Northeastern University is continuing to push forward with its graduate school in Seattle, announcing today that it plans to open this fall. The Boston-based university, which opened a similar branch in Charlotte, North Carolina last year, also tapped Seattle attorney Tayloe Washburn as CEO and dean of the new campus.
Washburn most recently served as senior adviser to Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on the successful effort to secure the Boeing 737 MAX production in the state. Before that, the University of Washington grad served as managing partner with the Seattle law firm of Foster Pepper.
Northeastern announced its plans to open in Seattle last fall, saying at the time that it picked the region because of its strong technology community.
In today’s announcement, that message was echoed. The new campus plans to offer graduate degrees in high-demand fields such as cybersecurity, computer science, digital media and engineering. Companies in the Seattle region have been struggling to find qualified talent in those fields, an arena that’s become more competitive with the arrival of engineering offices from companies such as Facebook, Hulu, Zynga, Ticketmaster and others.
“Northeastern University will be the perfect complement to the Pacific Northwest’s existing higher education system,” Washburn said. “As the first major private research university in the Pacific Northwest, Northeastern will bring the academic capacity, market alignment and research focus needed to help solve many of the challenges facing our region and create new opportunities, including corporate and research partnerships.”
The university has narrowed their search for a new campus down to South Lake Union and downtown, but an agreement has not yet been finalized yet.