Anya Kamenetz asked for my thoughts, and I had two. First, that Levin would be a fine fundraiser. After all, that’s a primary function for university presidents, and Levin has a great track record of this at Yale.
Second, “He’s also a consulting economist, so he’s probably going to try and solve the xMOOC economic sustainability problem.” Anya responded:
The money problem is a big one. Coursera’s growth so far has been funded by investment. They have been experimenting with different ways to attract revenue. Advertising, the most obvious choice, would likely be off-putting to students and university partners. At the end of 2012, Coursera announced a recruitment service, where employers would pay for access to users. But this didn’t get much traction.
Let’s see where Levin takes Coursera. They now have a fascinating combination of talent.
EDITED TO ADD: a third reason is Levin’s work on transnational higher education. He led Yale’s expansion into China and Singapore. So it’s not surprising to see this article emphasize Coursera’s Chinese and other international audiences.