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Information Technology Services

ITS Success Story: Collaborating with BC Law

09/29/10
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From left to right: Wayne Daley, Assistant Director, Newton MTS Office; Professor Ingrid Hillinger, Boston College Law School; and Miguel Garcia, MTS Student Employee.


Last October, Law Professor Ingrid Hillinger asked Wayne Daley of Media Technology Services (MTS) about the possibility of participating in an International Insolvency/Bankruptcy Class via videoconference.

The class, sponsored by the American College of Bankruptcy, would originate from Columbia Law School and BC Law would be one of eight law schools from around the country to participate via videoconference (other participating schools were Arizona,  Denver,  Indiana,  Pepperdine, SMU, Tulane, and Utah).

“There’s a new chapter in the Bankruptcy Code concerning international bankruptcy,” said Prof. Hillinger. “The idea was for the course to be taught at Columbia and piped out to the rest of the world.”

Wayne reached out to Mark Beekhuizen, IT Director at the University of Utah College of Law, who would coordinate the calls.  A successful test call was made early in the process to assure the course could be offered for the spring semester. 

While the successful test proved the MTS equipment worked well, MTS still had to make sure staff would be available to set the conference up every week and troubleshoot, if necessary. Under BC’s MTS Director Dave Corkum’s guidance, an EagleTech (student) videoconference technician position was created to help support the course.

During the winter break, several successful test calls were held with all the schools participating, and Miguel Garcia, the EagleTech, was trained on the technology. Each week, MTS was given access to the room at 5:00 to have time to prepare for the 6:20 start time. The Utah center called at 6:00, allowing 20 minutes to clear up any connection problems.

Experts in the field delivered the lectures, and students had opportunities to ask questions. “It would be impossible for any individual law school to offer a course like this,” Prof. Hillinger said. “Students were exposed to wonderful lecturers from all over the world. With globalization continuing, this is probably something we would offer again.”

By all accounts, the course went extremely well. Prof. Hillinger said that 13 students completed the course last spring, and is expecting even more to enroll next semester. Wayne confirmed that MTS would be ready to support the course again.