Blackboard Has Been Acquired

I honestly have no idea of the significance of this, but I share it with you because of the obvious interest in the imminent choice we face for our VLE plans. The press release is titled Blackboard to be acquired by providence equity partners for $45 per share in cash or $1.64 billion and similarly I have no clue what that means either, except that it sounds like a LOT of money. Jim Farmer suggests that
"the expectation of private equity firms for earnings exceeds Blackboard’s 2010 earnings. A combination of higher prices for annual software licenses and reduction of staff and lower services will, in the short run, be needed to achieve this higher profitability."

However, I have to say the remainder of that same blog post leaves me a little cold, as it talks mostly about investment banking etc, not something that I can stay awake for for too long. Which may indeed be the point here. Is this move about profit or is it about education? Are these two things compatible? Or should we simply accept this as part of the new HE world order? Answers on a gold-leaf postcard please.


  1. Thanks for the clarification, Jim. Very salient point about level of service - and no need to apologize for the numbers in the text, that's just me, I just don't have a head for that stuff and it is important. And I absolutely agree with your final paragraph here - it seems that some people are determined to put a price on education, let's make sure we keep reminding them of its value...


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