March 24, 2014
Richard C. Levin, who stepped down last year as Yale’s president, will brings international business savvy and academic bona fides to the MOOC provider.
By Steve Kolowich
Coursera has won powerful allies in higher education by persuading them that it plans to behave more like a university than an investor-backed Silicon Valley company.
Now Coursera has taken another step to bolster its academic bona fides. The company announced on Monday that it had hired Richard C. Levin, who led Yale University as president for 20 years, to serve as its chief executive.
Mr. Levin, an economist who stepped down last year, spent the later years of his presidency cultivating relationships overseas, notably with China and its universities. Mr. Levin also led a controversial effort to create a liberal-arts college in Singapore, Yale-NUS College.
Landing Mr. Levin could be a coup for Coursera, as the company looks to strengthen its reputation at home while navigating the knotty politics of international higher education.