Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff,
Almost one year ago, on June 1, 2020, I became your Dean. It was a week after Mr. George Floyd had been murdered by police on May 25, and in the midst of a terrifying global pandemic. Northeastern was new to me, as was our College and almost all of you. I was your fourth Dean in almost the same number of years. It was clear that if we were to go forward in the landscape of racial injustice and within the uncertain pandemic framework, we needed to work together as one Community. We needed an overarching value of respect, with a clear statement against systemic racism and towards an equitable College.
Over the year, we’ve met mostly as 1×1 flat images, and I much look forward to seeing you in person. You’ve come to know me – that I have a funny accent, am very positive, and a hands-on Dean full of ideas, who is always thrilled to hear new ones! I have come to understand the top-quality research that is performed by many of you, the top-quality education you give our students and the top-quality administration and staffing that runs our departments and units.
Northeastern was my destination because it seemed the most innovative university around, a place where we could invent the future of higher education, and that is true! Northeastern has become my home, and I am so happy to be part of this great College and University.
The overarching goals I set out can be readily stated as ‘promoting excellence across all spheres of the College of Science – research, education, and innovation’. A corollary goal is to promote the brightest trajectory for every member of our College – faculty, staff, and student. I further set out a more granular set of goals, broad enough that they were flexible and could evolve as we considered and planned.
The landscape of excellence we seek is encapsulated on our COS Homepage, like a poem.
Across a culture of respect and equity,
we are solving the greatest challenges of our planet,
with groundbreaking fundamental and applied research.
Through innovative, research-linked, experiential education,
our students are empowered
to be confident, entrepreneurial, problem-solvers,
with flexible skills for a vast set of careers.
I’m delighted to report that together, we have achieved a great deal this year. Our College of Science BROAD GOALS below show those partially met in italics.
Build a Culture of Respect and Equity
Communicate the Power of Science
Promote High Impact Research, and Faculty Hiring
Expand and Re-invent the PhD
Define Science Space and Work of the Future
Promote Innovative Education across the World
Increase Undergraduate Research
Build an Entrepreneurship Landscape
Every single person in our College has made important contributions to meeting these goals, working together, our accomplishments are fantastic. We are building a respectful, equitable community. We’ve built many Communications – regular newsletters – Monday CONNECTS and this Weekly; a Cross-COS Colloquium; Catalyst for our alumni and friends, and a COS Annual Report (July 2021). We’ve made brilliant staff and faculty hires across the demographics of society, including through our INVEST mechanism. We’ve rebuilt Grants Administration! Our Connected Science PhD (joint with The PhD Network) promotes vast career opportunities. And within Northeastern guidelines, we’ve developed a hybrid work landscape, freeing up valuable research space. Thank you all deeply, for your thoughtful and extensive contributions to meeting our goals.
This has been a tough year by anyone’s standards. It’s been scary, unexpected, and has required enormous effort to get through. Taking education online at a moment’s notice, taking it into NUflex, closing research, painstakingly re-opening it, dealing with the pandemic as a kind, calm and creative Community. Keeping our administration running, but also reorganizing and expanding. Providing careful financial stewardship. Hiring new College members. Working remotely as best as possible. Juggling family and online school. Keeping Northeastern open safely, that has been so successful.
And Congratulations! You’ve done it! We have exceeded all expectations! Let us feel very proud to be members our College and Northeastern University this past academic year.
As we move forward, I will do my best to guide the College of Science to ever greater excellence, to promote your trajectory, and to listen to your concerns or ideas. Thank you for the honor of this collegial, productive, mind-expanding first year at Northeastern.
Hazel Sive PhD
Dean, College of Science