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Arizona State University Selects Blackboard for Major Engagement in Student Services

Strategic Partnership Will Support Students in all Areas of Campus Life

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

In an effort to provide its community with the best in technology, service and support, Arizona State University (ASU) has selected Blackboard (Nasdaq: BBBB) to provide support for students, faculty and staff in all areas of campus life, from financial aid and human resources to academic technology and IT, the company announced today.

The partnership enables ASU to provide cutting-edge customer service and increased operational efficiency while accommodating continued enrollment growth. Working with Blackboard Student Services(SM), ASU aims to resolve 50 percent of all support requests through self-service - more than triple the industry average. To reach the goal, the university community will gain access to a wide range of on demand services that can help them complete routine tasks more quickly and free up the institution's administrative offices to continue to develop the kind of innovative services that have led to its current record retention and graduation numbers.

"We are always looking for ways to better serve our community and improve the experience at ASU - and expanding our partnership with Blackboard Student Services means our community will have access to the highest quality support based on Blackboard's innovative and progressive use of technology," said Gordon Wishon, chief information officer at Arizona State University. "We are pleased to have a partner like Blackboard that can help us manage the costs of supporting a growing community over the long-term."

With the new system, students can get updates on the status of their financial aid applications or awards online or through a fully automated phone system. An online helpdesk allows students to access IT support information, search for guided tutorials and get help through live chat. Students and faculty will also be able to leverage a new system that greatly speeds the process of identifying and dispatching assistance for issues with facilities or equipment that may delay or cancel class - no small feat at a university with four campuses that serve more than 70,000 students.

The expanded partnership will also enable key university offices, including Human Resources, to provide better service to faculty and staff, especially for high-volume, routine administrative inquiries like employee verification questions. Faculty and staff will also be able to access information through a wide variety of channels, including Web self-service and automated phone interactions.

ASU has also recently moved to Blackboard Learn(TM), Release 9.1 for its learning management platform, and will leverage Blackboard Student Services to provide helpdesk support to users.

ASU's selection of Blackboard Student Services was informed by a proprietary evaluation process developed by the university that goes beyond comparing competitive strengths, capabilities and pricing to emphasize indicators that predict long-term, measurable success. As part of the new partnership, Blackboard and ASU will seek direct feedback from campus constituents to refine the new services and tools to ensure that their adoption grows and that the service experience on campus is constantly improving.

"We value our ongoing partnership with ASU, and through our work together in using technology to provide support services to the institution we are working to build a better education experience," said Craig Chanoff, general manager of Blackboard Student Services. "This partnership is one of the most comprehensive, technologically progressive support partnerships in education right now, designed to the meet the high expectations of the 21st century student in a scalable model."

Launched earlier this year with the acquisition of Presidium Inc., a leading provider of administrative and academic support services to hundreds of colleges and universities, Blackboard Student Services supports all aspects of the student lifecycle, including admissions and enrollment, financial aid, student accounts and IT helpdesks.

For more information about Blackboard Student Services, please visit

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes,""anticipates,""plans,""expects,""will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-K filed on February 18, 2011 and Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 7, 2011. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to July 7, 2011.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.