Senior VPs move to Columbus office

The highest ranks of Northeastern’s administration used to be scattered all over campus.

Now, the group has moved to the other side of Columbus Avenue.

The Office of the President, the Board of Trustees and the university’s senior vice presidents will move from their current offices throughout campus to a central location at 716 Columbus Place, President Joseph Aoun announced last week.

“I believe our success, to a great extent, lies in our ability to collaborate in all areas, beginning with the leadership team,” President Joseph Aoun said in an e-mail to staff. The convergence of university leadership, board members and faculty and staff will make this a central hub of activity at Northeastern.”

The decision to move the offices to Columbus Place was made when Aoun took office in August and needed to decide where his office would be located, said Director of Communications Fred McGrail.

The move demonstrates a sense of Aoun’s management style, McGrail said. The president is looking for “the most effective way to manage the university … and the senior team can work together more efficiently when housed together,” McGrail said.

The building on Columbus Avenue is also home to the Northeastern Police Department, School of Law faculty and the new Northeastern University Alumni Center and Faculty Club.

In the e-mail, Aoun emphasized the importance of alumni to the university.

“I believe that alumni are the lifeblood of the institution,” he said. “This move sends a strong signal to alumni that we recognize how important they are to our continued success.”

Aoun praised the Board of Trustees who “dedicate their time, talent and treasure to Northeastern.”

The board has never had adequate space before and the new office Columbus Place will provide it with the necessary space and facilities to do its work, McGrail said.

While the Columbus Avenue location will remove the new offices from the heart of campus, Aoun said it will enable Northeastern to engage in the surrounding communities of Roxbury and the South End neighborhoods.

“Northeastern is situated in the midst of diverse and vibrant communities,” Aoun said. “I believe we should embrace the unique relationships that exist between the Northeastern community and our neighbors.”

With the existing residence halls and recreational buildings on Columbus Avenue and the university’s search for approval to build a new 1,200-bed residence hall, McGrail said the street is “a vital part of campus and a vital part of the community.”

Moving the senior leadership is a statement that this part of campus is important and that Northeastern has a commitment to the community, he said.

The move to Columbus Place happen within six months and will most likely be staggered with the President and the Board moving in first, McGrail said. Some renovations will have to be made, because of the significant build out for the Alumni Center, which is almost complete and was created before Aoun took office.

“I am fully confident that this new home for our senior leadership and the board will accelerate our progress toward excellence,” Aoun said in the e-mail.

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