To Faculty and Staff Colleagues:
As we begin a new academic year, I write to express my deepest thanks for your ongoing efforts and to share with you my excitement for the year ahead.  Over the past five years, we have built a remarkable record of success, and we remain on a distinctive path to further excellence.

Thanks to your hard work – and the power of our signature co-op program – we are attracting the best and brightest students from across the United States and throughout the world. This year, we received 43,254 applications for our Fall 2011 entering class – more than any other private university in the country and about 16,000 more than we received for the fall 2006 entering class.

The increasing diversity and significant achievements of our undergraduates have strengthened our position as a premier global university.  While the final numbers are not yet set, we anticipate that 17 percent of this year’s freshmen will be international students, as compared to 4 percent six years ago. Together, these students represent 82 countries from around the globe. In 2006, only three of our freshmen were National Merit or National Achievement finalists. This year’s entering class includes more than 100 such scholars. Overall, the projected mean SAT score for the class is 1341 – up a remarkable 111 points over the past five years.

The growth in our tenured and tenure track faculty is no less impressive. We have added 228 tenured and tenure-track faculty to our ranks since 2006—60 in the past year alone. This includes Terry Fulmer, our new dean of Bouvé, who begins next month. This growth has enabled us to build our strength within disciplines while also enhancing our excellence in interdisciplinary, use-inspired research in key areas of health, security, and sustainability.

We have made bets on emerging opportunities, and these bets have paid off. Since 2006, we have doubled our research grants and awards. Our achievements in network science and the advances of our national centers in sensing and imaging, nanomanufacturing, and drug development continue to garner wide acclaim, and an increasing number of you have received honors and accolades in your respective fields.

As we have proceeded down this ambitious path, the reaction from our alumni, supporters, and friends has been enormous.  Over the past five years, we have increased new gifts and pledges by 144 percent, and this past year our total was the highest in the University’s history. We also received unprecedented external recognition of our accomplishments.

Colleagues, none of this would have been possible without your exemplary work and dedication. We have united as a community to make our University even better on every level – and we are succeeding. Each year, your outstanding efforts have enabled us to transcend our University’s past achievements, and I have every confidence we will surpass our goals again this year.

Northeastern remains a University on the move – and it is all because of you. Thank you.

Joseph E. Aoun