Northeastern University opened a graduate campus in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, the first step in a far-reaching plan to expand across the country, form research partnerships within cities, and take advantage of regional needs for specialized workers.
In its pursuit of a new, more entrepreneurial model of higher education, the private Boston institution plans to break out of the private-research-university mold and open up shop at satellite campuses around the country, including California’s Silicon Valley; Austin, Tex.; Minneapolis; and Seattle. The university hopes to open the Seattle campus next year.
But Northeastern’s growth plan isn’t a typical expansion, in which a university duplicates little versions of itself in other cities. President Joseph E. Aoun said in an interview on Monday that when Northeastern opens a satellite campus, it won’t provide just teaching but, through research affiliations with local industry leaders and nongovernmental organizations, will become part of the city.