Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Provost guides the university in implementing the academic plan, with a special responsibility for integrating academic planning across the colleges and fostering cross-college interdisciplinary initiatives within the goals of the plan. The Provost collaborates with the President in setting overall academic priorities for the university and allocates funds to support those priorities; and works with the Deans, the Colleges, and the Faculty Senate to ensure that recruitment, mentoring, and tenure and promotion processes attract and retain excellent faculty.

The Provost is also charged with:

  • sustaining and enlarging Northeastern’s reputation as a leading center of experiential education;
  • enhancing the research mission of the university by elevating research funding, strengthening the research infrastructure, and extending partnerships with industry consistent with the university’s academic plan’s focus on interdisciplinary and translational research;
  • furthering the University’s distinctive centers of emerging excellence in the arts and humanities and their partnerships with other area institutions; and
  • in cooperation with other senior administrative officers, developing the university’s annual budget and long-term financial plans and overseeing the delivery of strong administrative services to support the university’s academic activities.

The Deans of the university’s academic units and the Library report to the Provost.


Professional Accomplishments

Prior to joining Northeastern University as Provost, James C. Bean served as Senior Vice president and Provost at the University of Oregon from 2008-2013 and Dean of the Lundquist College of Business from 2004-2008. Bean spent 24 years at the University of Michigan including appointments as the Ford Motor Company Co-director of the Tauber Manufacturing Institute, Associate Dean for Graduate Education and International Programs in the College of Engineering, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He has earned a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from Stanford University in operations research and a B.S. in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College. He is a Trustee at Harvey Mudd College.

Professor Bean has worked on various industrial projects with companies such as General Cable (production control), Penford Products (production scheduling) Homart Development (divestiture scheduling), General Motors (scheduling and equipment replacement/capacity planning), Michigan Consolidated Gas Company and IBM (equipment replacement), Bethlehem Steel (capacity planning) and Tektronix (forecasting).

Besides his service as a Trustee at Harvey Mudd, Bean is a former member of the Crest Region Advisory Board for US Bank and the Board of the James Beard Public Market in Portland. He is a former president of the Arts and Business Alliance in Eugene, Oregon. Bean is a former gubernatorial appointment as an Advisory Member of Oregon Inc, and Presidential appointee to the Corporation visiting Committee for Engineering Systems at MIT.

Research Interests

Professor Bean’s research interests are in genetic algorithms, integer programming and infinite horizon optimization as applied to equipment replacement, capacity expansion, asset management, production and scheduling. He has published in Mathematics of Operations Research, Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, Management Science, IIE Transactions, Naval Research Logistics, The Engineering Economist, Interfaces, Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, INFOR, Engineering Design and Automation, Information Processing and Management and the Journal of Biomechanics. Professor Bean is Past-President of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), a charter Fellow of the Institute, and 2010 winner of the George E. Kimball Medal.