The Northeastern University Committee was a volunteer organization that advocated for the establishment of a junior university in North Bay. In March 1958, a committee was set up by the North Bay Chamber of Commerce that included representatives from the municipal councils of North Bay, Ferris, and Widdifield, as well as from local organizations. The committee built on the efforts of an earlier committee in 1947 that had also investigated the possibility of founding a university in North Bay.
In September 1958, the committee received a proposal from the Congregation of the Resurrection, a local religious order, offering funds, teaching staff, and facilities for the provision of first year university courses at North Bay College (a Catholic boy’s high school, also known as Scollard Hall) until a proper university campus could be established. The committee accepted the offer and pledged to establish an advisory board known as the Northeastern University Committee, which had its inaugural meeting on February 18, 1959. The Committee had an initial membership of 114 men and women, who were drawn from various religious, educational, professional, and cultural backgrounds and represented the area of northeastern Ontario that the proposed new university would serve, an area bounded by Timmins, Capreol, Bracebridge, and Mattawa. The Committee worked to establish either a non-denominational university or a federated university (with a non-denominational board of governors) made up of multiple denominational colleges, this federated structure being inspired by that of the Universities of Toronto, Waterloo, and Windsor.
The Committee decided to incorporate in order to be eligible to apply for a university charter. On June 9, 1960 Northeastern University was officially incorporated under letters patent, and the members and Executive Council of the Northeastern University Committee transferred to the new corporation.