The mission of the Northeastern University Police Department is to enhance public safety, provide service, and build community. To this end, we have established an NUPD Advisory Board comprising students, faculty, staff, and a member of the Boston community. This board will help guide, inform, and strengthen NUPD’s relationship with the community—both within and outside Northeastern. Senior Vice President Ralph Martin will review best practices around this structure. In addition, to engender mutual understanding and enhance trust, NUPD Chief Mike Davis will continue to hold a series of direct engagements with members of our community.
Provost David Madigan, Chancellor Ken Henderson, and all senior vice presidents will be charged with increasing diversity at all levels—students, faculty, and staff. This will include increasing the number of Black American students enrolled in our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, and increasing faculty and staff of color. Our goal is for Northeastern to reflect the diversity of our nation and society by 2025.
We will elevate the work of this council, which has been led by Deans James Hackney and Uta Poiger. A key focus will be continuing to seek community input and recommendations on how Northeastern can be more diverse, inclusive, and equitable across every dimension of what we do, including an annual survey of our students, faculty, and staff. In collaboration with the provost and the chancellor, this work will include actively promoting scholarship and curricular innovation that advances the cause of racial justice.
Each of Northeastern’s senior vice presidents will work with their departments and senior managers to develop specific, measurable goals to increase black and brown representation in each of our academic and administrative units. These plans will be developed and updated on an annual basis.
Effective immediately, Associate Dean Robert Jose is promoted to the role of Dean for Cultural and Spiritual Life, and will become a member of President Aoun’s cabinet. In this expanded role, Dean Jose will serve as a special advisor to the president on diversity and inclusion. Dean Jose brings a wealth of experience to this role, most notably a proven track record of working with and empowering students of color.
Northeastern’s Black students must receive better student support and must feel valued, included, and safe at their university. In addition to appointing Dean Jose to the cabinet, where his background and expertise will be essential, President Aoun has asked the provost and the chancellor to place special emphasis on the experience of Black students. This should be reflected in our work to recruit and retain academic advisors, co-op coordinators, career coaches, and healthcare professionals.
Every member of the Northeastern community must feel that they are full citizens of the university. To ensure awareness of both conscious and unconscious biases—and to eradicate it—we will institute universal training for our community, focusing on “cultural and racial literacy” in every corner of the university.
We have an opportunity to emphasize, deepen, and enlarge our ongoing efforts to be actively engaged in Boston and in communities surrounding all our campuses. Whether it be educational programs for local youth or strengthening ties with minority-owned businesses, we can and must do more. Senior Vice Presidents Ralph Martin and Tom Nedell will lead these efforts.
We will team up with our broad range of employers in developing best practices and expectations to promote the recruitment and advancement of people of color, particularly from underrepresented groups. As our partners seek to become more diverse and inclusive, Northeastern can serve as a beacon and lead by example. The provost, chancellor, and our academic deans will develop a specific plan and leading this effort.