Four N.C. Universities Join IBM's Academic Initiative

Preparing Students for High Tech Jobs of the Future

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - 15 Oct 2004: Four of North Carolina's largest research universities -- Duke, N.C. A&T, UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State -- today joined IBM's initiative to better prepare students for information technology jobs of tomorrow.
The announcement was made at IBM University Day, held today at the company's main campus in RTP. More than 100 educators, administrators and graduate students from schools in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina and Florida plus IBM technologists attended the event, sponsored by the IBM RTP Center for Advanced Studies.

The series of ongoing IBM University Day events bring together IBMers and academics to share information and collaborate on technology projects and trends, industry requirements and future employment opportunities.

IBM's Academic Initiative, launched earlier this year, is an innovative program offering a wide range of technology education benefits to meet the goals of most colleges and universities. As a partner in this initiative, participating schools receive free access to IBM software, discounted hardware, course materials, training and curriculum development.

"IBM is making this investment in North Carolina's economic future, as well as own company in this state, by taking our relationships with state universities to a whole new level," said Barry Eveland, IBM's senior state executive for North Carolina.

"We intend this Academic Initiative to help lead to the bright, optimistic future we see on the horizon," he added. "We see a tremendous opportunity, lots of innovation to be done in a variety of high tech fields. In order for IBM to lead in these opportunities, students/future employees with the skills and education will be required."

Needs and Opportunities for the Future
The U.S. Department of Labor reports an enormous opportunity exists in all technological fields. By 2006, it predicts this country will need 1.5 million more information technology professionals. And, that one out of every four jobs in this decade will be in I/T.

It notes, however, that colleagues and universities will have to quadruple their number of graduates by 2008 in order to meet this demand. This situation exists at a time when schools in North Carolina, and nationwide, are witnessing dwindling enrollments in computer science and related engineering courses.

IBM will work with partner schools that support open computer standards and seek to use open source and IBM technologies for teaching purposes, both directly and virtually, via the Internet.

Margaret Ashida, IBM's Director of University Relations, told those in attendance at the IBM University Day that the IBM Academic Initiative is a direct response to the needs expressed by clients, business partners, faculty, and even the company's own employees.

"One of the greatest concerns of leaders from industry and academia alike is the challenge of preparing talent capable of driving innovation -- and thus economic growth, Ms. Ashida noted. "Faculty are interested in open standards and open source and free access to tools that will help them infuse the most current technologies into the classroom."

IBM's Legacy of University Support in North Carolina
IBM, a longtime supporter of the state's colleges and universities, has contributed $4 million in computer equipment, software and research grants over the last two years alone.

In addition, IBM hires more graduates of Duke's Fuqua School of Business than any other company, and N.C. State University produces more IBM new hires than any other single school in the nation. Overall, IBM recruits heavily for new hires from many schools in North Carolina, not only for positions in RTP but nationwide as well.

IBM has increased its worldwide new-hire projections for this year by 88 percent -- to nearly 19,000 total hires. Most of these positions will be for people with technical skills. IBM will hire between 300 and 400 graduates of North Carolina schools, with the lion's share coming from North Carolina State, Duke, The University of North Carolina and North Carolina A&T. Even after attrition, IBM expects to have a worldwide work force of more than 330,000 by year-end 2004, the largest number of employees in more than a decade.

To date this year, IBM has established partnerships under its Academic Initiative with schools such as Michigan State University, Arizona State, the University of Houston, Texas State, the University of Wisconsin, City College of New York and Rutgers University.



University Contacts a

vailable for press interviews:

N. C. State University


Vice Provost for Distance Learning and Technology

Phone:  919-513-3358


Executive Director, Networking Technology Institute

Phone:  919-515-5297


Assoc. Vice Provost for Information Technology and Professor

Phone:  919-515-7886


Phone:  919-513-2694

Distinguished University Professor, Business Management,

College of Management


Asst. Professor, Computer Science

Phone:  919-513-4151


Dean, College of Education

Phone:  919-515-5900


Professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Phone:  919-515-6286

UNC - Chapel Hill


Professor, Department of Computer Science

Phone  919-962-1792


Phone:  919-962-7600


Associate Professor

Phone:  919-962-1833

Duke University


Vice Provost - Academic Affairs, Department of Mathematics

Phone:  919-660-0330


Associate Professor

Phone  919-660-6559


Associate Professor of the Practice, Associate Chair,

Computer Science Department

Phone  919-660-6524



Associate Vice Chancellor

Information Technology & Telecommunications

Phone  336-334-7856


Director, Information Technology & Telecommunications

Phone  336-256-0355

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