Letter to the Community

September 7, 2016

Dear Community,

I am writing in response to the article, “Missing City College Donation Prompts Inquiry,” published on August 30, 2016 in The New York Times. The article is filled with unsubstantiated assertions and misleading innuendo and suggests, without offering a single piece of evidence, that there were improprieties when there are none whatsoever. This was made clear to the reporter but ignored. The record must be set straight.

There are absolutely no “missing” funds of any kind.  The fact is that the terms of the generous donation to City College, referred to in the article, state that the funds are to be used “for the arts as determined by the President” of City College, and that is precisely what happened. The donor was consulted, twice, and both times approved how the funds were utilized to support adjunct arts faculty. Any assertion that “it is unclear who withdrew the money,” as the article says, is absolute nonsense.   

The fact is that this was a generous private gift used in accordance with the donor’s wishes, as more recent coverage in the media makes clear.  I met with faculty members who raised questions about the funds. In that meeting, none offered evidence of any improprieties or suggested there was any.

My highest priority will continue to be student success.  City College is truly the economic engine of upward mobility unlike any other institution in the region.  I will continue to protect its stewardship so that thousands of students will continue to have access to excellence and realize their dreams of completing a college education.


Lisa S. Coico