The University of Wisconsin-Stout will spend $20 million over the next four years to bolster the campus’s digital learning program, called e-Scholar, with HP notebook PCs.

The contract would extend a six-year relationship between IT giant HP and the university’s digital learning environment. Under the terms of the agreement, UW-Stout will lease about 14,000 notebooks during the contract period–approximately 3,500 each year, based on enrollment projections.

In addition to hardware, the contract features support and services. Technology will be upgraded with every new model year. HP also will provide yearly support for a variety of institutional programs at UW-Stout.

"Our partnership with HP has been valuable for UW-Stout students and the entire campus," university Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen said. "I am pleased that we are able continue that relationship."

The e-Scholar program is the digital learning environment at UW-Stout. The program ensures that students and faculty members have a standard set of tools–both hardware and software–that meets a majority of their wireless computing needs, thus producing a wireless laptop campus environment.

Wisconsin-based Vanguard, a subcontractor, will provide service and support for the university’s annual deployment of computers to incoming freshmen and replacement computers to juniors.

The new contract between UW-Stout and HP can be extended with two, one-year renewal options.
Campus IT officials said the school’s newest batch of HP laptops will be environmentally friendly and energy-efficient–a growing trend as colleges and universities face shrinking budgets in coming years.

"HP products support UW-Stout’s commitment to sustainability with recyclable components and power management agents incorporated into the design of each model," said Doug Wahl, UW-Stout’s chief information officer.

"We’re honored to participate in the UW-Stout e-Scholar program, which expands personal computing horizons and is an indispensable tool in the students’ first-class educational experience," said Thomas Kenny, vice president of education and government sales for HP. "By using HP education solutions, UW-Stout’s distinguished technology program can positively change the way students and professors interact and learn."

The proposed contract is the second between UW-Stout and HP. The first contract put notebooks into the hands of students in the fall of 2002, during the launch of the university’s e-Scholar program.

"The digital culture at UW-Stout is emerging as a dynamic agent for changing the ways we learn," said Jane Henderson, e-Scholar program coordinator. "The e-Scholar program is included in the undergraduate tuition, so that UW-Stout students are provided with the tools that they will need to be technology literate in this environment."

Through the program, students receive a laptop computer, backpack, cords and accessories, software, a course management system, service and support, training, network storage, eMail, web-page space, wireless and wired connectivity on campus, and multimedia classrooms. Students are required to return their laptop and other equipment before they graduate from the university, according to the e-Scholar web site.

"The e-Scholar program is more than just a laptop computer," Henderson noted.

Links:

HP

University of Wisconsin-Stout

UW-Stout’s e-Scholar program