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February 15, 1999
Creighton University, Skutt Student Center
Omaha, Nebraska



Dr. Dean Bergman
Department of Education

Jeff Johnson
Centennial Public School

Dr. William Berndt
UN Medical Center

Dr. Ken Halsey
Wayne State College

Susan Fees
Christ the King School

Rick Koch, Bellevue
(Non-voting alternate for Dr. John Muller)

Dr. Richard Gilliland
Metro Community College

Art Tanderup
Tekamah-Herman Public School

Dr. Uma Gupta
Creighton University

Alan Wibbels
ESU 10

Dr. Kent Hendrickson, UNL
(Alternate for Chancellor Moeser)

Dr. Woody Ziegler
York Elementary School

Dr. Jack Huck
Southeast Community College


Keith Bartels, Lincoln Public Schools

Dr. David Powers, CCPE

Dr. Richard Flynn,Peru State College

Dr. Kristine Wolzen,Community Schools

Terry Miller,ESU 13


Mike Winkle, NITC Executive Director

Lori Lopez Urdiales, Office of the CIO/NITC

Tom Rolfes, Office of the CIO/NITC

Dr. Reba Benschoter, UNMC

Max Thacker, NET NEB*SAT

Dennis Linster,Wayne State College


The meeting of the Education Council of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission was called to order at approximately 9:00 a.m. by co-chair Dr. Huck. Co-chair asked for any corrections/additions to the January 11th minutes. There were none. Mr. Tanderup moved and it was seconded by Dr. Gilliland to approve the January minutes as proposed. Vote: Bergman-Yes, Berndt-Yes, Fees-Yes, Gilliland-Yes, Gupta-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Halsey-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Wibbels-Yes, Ziegler-Yes. Motion was carried. January minutes were approved.


TELECOMMUNICATIONS AGGREGATION JOINT SUBCOMMITTEE: Dr. Huck reported that the group has not met for their first official meeting. The government council is still in the process of selecting representatives for this subcommittee.

EDUCATION PROPOSAL REVIEW COMMITTEE: A handout ("Recommendations to Amend the FY2001-03 Education I.T. Funding Process") was distributed. Dr. Gilliland and Dr. Bergman gave an overview of the committee's recommendations. Discussion followed in regard to suggestions and/or changes from the council members.

Promotion/Solicitation Process - It was strongly recommended that any request-for-proposals correspondence should come from the NITC Education Council with input from the appropriate sectors. It was also recommended that a preliminary letter be sent prior to the application packets. This correspondence would inform institutions about the opportunity for funding, encouraging collaboration and providing some basic guidelines. The other suggestion was to provide technical training on proposal writing for interested parties. These suggestions were agreed upon by group consensus.

Application Process - There was a concern regarding sentence #5 which read, "The applicants must be prepared to provide supportive documentation in the way of need assessments, collaboration evidence, etc...if requested." If it is made clear in the RFP as to what kinds of documentation are needed, there should be no need for this phrase "if requested". It was recommended that this phrase should be omitted.

Technical Review Process - Some members were concerned about the "opportunity for the project directors to speak". Unless they are given a time limit, this may be too time-consuming. It was recommended this be omitted. It was also recommended to list what "technologies" would not be acceptable in the application rather than what would be acceptable.

Prioritization Process - The budget analysts and the Legislature would like to have I.T. funding requests prioritized. There were concerns expressed by some members about the expertise needed to make these decisions. Mr. Winkle explained that since the Education Council's requests were not prioritized for this funding cycle that other persons are making these decisions for the council. He also commented that with the opportunity for a technical review to occur earlier in the process, these decisions should be easier for the council. The question was raised as to whether the prioritization list would occur as one recommendation or broken down into two groups, K-12 and post-secondary. Staff commented that this could not be known at this time but predicted that it would occur as one group.

Accountability - This was a new recommended addition to the funding request process. The committee recommended that there be a process in place that would hold project directors accountable. It was also recommended that project directors put these monies in a separate account for easier tracking. There should be reports with timelines, as well as provisions for project failure. The council will need to decide who is to be responsible for "accountability" - NITC, staff or the council itself.

Dr. Huck asked the council for approval to submit these recommendations, with the revisions and changes, to the NITC at their next meeting. The request was approved by group consensus.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION COMMITTEE: Mr. Winkle asked Mr. Wibbels to follow-up with the Community Council to provide them with an update on LB386.


At the January meeting, a subcommittee was organized to develop wording for the Education Council charter which would include NEB*SAT. The committee consisted of Alan Wibbels, Dr. Huck, Dr. Bergman, Dr. Hendrickson, Dr. Ziegler of the Education Council and Rod Bates, Carol Krause, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Baack of the CCET. A handout was distributed to the council members for their review. Dr. Huck shared with the group that the committee recommended that the subcommittees of the Coordinating Council continue to operate as in the past with the stipulation that in the future there can be the opportunity for change. Council members wanted more time to review the document. It was by group consensus to wait until the March meeting to vote on the committee's recommendation.

Some of the wording from the Education Council charter is in statute and cannot be changed. Mr. Rolfes encouraged the members to look at other sections dealing with procedural items of the charter that can be reviewed. Dr. Berndt expressed a concern about Section III C&D regarding "removal" of a council member. This was not voted on at any time. After discussion, it was by group consensus to leave the first sentence that describes the duties of the members and omit the second and third sentences that addresses removal.

It was also by group consensus to table further discussion of the charter until after the decision on the Education Council/NEB*SAT Coordinating Council resolution.


Software and hardware parties involved are continuing discussions and making recommendations on base band transmission. Staff forwarded recommendations from the software providers. Other parties such as Dascom, Cytek and V-Tel were requested to be part of the discussion. This meeting will be set for late March. Mr. Winkle reported that NITC will follow this same process in developing the statewide plan. Dr. Bergman commended Mr. Winkle and the staff for bringing these entities to the table for discussion.


Mr. Rolfes reported that out of 75 potential nominated reviewers, 45 have confirmed their services. By the March meeting, Mr. Rolfes hopes to have a final list which will help the council evaluate in what areas reviewers are needed. Currently, we are in need of database and LAN management experts.

There are 23 proposals submitted for technology review under the Tier II grant cycle. The technical review committee will meet on February 17th and will consist of five full-day and 5 half-day reviewers. The applications are 20-30 page documents.


Mr. Rolfes distributed the results thus far of the Telecommunications Survey sent to Class I schools. There are still monies in Phase I of Rule 88 for schools to get connected. Dr. Bergman explained that Class I Schools are rural districts with K-8 grades. The 320 schools that were sent the survey make up about half the total districts in Nebraska. There are a total of 300,000 students in the state. Dr. Bergman explained that the 642 students not connected constitute only about .2% of the Nebraska public school population. Mr. Wibbels commented that the rate of return of the surveys was excellent and commended Mr. Rolfes on his efforts. A second mailing was sent on February 9th to schools that had not returned surveys. Mailing to the parochial schools will be sent on or about March 1st.


Mr. Rolfes distributed two handouts from Dr. Powers regarding Western Governors University.

Max Thacker did not have the report available from NET regarding usage but will have this for the March meeting.

Dr. Berndt asked the council members if the Lt. Governor should be invited to the next meeting to speak with the council about his expectations for the Education Council and the direction of the NITC. Members agreed. Staff will check on his availability for the March meeting.


The next meeting will be held March 15, 1999 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Lincoln. Dr. Ziegler offered to host the April meeting at the York Elementary School. The April meeting will be held on the 19th. Dr. Ziegler will get more information to Mr. Rolfes. Meeting was adjourned by co-chair, Dr. Huck at 11:45 a.m.

Minutes taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales, Administrative Assistant, and Tom Rolfes, Education Information Technology Manager, Office of the Chief Information Officer/NITC.

Meeting Minutes