The Academic Initiative
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The Planning Process



The Conceptual Framework for the Plan

  • The plan is driven by the mission of the University, which will raise our aspirations to think more globally in the years to come.
  • The plan is guided by a commitment to innovation, excellence, and distinctiveness.
  • Key audiences for the plan were identified, including students, parents, alumni, employers, and society.
  • A set of cross-cutting program considerations were examined to ensure that potential initiatives can be effectively integrated into the life of the University. These program areas include undergraduate education, graduate education, life-long learning, distance learning, research, student life, diversity, and community relationships.
  • Planning themes were identified to guide the work of the planning teams.  These include, (1) Urban and Global Dimensions, (2) Experiential Learning Dimensions, (3) Fundamental and Translational Research Dimensions, and (4) Creative, Aesthetic, and Ethical Dimensions.
  • Each of the themes included areas of inquiry that the teams were asked to explore in the course of their work.
  • The teams were asked to look for synergies between the themes that needed to be explored in order to maximize the potential for success.

The Organizational Design of the Planning Process

  • The president was responsible for developing the plan and recommending it to the Board of Trustees for approval.  He appointed members of the committees and teams that were most directly involved in the planning process and charged those groups with the task of developing a thoughtful plan.  He inspired new and creative thinking on behalf of the University‚Äôs future.
  • The Long-Range Planning Committee of the Board of Trustees provided guidance and advice, ensuring that the planning process was sound, and the plan sufficiently ambitious.
  • The Senior Leadership Team shaped the conceptual design and organizational process for planning, and ensured that the implementation of the plan would be feasible.
  • The Steering Committee was co-chaired by the Provost and the Chief Planning Officer. This committee ensured that the planning process moved forward in a manner consistent with the charge it received and produced an integrated, well-articulated plan.
  • An Advisory Committee composed of corporate leaders and employers was appointed to provide insight and advice to the Steering Committee and Planning Teams.
  • The Planning Teams included representatives of the campus community who worked together on behalf of the entire University to review relevant data and information and recommend initiatives for the plan related to the themes they were asked to explore.
  • A series of thematic events was arranged for the campus community to explore the dimensions outlined for the plan.  In addition, major donors, trustees, and alumni leaders were invited to these events followed by a dinner with the President as an opportunity for cultivation.
  • Members of the campus community were also encouraged to participate in the process through open meetings and by submitting ideas and comments through the planning website. Faculty, in particular, were encouraged to participate in this way.
  • An Implementation Task Force was appointed to study the plan as it emerged and outline the organizational implications for the plan including financial resources, needs for physical space, technology infrastructure, and organizational change that would need to be aligned with the plan to ensure successful implementation.
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