In his annual address to the Faculty Senate, President Joseph E. Aoun placed Northeastern’s surging momentum in a global context. President Aoun explained that demand for higher education is rising dramatically around the world — a shift that will test the American system, but also provide opportunity for institutions that are nimble and innovative.
Northeastern’s “precious characteristics,” such as commitment to research that addresses pressing global challenges and its focus on providing students with transformational experiential learning opportunities around the globe, are strengths others seek to duplicate, President Aoun said adding, “we must continue to innovate.”
President Aoun has made global expansion of co-op and other forms of experiential learning a centerpiece of his agenda. While the number of Northeastern students participating in international co-op has tripled over the last four years, the campus has become an increasingly international community as well.
To advance a new model for excellence in higher education based on leadership in global experiential education and use-inspired research, the University will implement an ambitious Long Range Plan that puts the vision of the Academic Plan into action.
“The Academic Plan gives us the vision and the framework,” President Aoun said, inviting the faculty to share in the process of its development. “The Long Range Plan is the action plan, and we have to all rally around it and make it a reality.”
Over the next five years, the Long Range Plan will advance key initiatives in four areas: education, faculty, research, and the student experience.
The plan’s goals include investing in education and student life, in part by striving for innovation in the University’s curriculum to create more flexibility for students to pursue interdisciplinary studies. Northeastern also aims to expand course offerings, the Honors Program and experiential learning opportunities, such as the University’s signature co-op program, for undergraduate and graduate students.
President Aoun also highlighted the continued emphasis on aggressively recruiting top faculty—as well as top students—to join Northeastern. He cited plans to hire faculty in clusters that will support new and existing interdisciplinary collaborations as well as align with the University’s research themes of health, security and sustainability.
“We are happy,” President Aoun said, “but we are not satisfied.”
Learn more about Northeastern’s Long Range Plan here.