University?s Video Streaming of Presidential Candidate Forums Improves Access to Proceedings


University?s Video Streaming of Presidential Candidate Forums Improves Access to Proceedings
Cal Poly Pomona presidential candidate Susan Hackwood speaks to students and staff members during a campus forum on Feb. 24.

In what is being hailed as a positive effort toward improving access to the process of selecting the university?s next president, Cal Poly Pomona?s decision to offer live and archived video streams during recent open forums led to an estimated 1,500 viewings over the Internet.

From Feb. 24-27, four finalists came to the Pomona campus as part of The California State University?s search process to find a successor to current Cal Poly Pomona President Bob H. Suzuki, who will end his 12-year tenure in the position when he retires in July. Each candidate?s daylong visit included three separate open forums, hour-long question and answer sessions with staff, students and faculty, respectively.

Due to scheduled classes, work responsibilities and other conflicts, it was recognized in advance that many of the university?s nearly 20,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff members would be unable to personally attend some of the forums. The decision was made to have the university?s Instructional & Information Technology (I⁢) division video each open session and stream it live on the university?s Web site. All sessions were also archived so each could be viewed at more convenient times.

?Cal Poly Pomona's online coverage of the presidential candidates' visits to the campus is a terrific example of how to provide the best information to the most people in the quickest way,? says Colleen Bentley-Adler, director of public affairs for the CSU Chancellor's Office. ?Giving access through video streaming to those who could not attend in person is an innovative way of communicating to both internal and external audiences.?

According to statistics compiled and released by I⁢, as of March 4 approximately 1,500 successful viewing of the forums had taken place, totaling nearly 36 billion bytes of data.

The university?s I⁢ division has been involved with numerous live video-streaming opportunities. In June 2002, it broadcast Cal Poly Pomona?s nine commencement ceremonies live to more than 14,000 viewings worldwide, including documented viewings as far away as Spain, Japan and Cocos Island, located midway between Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands.

?I'm proud that Cal Poly Pomona is a national leader at providing high-quality video streaming,? says I⁢ Vice President Michael Berman. ?Our staff provided 12 hours of video on very short notice by working as an effective team. Few universities can do it as well, and because of the innovation and hard work of our staff, we do it for a very low cost.?

For more information on the university's video streaming capabilities and projects, contact the I⁢ office at (909) 979-6300 or go to its Web page at www.cpp.edu/~iit. The archived videos of the presidential candidate forums can be viewed at www.cpp.edu/~iit/pres_search.html.