In October, Rehan Khan was appointed Northeastern University’s new chief information officer. We asked Khan to discuss what attracted him to Northeastern, his long-term vision for the university’s Information Services and what exciting things are in store for students, faculty and staff in the near future.
What attracted you to Northeastern, both from an institutional perspective and an information- services perspective?
Northeastern has made incredible strides in academics and research and is performing at a high level as measured by any metric – i.e., number of applications, academic caliber of students, school ranking, increases in research and fundraising. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Northeastern’s success. I am impressed with President Aoun and Provost Director’s vision for Northeastern. The university is on the move and poised for greatness, and I want to be a part of it.
What is your long-term vision for Information Services (IS) at Northeastern? What are some ways the university can continue to innovate to support academics, teaching and research?
Some of the ways IS can contribute to the success of the university is by working with faculty and researchers to develop shared computational facilities for high-performance computing, simulation facilities, informatics, learning management systems, cloud solutions for software, storage and computation. Additionally, we will contribute in the development of rich technology for collaborative study and workspaces (i.e., digital media commons) and the new Visitors Center.
The graduate and undergraduate student body is critical to the success of our research programs as well as for innovations in teaching and learning. Northeastern’s IS organization is ready to support and enable our faculty and students to take advantage of technology, to remain innovative and cutting edge.
What exciting things does IS have in store for the Northeastern community in the near future?
We are working with university leadership to advance our mission and vision for research and learning. For example, our regional campus initiative requires us to work closely with faculty and administrators to develop new ways of delivering education, immerse rich media and technology into learning and solidify Northeastern as the “university without borders.” Virtual learning environments and online course delivery in a secure, reliable and robust platform are keys to our success. Collaborative learning environments utilizing digital media, design, audio, video, visualization, gaming technology, second life, social media and cloud services are just some of the innovative technology we want to make available to our community.