Carlson School partners to standardize laptops

The school will require incoming students to own personal laptops for 2007.

by Allie Winter

The difficult task of deciding which computer to buy when coming to college just got easier for Carlson School of Management students.

Starting this fall, all incoming Carlson students will be expected to have a laptop. Because of the new requirement, the school will offer laptops to students.

Carlson partnered with Lenovo to launch the ThinkPad University Program to develop two different computers, one a less expensive, basic version and the other an upgraded version. Lenovo’s ThinkPad T60 notebooks can be purchased May 1.

Carlson School Dean Alison Davis-Blake said choosing Lenovo was the result of a long decision process.

“(Lenovo is) known for working with universities and finding creative ways to use laptops in classrooms,” she said.

Corrie Bozung, a Carlson School information technology supervisor, said besides helping students, the school developed the laptop program to add to its efforts for being a highly collaborative program.

“When students graduate, they’re handed a laptop right away and expected to work with teams,” she said. “Now when they’re here, they can immediately work with a team and collaborate.”

This will be useful when Carlson’s new building, Hanson Hall, opens in fall 2008. The new building will center on a completely collaborative environment, Bozung said.

She also said the prices are competitive, but if they are still too steep, financial aid options will be available for students.

on the web

For more information, go to the CSOM website.

Students who purchase the computers can take advantage of on-site service. They will be able to bring in their machines with physical or internal problems and have important information extracted to use on a loaner.

Bozung said the school hopes to create an on-site service to have all computers fixed within four hours.

“Students won’t have to worry about going to Geek Squad or sending it back to the vendor and not having the machine for a week,” Bozung said.

She also said this will be a step up because Carlson struggles with its service.

“We’re really limited,” Bozung said. “We troubleshoot software issues here and there, but we’re going to fix that.”

Besides the possibility of fast service, students can protect their computers from common accidents.

All laptops will be on a four-year warranty, which includes accident coverage, a feature that excites some students.

Talla Peterson, a human resources and risk management insurance junior, is considering buying the new laptop.

“That’s amazing; if you spill coffee, you can bring it in and they’ll completely replace it,” Peterson said.

Davis said helping students for the future will be the computers’ most beneficial feature.

“It makes students better prepared and, for us, that’s the bottom line,” she said.