To the Northeastern Community:

In October I wrote to you about our academic planning initiative. Over the past weeks and months we have made steady progress in the planning process. The steering committee and planning teams have convened and the themes have been identified. Now we need the most important ingredient . . .your ideas.

The Academic Initiative is our shared blueprint for the future, shaping our mission and building upon our areas of excellence, distinctiveness and innovation. We will develop it together by gathering input from all the members of the community at open forums. The planning teams will review those ideas and shape them into a plan. The whole process will be open and inclusive. I will issue the same challenge to you that I issued to them: Think big!

Throughout January and February you will see regular announcements of events, open to all, focused on each of the four key themes:

• Experiential Learning;
• Urban and Global Dimensions;
• Fundamental and Translational Research; and
• Creative, Aesthetic and Ethical Dimensions.

The events will provide forums for discussion and debate of ideas. They will provide everyone in the community with an opportunity to participate and have a voice in the plan.

We have created a website with much more information on the themes, the process, and the events. Please visit often as it will be updated regularly with new information. The link is below.

Our events will begin soon. In the meantime, begin thinking about your big idea. Try to step outside of your immediate situation and think as a citizen of the university. Be bold and be visionary. That is the kind of thinking that will elevate Northeastern in the world.