IBM and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Join Forces to Address the Digital Divide


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San Jose, Costa Rica - 05 Mar 2001: .IBM Corporation and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) announced here they have entered into an agreement to help erase the 'digital divide,' beginning with a program to bring technology to higher education institutions supported by HACU.

At the Fourth International Conference on Globalization of Education, IBM announced several technology initiatives with HACU including an affinity marketing program that allows member institutions, students and faculty to purchase IBM desktop and notebook computers at a special price. In addition, IBM and HACU announced they will work together to recruit Hispanics to pursue high-tech careers. HACU represents more than 270 colleges and universities with high Hispanic student enrollment. HACU is the only national education association that represents institutions serving Hispanics -- with many of the HACU member institutions located in California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and Illinois.

Many HACU member institutions do not have the technology infrastructure in place that gives their students and faculty access to the Internet. This new technology agreement between IBM and HACU will help give those members easy access to this critical technology at a special price.

"HACU is committed to strengthening the institutional capacity of its member colleges and universities across the United States and abroad, particularly their information technology infrastructure," said Antonio Flores, HACU president and CEO. "This comprehensive agreement with IBM is a major step in our efforts to increase access to this essential technology and connectivity to the Internet for Hispanics. We are very pleased to work with IBM to close the digital divide for HACU learning communities."

"Reinforcing its commitment to higher education, IBM is proud to offer special prices on its leading notebook and desktop computers to education institutions like the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities," said Bob Gonzales, vice president, employee services, IBM Corporation and IBM executive representative to HACU. "This agreement marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between IBM and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities in helping to address the problems of the digital divide. Not only is IBM offering its innovative technology, but we are committed to working with HACU and its leading higher education institutions to recruit the best and the brightest Hispanic students to work at IBM."

Students, Faculty Log On and Order IBM ThinkPads
Specifically, the affinity program will allow students, family and faculty to log on to the HACU Web site, then link to the IBM Web PC product catalog and purchase at a special price any IBM products offered at the e-site -- including IBM ThinkPad notebooks and IBM NetVista desktops. Students and faculty also can take advantage of "bundled specials" that feature a group of hardware and software products at special prices. The products then will be shipped directly to the customer.

In addition, IBM is offering specially priced 'bundle packages' designed specifically for HACU member institutions. These offerings will be selected by HACU and feature the hardware, bundled with software and options.

IBM also offers a variety of services and payment options.

The affinity program will be available immediately to higher education institutions in the United States. IBM also expects to offer these same special prices to HACU higher education institutions in Mexico, Puerto Rico and elsewhere in Latin America as well as to extend a similar program to higher education institutions in Spain.

For more details, customers can visit the HACU Web site at (http://www.hacu.net).

About The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
HACU, the nation's leading voice for the academic and career success of Hispanic students, represents more than 270 colleges and universities with high Hispanic student enrollment rates.

About IBM Corporation
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions, networking and service offerings. More information on IBM can be found at (http://www.ibm.com).

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IBM, NetVista and ThinkPad are trademarks or registered trademarks of the International Business Machines Corporation. All others are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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