To Faculty Colleagues:

The strongest academic communities channel their collective wisdom toward specific goals. With this in mind, the Provost and I recently held a series of college-based discussions about the University’s Long Range Plan. In keeping with Northeastern’s collaborative character, faculty members from across the University provided thoughtful feedback.

At each of these meetings, the Provost introduced the Long Range Plan by characterizing it as a canvas that members of our community will paint together. This canvas exists within a defined frame, which are the four broad categories of the Long Range Plan: EducationFacultyResearch, and Student Experience.

Our conversations were robust and expansive, and across colleges there was consensus on many fundamental principles: We agreed that the University should continue to buck economic trends and add 150 new faculty positions. We agreed to invest in our position as the leader in experiential education, anchored by co-op. There was also strong consensus that we owe our students a global education that prepares them to lead in a globalized world. As we work to expand our research enterprise, we agreed on the importance of building interdisciplinary research on a strong disciplinary base.

As our planning continues, the Long Range Plan website provides another avenue to offer your ideas and further shape the plan. We envision a Long Range Plan that builds on the pillars of the Academic Plan, but is flexible enough to adapt to change. The plan should be academically driven, but not intellectually brittle.

The remarkable success of Northeastern today is not a confluence of fortunate events. Decades of steady success have provided an unprecedented opportunity to increaseour momentum. I thank you for your continued participation in our planning efforts—for your energy, your passion and, most of all, your ideas. Working together, and remaining true to Northeastern’s ethos of innovation, we will achieve new levels of excellence.

Joseph E. Aoun