Active Projects

Northeastern—including IT Services and other partners around the university—is continuously engaged in efforts to mature the digital university. The CIO’s core priorities and values, informed by the university’s Academic Plan, frame decision-making and direction for these efforts that shape the university’s technology landscape.

 

At any given time, ITS is actively working on over 100 different projects with or for university partners and members of the Northeastern community. ITS welcomes new opportunities and ideas for project work. To open a request for a project, submit an idea.

Featured Ongoing and Future Projects

Below are examples of just some of the ongoing and future projects that help illustrate the work being done to move the university’s strategic goals forward and enhance its global impact through the use of technology.

Campus Communications Infrastructure Improvements 

Business Unit: Information Technology Services

Decreasing the time to science for researchers and increasing productivity and individual mobility for all community members are essential to support the considerable growth in both the university’s research enterprise as well as the institution’s overall global footprint. This multiyear, multiphase project, in collaboration with Northeastern’s Facilities division, research enterprise, and other campus stakeholders, will address these imperatives by updating and improving the campus wired and wireless networks centered out of Northeastern’s Boston location. These updates will enable Northeastern to deliver more robust campus internet that is 10-times faster than the current infrastructure, enabling  researchers and other members of the campus community to move data more efficiently and effectively. 

Timeline 

Phase 1 

  • Kick-off: September 2021 
  • Target delivery date: November 30, 2022 

 

Status Update  

Phase 1 work includes five buildings on the Boston campus: West Village H, Snell Engineering, ISEC, Egan Research Center, and Dana. Vendors and contractors have been engaged and have begun work in these buildings. The desired go-live date has been postponed from the original June 2022 date due to the global supply chain issues impacting equipment and hardware availability. 

Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) 

Business Unit: Information Technology Services

Clearly defined services, governance around the use of resources, and a streamlined financial model can help the university better leverage a variety of cloud computing resources and support teachers and learners moving seamlessly throughout Northeastern’s global footprint. The university is establishing a Cloud Center of Excellence to accelerate the transformation, adoption, security, and governance of institutional cloud computing resources. The CCoE will ensure that the university is organizationally ready with the expertise and roadmap to provide the university’s teachers and researchers in a timely and cost-effective fashion with the tools and computing that they need to be successful.

Timeline 

This initiative is expected to kick off in late May 2022 and take approximately 18 months to complete.  

Status Update  

This project is in the planning stages, continuing to scope and prepare for kick-off. 

Cybersecurity Certification for Research Enterprise  

Business Unit: Information Technology Services

For the university to maintain its portfolio of research contracts and continue to receive external research awards from the U.S. government, Northeastern must comply with the federal government’s new requirements for handling sensitive or classified information. Northeastern’s IT Services, Research Enterprise Services, and other key stakeholders and research partners are seeking level 3 of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification 2.0 and putting the processes, governance, and training in place to meet these requirements. As a result of these efforts, the Kostas Research Institute’s affiliated researchers and collaborators can show that they meet the government’s existing CMMC 2.0 standards and can steward data in the appropriate way to maintain existing contracts and seek new opportunities.  

Timeline 

  • Kick-off: March 26, 2020  

Status Update  

Northeastern is seeking certification for several university research environments that handle Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that falls under CMMC 2.0, with the Kostas Research Institute nearing readiness. The U.S. Government has recently made a decision to change the requirements, which they are still in the process of doing. Limited progress can be made until the new requirements are released, expected in mid 2022. 

EXP

Business Unit: Facilities

Northeastern has embarked on a significant capital construction project on its Boston campus, the state-of-the-art research center called EXP, that will help the university expand its interdisciplinary ecosystem and global reach through the creation of new classrooms, laboratories, and makerspace. Facilities has engaged with IT Services to help design, consult, plan, and implement the technological infrastructure for advanced classroom and research capabilities, including connectivity to the campus community, high-performance research cloud computing clusters, and other researchers and labs across networks and partner institutions anywhere. This will empower fluidity of ideas and discoveries among and between the Impact Engines; our departments, centers, and institutes; and our research partners.

Timeline 

Target delivery date: May 2023

Status Update  

The ITS project team is awaiting construction schedule with which to coordinate the IT schedule. AV and networking statements of work have been requested of vendors.

Global Campus Enrollment Experience 

Business Unit: Office of the Chancellor

To better serve global learners throughout its global network of campuses, Northeastern’s Office of the Registrar, Enrollment Management, and IT Services teams work to change and improve how the university stores, processes, and uses students’ demographic and personal information. This project will enable university enrollment systems to capture additional student demographic information and distribute this information to over 22 downstream Northeastern systems, adding specific details that may be required on a per-country basis. As a result of this project, the university will reduce the average pre-enrollment lifecycle from 10+ weeks to just two weeks, while also making the experience less U.S. centric and more user-friendly for global learners.  

Timeline 

  • Kick-off: May 2021 
  • Delivery date: December 2021 

Status Update  

The first phase of this project went live as of December 19, 2021. Funding and approval for a phase 2 of this work is being sought. 

Grouper Access Management 

Business Unit: Information Technology Services

Simplifying and automating the grouping of people can help members of the Northeastern community make connections more easily between people, places, and ideas. This project aims to help remove some of the barriers to fluid collaboration by launching a new group management tool, Grouper Access Management, and integrate it with existing services to help streamline user grouping. With an integration with the Canvas Learning Management System, Grouper will provide a simple and automated way to assign Canvas courses based on a person’s role, location, or other information. As a result of this project, Grouper will provide other opportunities to decentralize management of and automate group changes and access to other key university services and information, through potential integrations with services such as Microsoft Teams and listservs. 

Timeline 

The kickoff is expected in September 2022. 

Status Update  

Northeastern has contracted with Unicon, a leading Grouper vendor, to execute the universitywide deployment of this capability. Following up on a previously completed Grouper Implementation Evaluation, the vendor is tasked to guide the university through planning, installation, configuration, migration, deployment, testing, and knowledge transfer. The project team is currently planning and scoping the initial deployment of Grouper in the Canvas LMS.  

Mentor Hub 

Business Unit: Educational Innovation

For the university’s Student Support Initiative to effectively help students reduce confusion, complexity, and time spent searching for help, students require a simple and intuitive place to search for information, engage with their success guides, and seek support. This multi-phase initiative is an effort between Educational Innovation and IT Services to launch and optimize MentorHub NU, the interactive platform that supports the university’s Student Support Initiative.

Timeline 

Phase 1 – Launch of the MentorHub NU application

  • Kickoff: May 2021
  • Delivery date: August 26, 2021

Phase 2

  • Kickoff: October 2021
  • Delivery date: January 31, 2022

Phase 3

  • Kick-off: February 2022
  • Target delivery date: June 30, 2022

Status Update  

The MentorHub project team is engaging in development work that will further customize the app. This phase of the project will create new functionality, make updates to respond to user feedback, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of referring undergraduate students to advisors and other research-informed resources.

Mills College

Business Unit: Office of the Chancellor

As Northeastern’s global network of campuses grows and evolves, a commitment to providing a consistent Northeastern experience enables faculty, staff, and students to move seamlessly between campus environments. This project aims to integrate Mills College in California’s Bay Area into Northeastern’s digital university vision by delivering the university’s IT infrastructure, services, and experiences to the Bay Area location. By the end of this project, the Mills campus will have an upgraded communications infrastructure, the digital resources, and support that both the current Mills students and employees and the entire Northeastern community can leverage to advance their teaching, learning, and research

Timeline 

Target delivery date: August 15, 2023

Status Update  

Work in progress across multiple workstreams – academic technologies, customer experience, identity, information security, enterprise systems, and network and classroom infrastructure.

New College of the Humanities, London

Business Unit: Office of the Chancellor

Northeastern’s campus location in London, UK has expanded the university’s physical reach beyond North America and enables vibrant transatlantic connections between students, faculty, and staff. Part of the continued effort to seamlessly integrate the London location into Northeastern’s global university network includes a continued buildout of classroom and other technology. Expansion of the second floor of Devon House alone will create approximately 10,000 square feet of classroom and collaboration spaces.

Timeline 

Target delivery date: August 2023

Status Update  

The Devon House campus launched in September 2021. The second-floor expansion design is completed, with procurement and installation planning underway. The design of the Marble Quay campus is also underway and targeted for launch in January 2023. Networking and AV equipment delays have been caused by the global chip shortage.

NU Admit, Northeastern’s Enterprise Admissions Platform  

Business Unit: Enrollment Management 

Streamlining admissions application and enrollment processes is vital for the university to scale for the expected increase in student enrollment and to continue to innovate to offer unique and customizable programs. Through this project, Northeastern is implementing a single, modern enterprise admissions platform to replace the two different platforms serving the undergraduate and graduate programs, Admitware and ApplyYourself, respectively. Once this project is complete, Northeastern will have the ability to meet the expected doubling in graduate application volume within five years. Learners will also have the flexibility to apply to multiple programs across Northeastern’s global campus system.  

      Timeline 

      • Kick-off: March 2022 
      • Target delivery date: September 2022 

      Status Update 

      As of March 2022, Northeastern has selected Technolutions’ Slate as the new enterprise admissions platform for both undergraduate and graduate admissions. Planning and implementation meetings have kicked-off. 

      Salesforce Educational Data Architecture (EDA) 

      Business Unit: Information Technology Services

      The magnitude and complexity of digital transformation requires more sophisticated and deliberate governance and change management structures to be successful both during the transformation and in the emerging post-project steady state. Northeastern is creating an institutional strategy, steering committee, and roadmap for Salesforce EDA, the university’s enterprise CRM system, which will lay the foundation for future work, projects, and enhancements. As a result of these project efforts, the university will have a more unified vision for its CRM and a framework for analysis and discussion so that the university can focus its resources on the projects with the greatest value to the institution and its customers.

      Timeline 

      Phase 1 – Salesforce Governance Playbooks

      • Delivery date – May 31, 2021

      Phase 2 – Building CRM portfolio roadmap and Center of Excellence

      • Kick-off – January 2022
      • Delivery Date – May 6, 2022

      Status Update  

      Phase 2 work is closing out with vendor partner, Traction on Demand. Salesforce business cases have been reviewed and submitted for approval by the Salesforce Steering group. Business case scoring and change management processes have been presented and agreed upon for current and future projects. A renewed business case requesting funding for phase 3 of the project has been presented and submitted.