Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities and IBM Create New PC Discount Program for Students, Alumni, Faculty and Staff

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ALBANY, NY - 05 May 2004: The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) and IBM announced today an innovative Personal Computer Discount Program -- one of the largest known in higher education to date. The agreement with IBM will enable CICU to offer its member campuses and their students, alumni, faculty and staff the opportunity to purchase IBM personal computers at significant savings.

The group purchasing initiative provides a discount on select models of ThinkPad notebooks, ThinkCentre desktops, ThinkVision displays, and IBM printers. Eligible participants will purchase the offerings through a CICU link to an eCommerce site. The PCs offer IBM's latest ThinkVantage Technologies that help protect the security of data; help guard against hackers, viruses and "blue-screen" operating system failures; smooth transitions between wired and wireless connections; and simplify PC maintenance.

"This partnership is a wonderful example of the ways New York's independent colleges are working together to keep costs at a minimum. Our students, staff and alumni will be able to share in the savings," said CICU chair and president of Wells College Lisa Marsh Ryerson.

"We expect this arrangement between New York's Independent Sector and IBM is the first of many consortium agreements that we will offer," said Abraham Lackman, CICU president. "This is just one of the many ways independent colleges are acting creatively to control expenses and provide value to their students," Lackman continued.

"We look forward to providing the independent colleges of New York superior technology and the support to manage it effectively," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, senior vice president and group executive of Technology for IBM. "In addition to the latest technology, students will have access to thousands of literary classics through our partnership with Vital Source Technologies. IBM is committed to the success and prosperity of higher education in New York State and we're demonstrating that with our actions."

Group purchasing consolidates the purchasing power of the more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York State to benefit individual buyers. The agreement between CICU and IBM will enable hundreds of thousands of individuals to buy technology hardware at extremely competitive prices regardless of quantity. Campuses will also share in the cost savings when making bulk purchases.

Both bulk quantity and individual purchases will be made electronically through a designated Web portal available to the CICU membership and affiliated individuals.

The private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York compose the largest concentration of independent higher education in the world, enrolling 440,000 students and employing more than 131,000 people. They are the state's leading source of bachelor's and graduate degrees, awarding 62 percent of the state's total.

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