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The University of North Carolina & North Carolina Community College System Select Blackboard for Statewide e-Learning Platform

 Single Platform Will Support Community Colleges & Public Universities Across

LAS VEGAS, July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced agreements with The University of North Carolina (UNC) and the North Carolina Community College System that will create a single, statewide e-learning platform for nearly all of the state's 74 community colleges and public universities and roughly 1 million college students.

The partnerships will support a range of current and planned e-learning initiatives, and enable 14 of UNC's 16 universities and 54 of the state's 58 community colleges to meet the ever changing needs of faculty and students with best-of-breed technologies delivered through Blackboard's system. The partnerships can also help to provide a stable and secure alignment in e-learning across the state that can support North Carolina's efforts to establish a true K-20 education infrastructure.

"We are excited about this partnership, and believe it has great potential to have a major impact for faculty and students across the state," said Russ Carlson, President of North American Higher Education at Blackboard. "North Carolina's higher education leaders have demonstrated genuine leadership and vision in their efforts to lay the groundwork, with this partnership, for a true K-20 system that can transform the state's academic and economic outlook."

With the agreements, North Carolina's entire public higher education system will be more connected through a common, long-term partnership with Blackboard that creates stability, scalability, and flexibility, and allows campuses to work more collaboratively in their true mission of teaching and learning.

For example, faculty at the university and community college systems will be able to share courses and course materials developed and used on the new e-learning platform through the Virtual Learning Community (VLC), which will be housed within the Blackboard system and available to instructors across the state.

"The North Carolina Community College System enrolls more than 800,000 students in 58 comprehensive community colleges. Internationally recognized for the scope and quality of our programs, the system is North Carolina's primary provider of workforce preparation and adult education. Therefore, our partnership with Blackboard will allow us to increase the collaborative work of faculty and administrators at the community college and university levels, and support the design and development of courses and programs that can increase success for students and institutions," said Dr. Saundra Williams, Senior Vice President and Chief of Technology and Workforce Development at the North Carolina Community College System.

The partnership will also help to establish a consortium of four UNC historically black colleges and universities that will gain unprecedented access to e-learning services, allowing the campuses to have greater participation in various statewide e-learning initiatives such as The University of North Carolina Online and NC Learn and Earn. The consortium campuses include Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University, and Winston-Salem State University.

"I expect to see more collaborative efforts that will be a great boon for students who can go to other campuses to get access to courses that they could not otherwise participate in," said Dr. Thomas Kenan Miller III, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Vice Provost for Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications at North Carolina State University. "Learning management systems are now as central to education as classrooms are. Working toward a shared infrastructure is critically important to our vision for the future and ability to reach it."

The announcement was made in Las Vegas, Nevada, where more than 2,000 members of the global e-learning community convened at BbWorld(R) '08, Blackboard's annual event focused on best practices and innovative breakthroughs in education technology.

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.


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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-Q filed on May 9, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 16, 2008. 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 16, 2008.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc. 07/16/2008
Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc., 1-202-463-4860 ext. 2637,;
Amy Storey, Fleishman-Hillard Inc., 1-202-828-8819, or,
for Blackboard Inc.
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