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Posted by tjatkin May 15, 2019

Over the past 2-plus years, I’ve had the great opportunity to serve as Blackboard’s first Chief Client Officer. As we created this role, I travelled the world to meet many of you and serve as a liaison and advocate for all of you as we focused on improving your experience and improving our products to meet your needs. While there’s always room for improvement, I’m proud of the strides we’ve made.  All of our progress has been, and will continue to be, guided by your candid and thoughtful feedback and insights.


With the recent sale of the Transact business, we took the opportunity to reassess the focus and alignment of responsibilities within our leadership team. I’ve been asked to immediately assume the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) role at the company, driving transformation of the internal business processes and systems used by the entire Blackboard team in our efforts to support you, our valued clients.


Increasingly, our ability to drive transformation in our internal systems and business processes has become of strategic importance.  Improvements in business processes, increased automation, and system simplification will enable us to work smarter, achieve greater efficiencies, and free up capacity to invest in ways that improve the way we work together and support you.


With this new focus for me, I wanted to introduce you to Lee Blakemore, who has been in senior leadership roles at Blackboard since 2015 and will now take on the additional role of Chief Client Officer (CCO).  Many of you may know Lee, who already spends a great deal of time with clients around the world and drives improvements in your experience through the operations of his team. The addition of the CCO title leverages Lee’s experience driving sales and the client experience and aligns with his focus as Blackboard’s President of Global Client Operations and Success (GCOS), which includes Global Client Support, Consulting and SaaS Migrations, Cloud Services and Hosting. 


Thank you for the work you do within the education community globally.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of you in my CCO role and expect that our paths will cross again wearing my CAO hat. I know you’ll be in good hands with Lee!


Heart and Soul

Posted by tjatkin May 6, 2019

At Blackboard we believe accessibility is at the heart of an inclusive learning experience and improves education for all students.


This belief is woven throughout the fabric of our products and how we build them as well as the approach we take to helping you solve your most pressing challenges for your students.


As more and more people are positively impacted by the change that a more inclusive way of thinking brings, we look forward to sharing these stories and more as part of our Global Accessibility Awareness Day program (GAAD) on May 16th.


GAAD started in 2012 to drive the discussion, share best practices and help everyone learn about digital access for all. This year we are excited to be a part of it again with our third annual Follow-the-Sun Webinar series and we are bringing together more experts, innovators and accessibility heroes to share their insights and experiences about creating a more inclusive environment for everyone.


This year our speakers include:

  • Matt Brett, Director of Academic Governance and Standards at Deakin University will talk about his experience driving policy objectives within Australian higher education and how we need to move beyond awareness and focus on integrating inclusive practices into education systems.
  • Chad Bullock, Michelle Perkins and Mike Barnes from Atlantic Cape Community College will talk about how they tackled a three-year mandate to make their campus fully accessible and what their plan of action and overhaul looked like.
  • Melissa Glecker, Educational Technologist at The University of Toledo will explore how the University focused on building their online programs with accessibility in mind and the challenges they faced, including some of the strategies and solutions they chose to help move forward.
  • Elizabeth Simister, Product Accessibility Manager at Blackboard will cover some inexpensive ways to test the accessibility of your applications and some quick overviews of how to use different tools to improve your workflows.

We are also doing something different this year and talking to many schools in Europe on May 16th at Blackboard TLC Europe, adding a live component to GAAD that is sure to drive some great discussions and insights. If you are joining us at TLC this year, jump into the conversation on May 16th!


Blackboard is proud to partner with so many innovative institutions around the globe and join the effort in providing a better, more inclusive learning environment for ALL students. We look forward to having you join the discussion this year for Global Accessibility Awareness Day and we hope you walk away with some great ideas and perspectives.