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.