At the first Fac­ulty Senate meeting of the aca­d­emic year, Provost Stephen Director described North­eastern as a uni­ver­sity that has con­tinued to rise as a global research insti­tu­tion, citing the quality and volume of under­grad­uate and grad­uate appli­cants, a twofold increase in research awards over the last five years, and an ongoing push to fur­ther grow a diverse, tal­ented faculty.

We’re in ter­rific shape as a uni­ver­sity and the hard work of the fac­ulty has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in helping us achieve where we are,” Director said during Wednesday’s Senate meeting.

Director said the record-​​breaking 43,255 under­grad­uate appli­ca­tions — the highest number for any pri­vate uni­ver­sity in the United States — shows that North­eastern is con­tin­uing to attract a growing pool of tal­ented stu­dents, a fact also true on the grad­uate level.

The average SAT score for the freshman class rose to 1341 this year, up more than 30 points over last year; the nearly 600 honors stu­dents in Northeastern’s freshman class scored, on average, well over 1400.

These are top-​​notch stu­dents entering our uni­ver­sity, and we have to work hard to meet their expec­ta­tions,” Director said.

The Uni­ver­sity has length­ened its global reach, Director said, with incoming freshmen hailing from 82 coun­tries and cur­rent stu­dents studying or working in co-​​op jobs in 85 coun­tries. Global pro­grams, he said, will con­tinue to grow.

Overall, despite the ongoing eco­nomic woes facing the United States, co-​​op place­ments increased to nearly 7,000 in the 2010–2011 aca­d­emic year.

Director also touted the University’s hiring of 60 new full-​​time fac­ulty mem­bers for the cur­rent aca­d­emic year, with 43 entering as tenure-​​track pro­fes­sors and 17 entering with tenure. Next year, the Uni­ver­sity is on track to hire up to 70 new mem­bers of the fac­ulty, an impres­sive feat at a time when many uni­ver­si­ties have sig­nif­i­cantly slowed or even stopped fac­ulty hiring.

This is a unique oppor­tu­nity we have before us,” Director said.

He also listed a series of upcoming ini­tia­tives that will require col­lab­o­ra­tion, including the cre­ation of a new Insti­tu­tional Master Plan, which will shape the University’s phys­ical campus for decades.

Louis Kruger, the chair of the Senate Agenda Com­mittee and an asso­ciate pro­fessor of coun­seling and applied psy­chology in the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, spoke about the vital impor­tance of shared gov­er­nance between Northeastern’s fac­ulty and administration.

If there is one thing we have learned in the last 20 years, it is this: When fac­ulty and admin­is­tra­tion move in tandem, there is nothing we cannot accom­plish,” Kruger said.

It’s a tremen­dous insti­tu­tion to be a part of, and a tremen­dous amount of hard work on the part of everyone has brought the Uni­ver­sity to where it is,” Director said. “We have an exciting year ahead of us and I look for­ward to working with all of you.”