March 24th, 2014 | University

Levin to head Coursera

Former University President Richard Levin will become the next chief executive of Coursera, among the largest online platforms for academic courses.

Coursera was founded by two computer science professors at Stanford University, where Levin has been a visiting professor since leaving the University presidency last July. Four Yale courses are currently available on Coursera.

“Technology now gives us the means to extend the reach of high quality education around the world and to provide millions of people with access to learning and opportunities for advancement,” Levin said in a statement. “Coursera is at the front of this effort, with a stellar team, a remarkable growth trajectory, and a purpose that is an unmitigated public good.”

Levin said he plans to establish a model that will allow universities to feel that offering large-scale online courses, commonly referred to as MOOCs, is “an important part of their mission that helps faculty expand their reach, and benefits the world.”

He added that he plans to expand Coursera’s presence in China, where he has significant experience working from his time as University president.

Under Levin, Yale became one of the first universities to share course materials online and free of charge through Open Yale Courses in 2007.