Dear University Community,
If I had to boil down everything I've learned since moving into the Office of the President, I would narrow it down into two things.
First, it's that you are the most important part of the University. What makes Northeastern Illinois University great is not any one person, office or program, but it is our University Community. It is because our community makes us great that Northeastern's success is dependent upon everyone's active participation. Sure, we all have our roles to play -- as students, faculty and staff members. But it's not until we work together, understand our different perspectives and actively engage in University life that we grow as an institution.
The second thing is that a changing world demands a transformation. From the way we operate the University to the way we teach and prepare students to be future leaders, nobody does transformation better than Northeastern. Yet we must support and nourish what is working and not hesitate to disrupt, change or discontinue ineffective and obsolete models. This will take great courage, and I know we are up to meeting the challenges that will preserve our future.
We must tap Northeastern's immense brainpower and drive the innovations that advance our mission and strategic plan. This will help us chart our course for the next 150 years; in fact, this is the spirit that prompted us back in January 2017 to start a new University-wide initiative called Forward 150.
This good work continues, and it will shape our future, transform our institution, and position Northeastern for strength and growth. I hope you will join me on this journey and actively participate. Thank you for your confidence in and commitment to Northeastern.
Richard J. Helldobler