Weather Forecast


UW-Stout reaches $20 million deal

What does $20 million get you? About 14,000 laptop computers.

That's the deal worked out between University of Wisconsin-Stout officials and Hewlett-Packard this week.

The four-year contract calls for HP to supply student laptop computers under the university's e-Scholar program.

School officials say the deal will help the university to expand mobile learning and the digital-learning environment on campus. Approximately 3,500 laptops will be leased each year based on enrollment projections.

"Our partnership with HP has been valuable for UW-Stout students and the entire campus," said Chancellor Charles Sorensen.

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

Also, 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 will have the option to be extended with two, one-year renewal options. It will be signed by both parties as soon as all the details are worked out.

"The contract continues a valued partnership between UW-Stout and HP," said Doug Wahl, UW-Stout chief information officer. "HP products support UW-Stout's commitment to sustainability with recyclable components and power management agents incorporated into the design of each model."

This will be the second contract between UW-Stout and HP. The first contract put laptops into the hands of students in the fall of 2002, during the launch of the university's e-Scholar program, which is the school's digital-learning environment say campus officials.

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

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.

"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," she added.

Through the program, students receive a laptop computer, backpack, cords and accessories, software, course management systems, service and support, training, network storage, e-mail, Web page space, wireless and wired connectivity on campus, and multimedia classrooms.