Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to share with you some organizational changes that I believe will empower us to meet, and exceed, the goals we developed together in our academic plan, Northeastern 2025.

A key facet of the plan is an integrated, holistic approach to learning that is lifelong. Just as we have worked to break down silos in our research, we believe that learning should have no boundaries. Indeed, learning can and should happen anytime, anywhere. Northeastern students learn in classrooms, on co-ops, and as part of well-crafted co-curricular activities. Increasingly, these learning experiences happen around the world through our Global University System.

To strengthen and expand this learning continuum, we will organize ourselves in a way that integrates our educational infrastructure—from the moment of undergraduate enrollment all the way to experiential PhDs and lifelong learners.

To ensure long-term success, we need the right leadership. Today I am happy to announce that Ken Henderson, our dean of the College of Science, will assume the newly created position of Chancellor, reporting to me. In this important new role, Ken will lead our broad portfolio of teaching and learning functions.

Specifically, Chancellor Henderson will oversee undergraduate and experiential learning, student affairs, enrollment management, digital and mobile learning, lifelong learning—including our regional campuses—and our PhD Network. This assembly of student-centered functions will enable the kind of holistic and co-curricular learning that we envisioned in Northeastern 2025.

In addition to consulting with many of you, I worked closely with our provost, Jim Bean, in designing this new organizational structure. As provost and chief academic officer, Jim will continue to lead all of our schools and colleges—including the College of Professional Studies—as well as overseeing our expanding research enterprise. Jim will also continue to lead academic affairs, academic finances, and information technology. He will remain chair of the Faculty Senate.

These organizational changes will officially go into effect on February 11.

As we transition to this new organizational structure, Philly Mantella will work with me as Special Advisor to the President for the remainder of her tenure at Northeastern. In this role, Philly will continue to provide her considerable talents and expertise as we prepare for the imperatives of Northeastern 2025.

The world’s most successful organizations—for profit and nonprofit alike—adapt and reimagine themselves constantly. Here at Northeastern, in part because of our experiential model, we are especially attuned to changes in the world. Let us begin today to build the university of tomorrow. Let us chart a bold and unique path to 2025 and beyond.


Joseph E. Aoun