From Michael L. Chasen,  President and CEO of Blackboard Inc.

I’m writing today to communicate the exciting news that Blackboard has acquired ANGEL Learning and to share with you some of the thinking behind the combination.

Why put these two organizations together?  This combination was about getting better.  At Blackboard we’re always trying to improve, both by focusing internally within our company and by looking externally to other organizations we admire, like ANGEL.  We admire them not just for their story of entrepreneurial growth and impact on teaching and learning, but also for very specific strengths that we wanted to add to our story and deliver to our clients:

  • The first is their customer support culture that has translated into consistently excellent experiences for ANGEL clients.  We can learn from their skill in this area and add their know-how to the ever improving client support capability we’re building here at Blackboard.
  • The second is their history of innovation – especially in the areas of user experience, teaching and learning tools and course-based assessment.  Independently our two offerings have led the way in a lot of areas.  Now we have the opportunity to bring these strengths together in our Project NG vision for the future of the Blackboard platform.

From ANGEL’s perspective, and especially in today’s economic environment, joining these strengths with Blackboard’s own innovation, industry leadership and financial stability also made a lot of sense.

At the ANGEL Users Conference in Chicago next week we’ll be talking about how the solutions will come together and will send you an update after we get back.  The short story is that ANGEL’s latest release, ANGEL Learning 7.4 which launched last week, will continue as planned.  In parallel we’ll set about the work of bringing the product innovations of both companies to the new combined client community.

As we move forward and knit our organizations together, we’ll continue to be very focused on the client experience.  That means drawing on what we’ve learned from previous integrations and minimizing distractions while weaving the best of ANGEL into the tangible value you get from working with us every day.  More than anything, today’s news supports our top goal of continuing to bring clear added value to your investment in Blackboard.

You can learn more at www.blackboard.com/ANGEL, but please feel free to contact me (CEO@blackboard.com) or your Blackboard representative if you have any questions or comments.

In closing, thank you once again for your institution’s partnership with us.  We look forward to showing you the benefits of this latest step in our ongoing effort to be a stronger, more flexible and creative supporter of your teaching and learning goals for the near and long term.

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