Breakthrough in investigation into her finances leads to sudden resignation by Anthony Viola
On the evening of October 7, Lisa S. Coico resigned from her position as confirmed from an e-mail sent from her office to the faculty. Coico served as the 12th president of the City College of New York. In the e-mail, Coico boasts about the success she’s seen under her administration, but avoids clarifying why she made her decision.
According to the New York Times, which published an article the same night of Coico’s resignation, the investigation team of the famed newspaper was following up on a breakthrough regarding her financial records. Coico has been in the process of being investigated after officials called her financial records into question; they had reason to believe she was misusing college funding for personal expenses. The Times mentioned that they forwarded their findings to the federal institution the day before she quit.
In Coico’s e-mail, she claims that CCNY is “in a good place, physically and financially,” and that the college is “poised for even more successes to come” after listing many of the ones she was president for. The short e-mail was only sent to faculty and staff.
Brian Aguilar Avila, an engineering student in his senior year, was shocked after receiving a forwarded version of the e-mail Friday night. “After her office sent several e-mails ensuring that everything was okay and that no funds were inappropriately used, I thought that she would fight it to the end,” states Aguilar Avila. “Her resignation makes her even more suspicious that she was doing something she was not supposed to.”
Coico is among many administrators who have stepped down this year. The college’s provost resigned in May, and the role has been filled with an interim, Dr. Mary Driscoll, since. The dean of Arts and Humanities resigned in January angry over severe budget cut to the college’s largest division. The ombudsperson had also resigned last week, explaining in an e-mail the difficulty of working with several executives on the school’s faculty senate.
Dr. Driscoll will step up as interim president until the CUNY Board of Trustees appoints someone else. They are expected to meet on October 26th.
Although federal authorities are still investigating Coico’s financial records, some believe that she may have resigned after being offered a higher position on the federal or state level. These speculations have yet to be confirmed.
“She pretty much lost all credibility to all students. I hope that we, as a student body, have a say on who will lead our college next,” adds Aguilar Avila.
No official e-mail has yet been sent to the students of the college regarding this announcement.