Director of Open Learning Enterprise

March 16, 2012

To Members of the MIT Community:

As many of you have probably seen, MITx, the Institute’s new on-line learning initiative, began last week to offer its first subject, 6.002x (Circuits and Electronics). The development and launch of this initial course has been led by MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Anant Agarwal, and I am extremely grateful to him and his team for their efforts in realizing this important first step.

As you can imagine, the development of the capabilities needed to make MITx a reality will require substantial ongoing effort. In order to focus this effort, the Office of the Provost has established an Open Learning Enterprise (working title) at MIT, which is charged with developing a robust, open-source technology platform for interactive, pedagogically effective online learning, and working with MIT faculty to create content to be hosted on the platform.

I am pleased to announce that Professor Agarwal has agreed to become the Director of this new enterprise, commencing immediately. Professor Agarwal’s initial goals are the rapid organization of the enterprise, the rapid development of a technology platform for online courses and the development of high-quality MITx subjects.

Because the directorship of the enterprise will require full-time effort, Professor Agarwal soon will be stepping down from his Directorship of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He has kindly agreed to continue as the Director of CSAIL until new leadership is identified by the Dean of Engineering.

I know you will join me in congratulating and thanking Professor Agarwal as he assumes this important new role, and I hope that many of you will have the opportunity to work with him and his team in connection with the development of the Open Learning Enterprise and MITx going forward.


L. Rafael Reif