Rick Levin

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Rick Levin
Richard Levin at the India Economic Summit 2008.jpg
Levin at the India Economic Summit 2008
22nd President of Yale University
Term 1993 – 2013
Predecessor Howard R. Lamar
Successor Peter Salovey
Born (1947-04-07) April 7, 1947 (age 67)
San Francisco, California
Alma mater Stanford University
University of Oxford
Yale University
Profession Economist
Spouse Jane Levin
Children Jonathan, Daniel, Sarah, Rebecca
Signature Rick Levin's signature
Website yale.edu/opa/president

Richard Charles Levin (born April 7, 1947) is a professor of economics and the longest tenured president of Yale University, serving from 1993 to 2013.[1] In March 2014, he became Chief Executive Officer of Coursera.[2]

Biography[edit]

Born in San Francisco, California,[3] to Jewish-American parents, Levin graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco in 1964. At Lowell, he was a member of the Lowell Forensic Society and debated in high school debate tournaments regionally. He graduated from Stanford University in 1968 with a B.A. in history. He received a Bachelor of Letters in politics and philosophy from Merton College, Oxford.[4] He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1974. His academic specialties include industrial research and development, intellectual property, and productivity in manufacturing.

Levin became an Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale in 1974 and was elevated to Associate Professor in 1979. In 1982, he was promoted to Professor of Economics and Management at the Yale School of Management. In 1992, he was appointed Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Economics. Before becoming president, he served as chairman of the Economics Department and dean of Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

On February 6, 2004, Levin was appointed to the Iraq Intelligence Commission, an independent panel convened to investigate U.S. intelligence surrounding the United States' 2003 invasion of Iraq and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. He had previously served on a government panel reviewing the U.S. Postal Service and an independent panel appointed by Major League Baseball to examine the sport's economics. Levin is a director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, American Express, and Satmetrix.

Although described in Who's Who as a Democrat, Levin was one of the first guests of President George W. Bush in the White House during his first term and the president stayed at Levin's house when he received an honorary degree from Yale in 2001.

Levin had been rumored as a possible replacement for Larry Summers as Director of the White House National Economic Council[5] until Gene Sperling was selected instead.

Levin stepped down as president of Yale on June 30, 2013. Shortly before his retirement as President of Yale University, he published a book, The Worth of the University, a sequel to his previous work, The Work of the University. He was succeeded by Peter Salovey.

In March 2014, Levin became Chief Executive Officer of Coursera.[2]

Levin and his wife Jane, also a professor at Yale, reside in New Haven, Connecticut. They have four children and seven grandchildren.

Yale under Levin[edit]

  • Yale's endowment grew from $3.2 billion to over $20 billion.[6]
  • Yale's admissions standards and academic prestige recovered from a significant lull in the early 1990s since Levin's appointment. Applications to Yale College rose from fewer than 11,000 for the class entering in 1993 to 28,975 for the class entering in 2012,[7][8] with the most recent classes reporting the highest range of standardized test scores for any college in America.[9] Under Leven, Yale aggressively expanded its efforts to recruit international students and students from previously underrepresented regions of the United States.
  • Levin helped established a program for undergraduates in Beijing and increase participation in international work/study programs. Levin has made a special effort expand Yale's engagement with China and was elected to the board of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
  • Levin led the school's largest building and renovation program since the 1930s. Yale renovated all 12 of its residential colleges. About 70 percent of the space on campus was partially or comprehensively renovated between 1993 and 2013.[10] Levin approved the creation of Yale's first two new residential colleges since the 1960s with the purpose of increasing the undergraduate population from around 5,400 to over 6,000. The project was delayed due to the financial crisis, but construction was begun in 2013, shortly after Levin stepped down.
  • Levin vastly expanded the Yale campus with the creation of Yale's West Campus. The campus was created by the purchase of the 136-acre, 17-building Bayer Pharmaceutical campus in Orange, seven miles from Yale's main campus. The purchase was completed for $107 million in 2007 and was described at the time as a "ready-made, state-of-the-art research facility".[11]
  • Levin's administration worked to improve Yale University's historically difficult relationship with its local workers. In 2003 negotiated eight-year contracts with the university's unionized workers that provided free health care, extensive paid leave, and cumulative raises ranging from 32% to 43%, although he has also fought strongly against new unionization drives by hospital workers, graduate employees, and security guards.
  • Levin spearheaded the creation of the first liberal arts college in Asia, Yale-NUS, a joint venture between Yale University and the National University of Singapore. Yale continues to face strong criticism that Singapore's various restrictions on press freedom and public protests, as well as its anti-homosexuality policies, undermines Yale-NUS's liberal arts mission.

Legacy of academic leadership[edit]

Several senior leaders under Levin have gone on to lead major universities:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Howard R. Lamar
President of Yale University
1993–present
Incumbent