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State University of New York Selects Blackboard for Strategic Partnership in Online Learning

System-wide Deal Aims to Establish Common Platform for Teaching & Learning

WASHINGTON – January 19, 2012 – In an effort to establish a common platform to support the full spectrum of online learning, the State University of New York (SUNY) has selected Blackboard as a strategic partner in online learning and its primary learning management system (LMS) vendor, Blackboard Inc. announced today.

The agreement, part of a larger, system-wide effort at SUNY to control costs, offers special terms for up to six years for institutions that move to the latest version of Blackboard’s learning management system, Blackboard Learn™ 9.1 or leverage a number of the company’s additional products and services including Blackboard Mobile™.

The deal will help ensure that SUNY colleges and universities have access to a common suite of products including the Blackboard Learn platform’s capabilities for content management to help effectively manage and share digital content across the institution and community engagement to help study groups, student organizations, clubs and other kinds of groups interact more easily.

“This strategic partnership with Blackboard is significant in that it will leverage the strengths of our organizations to mutual advantage,” said Carey Hatch, SUNY’s Associate Provost for Academic Technologies and Information Services. “Blackboard provides the best fit in technology and support for the SUNY system. Having a strong partner is important to our University System as we look to increase efficiencies and learning opportunities for our students.” 

Many of SUNY’s 64 institutions currently use Blackboard’s ANGEL platform and have considered plans for moving to Release 9.1. Institutions elsewhere that have already moved from ANGEL to Release 9.1 have noted Blackboard’s overall commitment to product service and quality and the ability to consistently meet and exceed high service levels and support standards set by ANGEL Learning.

“Like others, I had my own questions at first about Blackboard, but by seeking input from the user community on features and functionality, they have demonstrated a sincere commitment to preserving the focus on the user that made the ANGEL community special,” said Greg Ketcham, Associate Director of Distance Learning at SUNY Oswego. “Having the same learning management platform available across the SUNY system will give us the ability to bring a common learning experience to the greatest number of students and help us meet our goals for student portability and student choice.”

More than 1,800 institutions have adopted Release 9.1, Blackboard’s next generation learning management system to take advantage of the platform’s improved stability, social learning tools to drive student engagement, digital content integrations and greater workflow efficiencies for instructors and administrators.

For more information about Blackboard, please visit http://www.blackboard.com and follow @Blackboard on Twitter.

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. 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 represent the Company’s views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. 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 statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

CONTACT
Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc.
(202) 463-4860 ext. 2637 or matthew.maurer@blackboard.com