Coursera hires ex-Yale president

Dive Brief:

  • The former president of Yale University of has agreed to become chief executive of Coursera, the giant provider of massive open online courses.
  • Richard Levin left Yale in June and has been advising Coursera since January. At Yale, he had started Open Yale Courses in 2007 as a way to provide free, online access to some of the university’s classes.
  • Levin will help Coursera expand in China, which is now the second-largest source of students for the MOOC provider, following the U.S.

Dive Insight:

Coursera is bringing in a big gun here, and Levin’s extensive experience in China — and his connections to that nation's university presidents there and its education ministry — should pay dividends for the MOOC provider. One of Coursera’s co-founders, Andrew Ng, will take on the new title of chairman of the board and “chief evangelist” while working on the China expansion with Levin, the New York Times reported. Daphne Koller, the other co-founder, becomes president and head of content development and licensing. Coursera has about 7 million students. Its main rival, the non-profit, edX, announced its own leadership change: Wendy Cebula, formerly of online office supply and marketing company Vistaprint, was named president and chief operating officer, with founding president Anant Agarwal moving over to the chief executive role.

Recommended Reading

New York Times: Ex-Yale President to Join Online Education Venture


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Higher Ed Online Learning