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News and Notes: Former Yale President Levin appointed CEO of Coursera

Former Yale President Richard C. Levin was appointed CEO of Coursera, the New York Times reported Monday.

Coursera is an educational company that offers online academic courses with more than 100 partner universities worldwide, including the University.

Levin has formerly promoted open online educational courses similar to Coursera’s offerings. In 2007 he started Open Yale Courses which offered dozens of Yale classes for free online. He has been an advisor to Coursera since January.

His goals as the new CEO include expanding the number of online courses offered by partner universities, the New York Times reported. Levin stated that he hopes to do so by stressing the potential widespread educational benefits of open online education.

According to the New York Times, some professors have voiced their concern over the potential of expanding open online courses to diminish the value of professors at second-tier schools.

Coursera’s competitor, edX, jointly founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also announced that Wendy Cebula, the former executive of Vistaprint, will serve as the new president and chief operating officer.

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