Mar 072012
Authors: Jason Pohl

University officials announced a major strategic partnership with Hewlett Packard Wednesday that will bring more than $700,000 each year in scholarships and internships through the entire CSU system, granting the company exclusive rights to the school’s future computer purchases.

It is not yet known exactly how the deal will impact the already existing computers, and details on potential student discounts will be released as the contract is rolled out in the coming months, according to CSU spokesman Kyle Henley.

“We believe in corporate partnerships that go beyond the kind of traditional vendor relations,” he added, stressing the benefit of this sort of partnership to the students and overall community.

According to a news release obtained by the Collegian, the collaboration will create a fusion between HP and CSU that will benefit international and outreach programs –– something the university has been working to achieve.

“As with other important corporate relationships CSU has entered into recently, this joint initiative is much more than a transactional business arrangement,” said Amy Parsons, CSU vice president for operations.

Additional details and items of the contract will be released in the coming months.

As the university’s exclusive computer provider, HP will work with CSU students on projects, paid internships and additional research and scholarship funding

The company has an office and workstation in Fort Collins on Harmony Road.

“We’re able to help continue to allow universities to have some of the best technologies out there to really help teachers engage their students so the students can be ready for the real world,” said Jim Christensen, HP’s director of media relations.

“That’s really what this is about.”

The contract is the third of its kind, and follows on the heels of last summer’s 10-year, multi-million dollar strategic partnership with Coca-Cola, granting the company exclusive drink rights on campus while creating the Beverage Institute within the College of Business.

The university also partnered with OfficeMax in January 2011 as a primary provider of office supplies across campus.

University officials explained recent addition of these three partnerships as necessary amid a challenging financial times.

“These are some of the most recognized and quality brands on the globe,” Henley said. “I think we’re pretty happy with the relations we have with these companies and were very proud to be associated with them and work with them.”

Associated Students of CSU President Eric Berlinberg has been supportive of similar agreements and said whenever the resources can be consolidated like this, it is a good thing for the university and the students.

He explained the partnership as beneficial in areas even outside of the specific contract, especially when bringing guest speakers to campus and really engaging the community.

“Instead of just renewing a contract, I think CSU is doing a great job at figuring out how to get the most bang for their buck,” Berlinberg said. “I think on the bigger picture, I’m really encouraged and really impressed by CSU continuing to do all of these strategic partnerships.”

He stressed a need to remain clear about how individual students will benefit from the partnership.

“We’re not just spending money on things we need to spend money on on a year-to-year basis,” he said. “Instead are looking at the bigger picture of how does that really impact the individual student with an experience on campus.”

Not everyone remains convinced the partnership with HP is the best thing for the university.

Michael Maresca, a senior journalism and technical communications major, said the partnership benefits sounded promising, but it raised a lot of other questions surrounding system security and the future of the university.

“It’s always good to have a backup option,” he said. “When you invest too much in a company, you’re putting a lot more at stake.”

For complete analysis of the contract, student benefits and what it means for the future of the university’s existing computers check with the Collegian after spring break.

Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at

Fast Facts
What: Strategic partnership between CSU and Hewlett Packard
Why: Financial benefits, internships, discounts
Where: All CSU systems including Fort Collins, Pueblo and CSU Global
When: Announced today, additional specific details to be released

Stay with the Collegian for additional coverage and contract analysis throughout the semester.

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