By Associated Press - Thursday, September 15, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - The executive director of the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia has been named president of The Cooper Union in New York.

Cooper Union says Laura Sparks will start her new job on Jan. 4. She’ll be the first female president of the Manhattan college, which is known for its architecture, arts and engineering programs.

Sparks previously was an executive at Citigroup in New York.

A year ago, New York’s attorney general announced an agreement to end a lawsuit against Cooper Union and create an independent financial monitor. The deal required the school to explore ways to restore free tuition.

Sparks says the school is committed to working toward that goal.

The college had begun charging tuition in 2014 for the first time in more than a century to avoid insolvency.

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