Dear Colleagues,

For faculty and staff, a new academic year is not a beginning, but yet another milestone in our collective journey. Today, this journey is guided by Northeastern 2025, the academic plan you envisioned and made a reality.

Like any journey worth pursuing, we have taken ourselves to new places, and reached heights many thought unimaginable a generation ago.

Some achievements merit specific attention:

A 189 percent increase in external research funding since 2006, and a record number of external research awards secured by Northeastern faculty last year;

A flourishing state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex, enabling discoveries that will change the world;

New records in undergraduate applications (62,272) and two-part mean SAT score of 1469 for the new entering class;

Unprecedented philanthropy—powered by more than 100,000 supporters from more than 110 countries—is fueling success across every dimension of university life, from endowed faculty positions to financial aid;

New levels of brand recognition for our collective success, particularly around faculty research, student achievements, and the innovative spirit that keeps Northeastern at the cutting edge of innovation.

True to the character of this university, these successes have only made us hungrier to go even further—to reach even higher.

The goals of Northeastern 2025 will demand that we continue to work together. Only through collaboration and collective effort can we continue to transform our curriculum, deepen our investment in experiential learning, and make lifelong learning central to our mission.

These steps—detailed in Northeastern 2025—will allow us to lead in a world transformed by artificial intelligence and smart machines.

A new curriculum, Humanics, will integrate technological, data, and human literacies. We will extend experiential learning throughout all that we do—including PhD education—and measure it through SAIL, our Self Authored Integrated Learning platform. And we will continue to build a lifelong learning network that serves learners around the world from every walk of life.

These advances in education are animated by an expanding research enterprise that is use-inspired and impactful. The marvel that is our Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex is just the beginning; further investments in our research infrastructure are on the horizon.

The result will be a Global University System that empowers learning and discovery on a worldwide scale.

It will not be easy. As we continue to climb higher, the ascent becomes steeper. The air becomes thinner. The work becomes harder.

Despite the boldness of our ambitions, I believe we will succeed . . . for one simple reason. Our journey thus far has been path-breaking. It is our past success that will propel us to the lofty new heights we have envisioned.

As we commence a new academic year—another milestone to 2025—I thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you will do tomorrow and beyond.


Joseph E. Aoun