The World Financial Situation

10.13.08

In recent days, our attention has been drawn to an extraordinary financial crisis that is affecting economies around the world. As an academic community, we are all stewards of Northeastern for future generations. Many of you are wondering what effects this situation may have on the university. The truth is that we do not know at this stage. Over the past several weeks, we have been monitoring the situation closely, analyzing the changing conditions, and planning our next steps.

During this period, we can anticipate that our families will face increasing pressure on their financial resources. Accordingly, our focus will be on our students and their families as we provide every opportunity for them to achieve their educational goals.

It is our responsibility to manage the cost of education. To this end, I have asked our Senior Leadership Team to work closely with our Deans and Vice Presidents to do all we can to contain the cost of our operation. They will begin this process immediately by examining ways in which we can become more efficient and use our resources more effectively. I am also asking each member of our campus community to work with our administrative leaders to manage our resources well.

Our goal is simple – to ensure that Northeastern is stronger after this challenge has passed. Given this goal, we are not anticipating an across-the-board revision of our budget. Such an approach would compromise essential aspects of our educational and research mission. Instead, we will manage our resources carefully by ensuring that our core educational and research activities continue as our priority. The quality of our course offerings, experiential learning opportunities, and leadership in research that meets societal needs must remain at the forefront of our resource planning.

We must also pursue innovative ways of generating additional resources including online programs, professional master's degrees, and international education. We cannot lose sight of the fact that our opportunities are always expanding as we broaden our educational offerings and develop new partnerships here and around the world.

The strength of our university is evidenced by our capacity to work as a community. I am confident in our ability to navigate this period of change as we bring our innovation and creativity to the task.

Sincerely,

Joseph E. Aoun
President