Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the appointment of James C. Bean to be Northeastern University’s next Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Jim joins us from the University of Oregon, where he has served in a range of leadership roles, most notably as provost. Jim will begin his tenure at Northeastern on July 1. He will work part time for several weeks as he transitions, and begin full time on August 20.

Jim is a multifaceted academic leader, in part because his career has spanned different disciplines, including business and engineering. During his five years as provost at the University of Oregon, he managed all aspects of the academic enterprise at a major research university. He is extremely adept at designing and managing complex systems, a necessity for a successful provost. Jim also believes firmly in new ideas emerging from innovative faculty collaborations, and will work to empower these discussions.

In addition to his prior tenure as provost, Jim served for four years as Dean of the University of Oregon’s business school—the Lundquist College of Business.

Before his time in Oregon, Jim was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. As an engineering faculty member at Michigan, Jim co-directed a unique manufacturing partnership between the engineering college, the business school, and many industry partners. He understands, as we do here at Northeastern, that universities and businesses can work together as partners.

Jim has also held an advisory faculty position at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and a visiting position at Laboratoire d’Automatique et d’Analyse des Systems du CNRS in Toulouse, France. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, and his master’s degree and doctorate in operations research from Stanford University.

The university will officially announce Jim’s appointment tomorrow morning, but we wanted to share it first with each of you, our faculty and staff colleagues.

The success of this appointment is shared by many, particularly the provost search committee, which included a broad cross-section of faculty, administrators, students and alumni leaders.

We also join those from across the university in thanking Steve Director for his seven years of outstanding leadership as provost. During Steve’s tenure, academic innovation became one of Northeastern’s calling cards. The impact of Steve’s work will be felt in nearly every corner of the university for years to come.

The momentum and accomplishments we have achieved at Northeastern are not the work of a single person or administration. Just as we have built on the success of our predecessors, we must pave the way for future successes. As we welcome Jim Bean to Northeastern, let us continue our collective work to advance our mission in ways we cannot even imagine today.


Joseph E. Aoun