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William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘online education’

Distance Learning and Its Implications for Legal Education

Posted by William Byrnes on June 29, 2016

Fulbright Specialist Prof. William Byrnes (Texas A&M Law) was invited to address India’s National Board of Accreditation and receive an award for his pioneering efforts with online pedagogical methods in the early nineties.

His remarks address developing learning outcomes and effective pedagogical practices with an emphasis on distance learning. The remarks cover the following topics: Review of the Effectiveness of Distance Learning, Developing Learning Outcomes, Occupational Outcomes Framing Learning Outcomes, Information Acquisition, Information Delivery, Learning Communities, Learning Media, Learner Motivation, Knowledge Acquisition and Learning Tools.  See the distance education white paper at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2487679

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New Generation of Tax Graduates – An Innovative Evolution

Posted by William Byrnes on March 7, 2016

Haven’t sat down with Kat in couple years (she’s the nation’s leading tax recruiter, all the big companies and Big 4 hiring partners know her), but she wrote this entertaining and highlyTax-connections-logodescriptive story yesterday to her 100,000 tax folks worldwide that leverage her tax recruitment site.

“… What I shall never forget was the experience that summer day in 2007 in an old dilapidated building. There I was sitting in a wobbly old chair to the right side of a scholarly, forward thinking tax law Professor sitting in front of a computer that looked like the very first “Lisa” computer that Steve Jobs built. Although it was probably not that one, it sure looked like it! The old computer had loose wires hooked up to another old computer with a video fixture added to the mix of wires and computer equipment. I sat there next to Professor Byrnes and experienced my very first distance course with students from Asia, South Africa, Brazil, Europe, U.S. and some other countries. It was fascinating to observe him teaching his tax students online from multiple countries. The experience in this old building with old computers hooked together with loose wires in what appeared to look like an old scientist experiment had me thinking privately… ”


From when I started in 1994 until recently, technology and education had been totally disconnected, so much so that I had to build my own computers and servers from parts I scavenged from the computer lab discarded machines, like old Gateways and IBMs, because faculty administration would not budget for technology build out for a professor. Anyway – blast from the past that I thought may be interesting to anyone in tax education.

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Dr. Chris Odionu joins Texas A&M Law

Posted by William Byrnes on October 13, 2015

Texas A&M University School of Law announces the hiring of Dr. Chris Odionu as the Director of Odionu
Distance Education Programs and adjunct professor teaching project management. His prior positions include director of the System-Wide Center for Distributed Learning at California State University, chief information officer and associate professor of technology at Alabama A&M University. He also served as chief information officer at a number of institutions including University of Detroit Mercy, St John’s University in Jamaica – Queens, New York, and the Minnesota Community College System at Normandale Community College.

“Chris’ multi-disciplinary reach of engineering, IT, project management and a doctorate in education is going to propel Texas A&M Law’s pedagogical approach to the frontier for career based law programs, said William Byrnes, Executive Professor and Associate Dean. “By example, Texas A&M’s Business Law focus is to mentor the Aggie to add value and generate revenue.  The process requires the Aggie to learn a business by studying its language, its industry, and commonalities among all business such as supply chain and project management.  Dr. Chris Odionu is a distinguishing hire by a law school because he brings these perspectives to the table.”

“I am excited joining the TAMU School of Law and working with Professor Byrnes to establish world-class graduate law programs,” replied Dr. Odionu. “It is interesting to see law schools finally using the strengths offered by technology to deliver courses and degree programs online.”

Chris is a fellow of the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM), and certified in the governance of enterprise information technology, and in risk and information systems control (CRISC). He received his bachelor’s degree in technology, MBA, and doctorate in educational technology and administration from the University of Houston. He served as an administrative fellow in a year-long academic program at Harvard University where he earned a certificate in administration.

“Chris’ hands-on understanding of big data and data warehouse techniques combined with his background as an associate professor of information systems is going to distinguish Texas A&M’s curriculum, particularly in tax and business,” added Andrew P. Morriss, Dean and Anthony G. Buzbee Dean’s Endowed Chair.  “His background will also immediately translate into a project management course for law students and lawyers, which is fast becoming a crucial skill for lawyers.  And he will be providing a unique exposure for our students to the best practices in tax risk management.”

Chris has two children – Janelle, a student at Cornell University, and Christian, Jr., who plays high school basketball.

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Educational Teaching Methodologies to Reverse Declining Law School Enrollment

Posted by William Byrnes on July 28, 2015

read the CNN Report about the White Paper “Alternative Methods of Teaching and The Effectiveness of Distance Learning For Legal Education”.

The 26 page White Paper is available on SSRN

“legal education today has to be recalibrated so that it is innovative, cross-disciplinary, simultaneously accessible across global borders, and able to expand without millions of dollars for brick and mortar…”

“law schools are experiencing 40% less enrollment today than in years past and new standards are needed to reverse that decline. These new standards address the three missing elements in legal education today: …”

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Distance Learning for Legal Education March 12-14 (Thursday – Saturday) in San Fran

Posted by William Byrnes on March 4, 2015

Register without delay (and without cost) for the Distance Learning for Legal Education workgroup next week (March 12-14, Thursday – Saturday) in exciting San Fran.

Ashley Dymond (Hastings) and Gary Heald (Georgetown) have accomplished an extraordinary job of designing the agenda, graciously hosted by Hastings College of Law in San Fran.  This is the Work Group’s 8th gathering as a distinct workgroup since 2011, and 14th including 2010’s Future Eds and AALS.

Why should a Dean approve a travel budget for this workgroup?  The American Bar Association initially acquiesced to an online LL.M. in 1998.  Yet, it is since the initial inception of the Work Group in 2010 that most of the 47 LL.M.s offered online by 29 ABA full approved law schools have been founded.  As of 2015, a majority of ABA law schools offer the opportunity for an online academic experience for J.D. students.  One ABA law school has received a variance to offer a hybrid, partially residential / partially online, JD.

Who attends?  Deans, Administrators, and Faculty from at least 83 ABA law schools and other stakeholders, such as foreign and U.S. academic institutions, publishers, and technology companies, have attended.  Normally between 50 – 75 per workshop, and 100 for the AALS breakfasts.

What is the deliverable for a Dean?  Guaranteed, collaborative engagement in discussions, writing, and editing that create the attached Work Group’s recommendations.  These best practice recommendations have been designed to adoptable by institutions and stakeholders through their adaptability and will form a component of a Distance Education policy. Everyone becomes a contributor, hence the name “work group”.  Attendees become the leader of the distance education pedagogical and policy discussions at home institutions.

There is no fee – but the host Hastings needs an RSVP for food and beverage.  Thus, please register by Thursday March 5th for the headcount – everything you need to know about location, transportation, accommodation is on the website.

Effectiveness of Distance Learning for Legal Educationhttp://ssrn.com/author=339796 

Much obliged for you to share this workshop with your colleagues – William Byrnes

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Working Group for Distance Learning in Legal Education Spring 2015 Meeting Hosted by Hastings

Posted by William Byrnes on February 17, 2015

Download BestPracticeRecommendationsforDistanceLearningforLegalEducation 2015 (or contact williambyrnes@gmail.com)

Dates: Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 12:00PM – Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 12:00PM (PST) < Register Here >

Location: UC Hastings College of the Law (Sky Room – 100 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA, 94102)

The Working Group for Distance Learning in Legal Education is a loosely structured alliance of law educators collaborating to provide increased opportunities for faculty, students, and other participants to access high quality, innovative, and interactive online legal education.

Officially organized in November 2011, the Working Group is an outgrowth of the Program for the Legal Profession’s Future Ed Series. To date, the Working Group has focused on three major priorities:

  1. Providing model policies and information for law schools engaged in distance learning programs.
  2. Developing recommended practices and standards for emerging distance learning programs in legal education.
  3. Providing comments and policy recommendations for accreditation bodies that regulate distance learning in legal education, including the American Bar Association.

Members of the Working Group meet three times a year, with substantive meetings in the fall and spring, and an update gathering at the American Association of Law Schools annual meeting in January. Membership is open to academics and professionals associated with accredited law schools in the U.S., and others working in the distance learning field concerned with legal education are welcome to attend meetings and participate, as appropriate, in Working Group matters.

Please contact Ashley Dymond for further information at dymonda@uchastings.edu or < Register Here >

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Professor William Byrnes Develops Online Teaching Methodologies And Distance Learning In Face Of Disabilities

Posted by William Byrnes on September 29, 2014

William Byrnes pioneered the “online classroom” so he could continue teaching, despite a prognosis of lifetime disabilities resulting from traumatic injury. The program he developed to guarantee his future employment has now become a groundbreaking distance learning model used by higher education institutions and the U.S. military.

Byrnes suffered life threatening injuries in an African ski country accident and spent six months in the hospital undergoing grueling recovery from physical and brain trauma. Doctors could not predict his level of recovery, nor his future quality of life. In an effort to prepare himself for a productive future, Byrnes developed online, multi-media teaching methodologies that effectively ignore disability. ….

read the full article at International Business Times

Professor William Byrnes released remarks in the form of a white paper about teaching photodistance education methodologies called Alternative Methods of Teaching and The Effectiveness of Distance Learning For Legal Education.

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Professor Byrnes Leads Online Education Workshop

Posted by William Byrnes on September 26, 2014

Professor Byrnes Leads Workshop in St. Paul Minnesota | Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Byrnes became involved with distance education models after he suffered a traumatic injury in a ski accident. Since then, Byrnes has developed online, multi-media teaching methodologies  that effectively ignore disability. Byrnes multi-media approach continuously incorporates the newest technologies to accommodate a wide range of disabilities, making it easier for many more individuals to achieve their educational goals.

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Distance Education Workgroup September 18 – 20 Workshop and Best Practices Finalization

Posted by William Byrnes on August 11, 2014

Distance Education Workgroup September 18 – 20 Workshop and Best Practices Finalization

The Distance Education Work Group will meet at William Mitchell September 18 – 20 to complete a four year task consisting on hundreds of hours and input by more than 50 law schools from all tiers, and law publishers, of the Recommended Best Practices for Legal Education Leveraging Distance Learning Technologies.  There will as year before some show and tell by law professors of newest legal education integrated technologies being leveraged for courses, some social time to build relationships across schools, and … completion of the Best Practices Recommendations.

The Work Group has been meeting thrice annually, AALS plus a Fall and Spring report drafting and discussion workshop, supplemented by best practice subgroups’ online discussions.  About half the law schools have attended through a professor or Dean / Associate Dean, and approximately 50 from all tiers have provided continuous input for the drafting process.

Register to attend the workshop (there is no cost) at Event Brite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/working-group-for-distance-learning-in-legal-education-fall-2014-meeting-registration-12051364957 or contact William Byrnes (williambyrnes@gmail.com)

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Interview with William H. Byrnes, IV, Associate Dean at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Posted by William Byrnes on September 5, 2013

Professor William H. Byrnes was a pioneer of online legal education, creating the first LL.M. offered online through a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. Now as Associate Dean for Graduate & Distance Education Programs at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Professor Byrnes teaches courses including Federal Tax, International Tax, and International Business Transactions. Professor Byrnes has an impressive record in academics and research, and was kind enough to set aside time to speak with MastersinAccounting.info

Read the full interview at > William Byrnes Interview <

How did your professional experiences shape your approach to the classroom?

As a Senior Manager then Associate Director of Coopers & Lybrand, a three year associate to a renowned senior figure in the international tax industry, and undertaking a three year fellowship at the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation on the topic of transfer pricing. I advised clients in many countries. Large diverse multinational groups required a robust sensitivity for intercultural business practices and social differences.

In the nineties, I was a tax professor in South Africa during the time of its change to a full democracy with the corresponding upheavals. During those years, I experienced the challenges of classroom integration of cultures, languages, and economic backgrounds. Moreover, being a pioneer of online education in the field of tax during those years, I developed a pedagogical understanding of knowledge and expertise acquisition, and of mapping education processes to learning outcomes. …. .

I bring all of these experiences holistically to a “flipped” classroom, learner-centered approach.  ….

Read the full interview at > William Byrnes Interview <

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