After a year of changes, AllLearn, Yale’s joint e-learning effort with Stanford and Oxford universities, is facing transition yet again.
In a statement issued Monday, AllLearn announced that Herbert M. Allison Jr., president and chief executive officer of the company, would resign his posts effective Nov. 1. Allison, the first president of the company, will leave AllLearn to assume a new position as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund, or TIAA-CREF.
“I tremendously enjoyed working on the project and we’ve come a long way,” Allison said.
Allison’s resignation comes less than a year after Princeton withdrew from the original online alliance, which began offering classes last October. The program was formerly known as the Alliance for Lifelong Learning.
Gila Reinstein, assistant director of Yale’s Office of Public Affairs, said a replacement for Allison will be named in the near future.
“He’s going to a very wonderful place, and we just regret losing him,” Reinstein said.
Allison said that he considered for several months whether he would accept the new post at TIAA-CREF. He said his new position will allow him to combine his interest in education and financial services.
Allison added that he is confident that AllLearn will continue to work effectively following his departure. He said that there are some candidates for president within the alliance, but added that outside candidates will be considered as well.
“The excellent leadership of [AllLearn] is one of the reasons I thought I could step down,” Allison said.
All those involved said Allison’s departure does not signal a change in direction for the alliance.
“It’s a new program. It’s going to evolve, and it’s going to continue to evolve,” Reinstein said. She added that AllLearn’s progress so far has been significant considering its recent inception.
Allison will remain on the board of AllLearn and said that he would be eager to communicate with the new leadership.
AllLearn was founded in 2000 with an initial $12 million investment. Initially, AllLearn offered online courses to alumni and others associated with the participating universities.
Allison’s announcement coincides with the first day of classes for AllLearn’s fall semester. This year the online alliance is offering 50 courses designed by professors from the participating schools. Each course costs approximately $300 per person.
This fall AllLearn expanded to include students not affiliated with the schools and has begun to explore ways to advertise the program to a wider audience.
Allison said that during his tenure, AllLearn has developed good online courses and a comprehensive Internet library. He added that he especially appreciated the support he received from Yale, noting the contributions of Yale President Richard Levin and Diana Kleiner, deputy provost for the arts.