director at the Scots Kirk (Church of Saints Andrew & Columba) and the All Saints Church[22] in Mumbai. Jal and Elizabeth were founding members of the Bombay International School,[23] from which Jamshed graduated.

Bharucha graduated from Vassar College where he majored in biopsychology (1978), then received an M.A. in philosophy from Yale University (1979) and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Harvard University (1983). He spent the 1982-83 academic year at Cornell University. At Harvard he worked with Stephen Kosslyn, William K. Estes and Roger Brown.

Bharucha studied violin in Mumbai, received an Associate’s Diploma in violin performance from Trinity College of Music (London) in 1973 and then studied violin at Vassar. He was a member of the Bombay Chamber Orchestra;[24] the Vassar College Orchestra under the direction of Luis Garcia-Renart; the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra performing at Sanders Theatre under the direction of James Yannatos; and the Bach Society Orchestra of Harvard University.

Academic and administrative career

Dartmouth College

Bharucha spent most of his academic career at Dartmouth College, where he was the John Wentworth Professor and rose from Associate Dean for the Social Sciences to Deputy Provost to Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences.[18][19] He was the first Indian American to be named dean of a school at an Ivy League institution. While in the Dartmouth administration, he established the Dartmouth Brain Imaging Center[25] - the first teaching and research MRI facility outside a medical school, accessible to undergraduates, graduate students and faculty. His principal faculty appointment was in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, but he also taught in the Program in Linguistics & Cognitive Science and the Program in Electroacoustic Music (now called Digital Musics).

As an academic administrator, he launched initiatives on teaching and research, as well as their integration in the form of active learning, encouraging undergraduates to get involved in research with their professors.[26][27]

Bharucha chaired a self-study committee on the future of computing, which made recommendations designed to build on Dartmouth's historic strengths in academic computing. The two principal recommendations have since been implemented via the creation of the Neukom Institute for Computational Science and the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning. Bharucha himself has developed two computer-based teaching tools: MindLab, which enables undergraduates to design and conduct experiments in cognitive psychology, and DartNet, which allows undergraduates to build and test simple neural net models. As Deputy Provost he oversaw the newly created Institute for Security Technology Studies and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network.

Tufts University

Bharucha moved from Dartmouth to Tufts in 2002 to assume the position of Provost & Senior Vice President. As Provost, he was the chief academic officer of the university, overseeing the seven schools, the Tisch College, the Institute for Global Leadership, the Fares Center and the Clinical & Translational Research Institute.

Bharucha recruited to Tufts Vali Nasr, Nalini Ambady, Ray Jackendoff, Gina Kuperberg, Mathias Scheutz and Peniel Joseph. During his tenure, the volume of sponsored research doubled, the average number of patents per year from research doubled, and revenues from technology transfer and industrial collaboration increased tenfold.[citation needed]

Bharucha launched the Summer Scholars program,[28] which provides opportunities for undergraduate students to work on collaborative research with faculty across the university and its affiliated hospitals. He also launched the University Seminar,[29] a cross-disciplinary course, open to undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

Additions to the campus during his tenure include the Granoff Music Center[30] and the rebuilt Neuroscience Department[31] at the Tufts School of Medicine.

He has published on the topic of higher education partnerships with Asia. At Tufts, he and Dean Harris Berman of the Tufts Medical School established a joint program in Public Health with the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.

Cooper Union

Bharucha was appointed as the twelfth president of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art effective July 1, 2011.[2][3][32]

Cooper Union financial crisis

In October 2011, the administration announced that the institution had a $16.5 million structural annual deficit, and that the financial model was not sustainable in its current form.[4][6] Although the rent income from the Chrysler building (upon which Cooper Union relies) is scheduled to increase dramatically in 2018-19, it remains flat for the following decade.[33] With other expected revenues, the annual increase in revenues would not keep up with inflation. The administration announced a short term challenge (managing the deficit until 2018) and a long term challenge (keeping up with inflation beyond that date). The administration appointed an "Expense Reduction Task Force" and a "Revenue Task Force".[5][34] A budget cut of $4 million was implemented, and a range of ideas about new revenue sources was discussed. These sources included new fee-based programs such as master's programs, summer programs, postbaccalaureate programs, pre-college programs, and the possibility of some reduction in the full-scholarship policy for undergraduates.

The possibility that the undergraduate students might have to incur some tuition charges after 154 years evoked controversy and protest, including a one-week occupation of the Peter Cooper Suite (on the top floor of the main building) by 11 Cooper Union students.[35] On April 23, 2013, Bharucha and the administration of Cooper Union announced that they would end the policy of full tuition scholarships, charging all students effective Fall 2014.[36] From May 8 to July 12, 2013, a large and varying group of students had occupied Bharucha's office at Cooper Union in opposition to the decision to charge tuition.[37] On July 12, the students reached an agreement with the Board of Trustees that ended the occupation. Under this agreement student representation would be given in a new task force set up to explore options which could lead Cooper Union back to its original tuition-free policy.[38]

The short term challenge (managing the deficit until 2018) was met with a $58Million bridge loan.[39]

Public commentary


Essays on higher education

John Brockman's World Question Center on edge.org:

Selected publications on music cognition and neuroscience


  1. "12th President, Cooper Union".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Foderaro, Lisa W. (February 6, 2011). "New York Times, February 6, 2011". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "President Emeritus, Cooper Union".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Memo to Cooper Union community". Cooper Union: President Bharucha archived messages.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "President's Address (transcript)". The Great Hall, Cooper Union. December 13, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pérez-Peña, Richard (October 31, 2011). "Cooper Union looks at charging tuition". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Expense Reduction Task Force: Final Report" (PDF). Cooper Union. May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Revenue Task Force: Final Report" (PDF). Cooper Union. May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "The State of Cooper Union 2014" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  11. Woodhouse, Kellie (June 11, 2015). "Cooper Union Upheaval". Inside Higher Ed.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Committee to Save Cooper Union from the Committee to Save Cooper Union".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Thomason, Andy (June 10, 2015). "After Trustees Resign, Cooper Union President Says He Will Step Down". The Chronicle of Higher Education.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. McElroy, Tom (June 10, 2015). "Jamshed Bharucha Resigning as President of Cooper Union". Huffington Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "New York Times, June 11, 2015". The New York Times. June 11, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Former Cooper Union President Defends Tuition Decision". Wall Street Journal. January 8, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Illuminating a Hidden Treasure". Tufts Magazine. Fall 2002. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Dartmouth College".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Dean's goals".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Music Perception journal".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Distinguished Achievement Award from Alumnae & Alumni of Vassar College".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "All Saints Church, Mumbai".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Bombay International School".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Bombay Chamber Orchestra".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Dartmouth Brain Imaging Center".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Dean's initiatives in undergraduate opportunities for active learning at Dartmouth".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Active learning".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Summer Scholars Program".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "University Seminar at Tufts".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Granoff Music Center at Tufts".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Neuroscience Department, Tufts Medical School".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Provost Bharucha named President-elect of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. Spencer, Robert (September 17, 2013). "The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art: Financials Overview". Huron Consulting.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. President's Address (video), Part 3: The process of change. The Great Hall, Cooper Union. December 13, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. Moynihan, Colin (December 10, 2012). "Cooper Union Students End Occupation of Suite After a Week". New York Times. Retrieved 19 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. Kaminer, Ariel (April 23, 2013). "College Ends Free Tuition, and an Era". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. Kaminer, Ariel (May 24, 2013). "Tuition Protesters Still in Top Office at Cooper Union". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. Kingkade, Tyler (July 16, 2013). "Cooper Union Occupation Ends After 2 Months With Promise Of Task Force". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "Take The Call". January 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
George Campbell Jr.
President of Cooper Union
2011 -
Succeeded by