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April 16, 2014 Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 9:00am
Host site: Varner Hall Lower Level, 3835 Holdrege Street, Lincoln




Dr. Terry Haack, Co-Chair, Bennington Public Schools

Mr. Ed Hoffman, Co-Chair, Nebraska State College System;

Mr. Burke Brown, Alt. for Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools

Mr. Steven Stortz, Alt. for Stephen Hamersky, Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School

Mr. Greg Maschman, Alt. for Clark Chandler, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Mr. Lyle Neal, Southeast Community College

Mr. Gary Needham, ESU 9

Ms. Mary Niemiec, University of Nebraska

Mr. Darren Oestmann, Boards of Education


LIAISONS/ALTERNATE MEMBERS PRESENT: SuAnn Witt, Alt. for Brent Gaswick, Nebraska Department of Education


MEMBERS/LIAISONS ABSENT: Mr. Mike Carpenter, Doane College; Mr. Matt Chrisman, Mitchell Public Schools; Mr. John Dunning, Wayne State College; Ms. Yvette Holly, UN-Medical Center; Dr. Mike Lucas, York Public Schools; Ms. Brenda Decker, Office of the CIO; Mr. Randy Schmailzl, Metropolitan Community College; Mr. Gary Targoff, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications; Dr. Bob Uhing, Educational Service Unit 1; and Dr. Carna Pfeil, Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education




The Co-chair, Dr. Haack, called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. There were seven members present at the time of roll call. A quorum was not present at the time of roll call. After roll call was taken an additional member arrived, at which time a quorum existed to conduct official business. A copy of the Open Meetings Act was available in Varner Hall.  The meeting notice was posted to the NITC Web site on April 14, 2014.  The meeting agenda was also posted to the NITC Web site on April 14, 2014




Ms. Niemiec moved to approve the April 16, 2014 agenda as presented. Mr. Hoffman seconded. Roll call vote: Maschman-Yes, Haack-Yes, Stortz-Yes, Brown-Yes, Neal-Yes, Needham-Yes, Niemiec-Yes, and Oestmann-Yes. Results: Yes-8, No-0, Abstained-0. Motion carried.




Mr. Needham moved to approve the February 19, 2014 meeting minutes as presented. Ms. Niemiec seconded. Roll call vote: Oestmann-Yes, Niemiec-Yes, Needham-Yes, Neal-Yes, Brown-Yes, Stortz-Yes, Haack-Yes, and Maschman-Yes. Results: Yes-8, No-0, Abstained-0. Motion carried.


Mr. Stortz arrived to the meeting.




At the April NITC meeting, the Commission approved a new council member.  Darren Oestmann was introduced and welcomed as a new Education Council member.  He will be completing Jeff Stanley’s 2013-15 term representing Boards of Education. 


Mr. Rolfes informed the Council that there are many members whose terms will be expiring on June 30th due to term limit and/or retirement.


If the Education Council meets in June, the slate will be finalized and the council can vote on them for recommendation to the NITC.  It was advised to have a June meeting to approve the following membership nominations for the 2014-2016 term: 



·         Mary Niemiec, UN System

·         Clark Chandler, Independent Colleges & Universities

·         Randy Schmailzl, Community College System

·         John Dunning, State College System



·         Gary Needham, Educational Service Units

·         Dan Hoesing, Administrators (not yet confirmed)

·         Darren Oestmann, Boards of Education (not yet confirmed)

·         TBD, Public Teachers (not yet confirmed



·         Derek Bierman, Community College System

·         TBD, State College System (not yet confirmed)



Dr. Terry Haack, Mr. Ed Hoffmann, Mr. Jeff Johnson, and Mr. Lyle Neal were acknowledged for their many years of distinguished service on the Education Council, in the role of advising the Commission on matters of education technology initiatives, funding, and policy.


Dr. Terry Haack was congratulated for being appointed to serve on the Nebraska Information Technology Commission representing K12.




Mr. Rolfes reported that there are 14 new confirmed entities joining Network Nebraska with an additional 16 entities who want to wait until 2015. 



7/1/2013                                             vs.                              7/1/2014                                             

261 participants                                                         275 participants

$168,487, 1170-mile backbone                                 $190,020, 1293-mile backbone

Internet Unit Rate $2.50/Mbps/month                        Internet Unit Rate $1.2844/Mbps/month

8.0Gbps of K-12 Internet                                           13.95Gbps of K-12 Internet

2.7Gbps of higher ed Internet                                    7.0Gbps of higher ed Internet

0.0Gbps of I2 Commercial Peering Service               3.0Gbps of I2 Commercial Peering Service

89% of public K-12 districts                                        94% of public K-12 districts

94% of Educational Service Units                              100% of Educational Service Units

100% of public higher ed                                            100% of public higher ed

50% of private higher ed                                             50% of private higher ed

3% of private K-12 schools                                         3% of private K-12 schools


Commercial Peering Service (CPS) is a separate pathway for data to travel through the Great Plains Network Gigapop in Kansas City versus Commodity Internet.  CPS travels over the Internet2 backbone and is only one step removed from such commercial interests as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Netflix.  Network Nebraska IT Engineers are seeing that only half of the 3Gbps CPS capacity is being used.  The probable reason that CPS is not full to capacity is because Network Nebraska’s current commodity Internet providers must be advertising faster routes, and therefore CPS does not present that much of a routing advantage.  With the level of commodity Internet purchases increasing rapidly, we are out buying demand.  The use of the Internet is inexpensive but the cost of the traffic shaper devices to get Internet to the schools is increasing.  Participation fees may go up due to this issue.  By the June Education Council meeting, the Office of the CIO will have more information.


The Network Nebraska Advisory Group will need to look at and evaluate the cost recovery model for Network Nebraska. 


State of Nebraska OCIO FCC Comment Filing


On April 7, 2014, the Office of the CIO submitted comments to the Federal Communication Commission in the matter of modernizing the e-rate program for schools and libraries. The FCC is allocating $2 billion over several years for this effort.  The modernization is looking to discontinuation of voice services support, to encourage more broadband connections for schools and libraries, to encourage consortia, and to explore ways to reduce the administrative burden of filing.  Responses to the comments are due Monday, April 21st. Mr. Rolfes has been gathering circuit, bandwidth, monthly costs, and provider information from K12 institutions. If Nebraska wants to try to meet the national minimum 100 Mbps bandwidth requirement for every school, more work needs to be done.  If we can show our circuit data to the FCC, Nebraska may be able to get some support, especially in the high cost areas.  Schools and libraries will be encouraged to participate in this effort.




LB 1103. Sec. 2. [excerpt] The Education Committee of the Legislature shall conduct a strategic planning process to create the statewide vision for education in Nebraska described in section 1 of this act which shall include aspirational goals, visionary objectives, meaningful priorities, and practical strategies. The committee or subcommittees thereof may conduct meetings, work sessions, and focus groups with individuals and representatives of educational interests, taxpayer groups, the business community, or any other interested entities. The committee shall also hold at least three public hearings to receive testimony from the general public in locations that represent a variety of educational situations. The committee shall submit a report regarding such process electronically to the Clerk of the Legislature on or before December 31, 2014.


The Education Council would like to help senators understand that there is collaboration and efficiencies occurring among many school districts because of Network Nebraska.  Network Nebraska has saved the state significant costs through more efficient networking and less expensive Internet access. The question was raised as to whether the NITC can assist in the LB 1103 planning effort.  Mr. Rolfes recommended that the Council approach the NITC to see if the Commission could assist with communicating information to Senators.  The Education Council would like to submit a formal offer to be a part of the study and to provide assistance.  The offer should include the NITC’s statutory purposes.  The Office of the CIO may also be involved with the summer studies. 


Ed Hoffman presided over the rest of the meeting.




Emerging Technologies Task Group, Greg Maschman.  The work group has not met.


Services Task Group, Gary Needham.  A draft of Catalog of Services was linked to the agenda.  After the work group held discussions with NNAG, it was recommended that the Education Council provide the structure and outline of the catalog.  Network Nebraska would provide the information regarding what services NN can provide.  The catalog is divided up into these sections:

·         Services Provided by Network Nebraska

·         Services From Member Centers of Excellence

·         Externally Provided Services

Rick Golden is working on fee-based or subscription co-location services that have not yet been charged to participants.  Rather than charge for service hosting and management, the option of billing per rack is also being explored.  The entities will determine what servers and applications they want in their hosted rack.  The University of Nebraska will take the lead on the entity agreements.  The Nebraska Department of Education is discussing the use of Network Nebraska for the student data dashboard as a service.


Governance Task Group.  The work group has not met but will try to meet before the June meeting.


Marketing Task Group, SuAnn Witt.  The Network Nebraska marketing survey has not been done for the past couple of years.  The work group has been working with NNAG to see what type of information would be helpful to collect.  After discussion, it was recommended that the focus of the work group should be on communication about Network Nebraska services and perhaps publish quarterly electronic newsletters. The Network Nebraska website is undergoing redesign and should also be used as a communication tool. By group consensus, the name of the Marketing Work Group was changed to Communications Work Group.




State Colleges, Ed Hoffman.  John Dunning is back at Wayne State working part-time.  The CIO’s from the three state colleges met to discuss the re-energizing of services and to determine what elements all three institutions have in common to benefit the students.  Efforts are underway with the University of Nebraska and the NeSIS project to use their analytic tool data warehouse.  The goal is to have a standardized central reporting system for the colleges.


Community Colleges, Lyle Neal.  He attended the Ellucian Live Conference held the first part of April in California.  Five of six community colleges have Ellucian products hosted at their campuses.  There have been discussions regarding moving services to the cloud.  Doane and Wesleyan University also work with this company.  In June, there will be a meeting of community colleges technical staff and will invite Wesleyan and Doane. This is another opportunity for collaboration of this effort.  Community colleges are taking advantage of UN’s rack hosting.  Mr. Neal is retiring in June.  He stated that he has enjoyed his experience on the Education Council and sees that the collaboration between K12 and higher education has been and can be beneficial to students in continuing their education. In July, Southeast Community College will have a new President who has a strong IT background.


Independent Colleges, Greg Maschman.  Tom Peters has been instrumental in bringing community and independent colleges together.  There is an interest in DataTel.  Mr. Maschman invited Mr. Rolfes to the Independent Colleges Business Officers Meeting to be held in Hastings. Mr. Maschman stated it would be good for them to learn about Network Nebraska participation.


University of Nebraska, Mary Niemiec.  The University is releasing an RFP to establish a task force to explore the future of Blackboard.  President Milliken is resigning to take a position as President of CUNY in New York.  The Board of Regents have appointed James Linder as Interim President.  He has been supportive of technology in teaching and research.  The search for the Vice Provost for the P16 initiative is coming to a close.  This person will be very instrumental in multiple ways with distance education and partnering with other entities.  The University of Nebraska and University of Nebraska-Omaha is doing a pilot project with three dual credit classes and key general education courses.  The first offerings of MOOCs on the Kucera platform will be in health literacy and communications.  A press release about this will be coming out soon.  This will be the University’s first Kucera move.  Rules negotiations regarding federal financial aid and distance education are occurring in DC.  States are supposed to have rules and regulations for providing distance education (cost, time, and consistency across the states). 


K-12 Public & Private.  Mr. Stortz was pleased to see another potential parochial school joining Network Nebraska (e.g. Archbishop Bergan—Fremont).  Mr. Needham commented that Internet2 and InCommon have been helpful with the identity management project.  This year’s Internet2 Conference focused on identity management. The project would like educators to login with the same information that they login with every day at school. Higher Education’s Internet demand has been separated from K12 to provide added flexibility and simplify E-rate eligibility.  The University of Nebraska will consult with the higher education entities and then will contact the OCIO as to billing and what the fee and contracts will be for them.  The University bills the OCIO quarterly for Internet, and the OCIO bills the participants monthly.  . 




There were no pressing agenda items for June 18th meeting so there will not be a meeting in June.  At the August meeting, the council will need to vote on new co-chairs.  Co-Chair, Dr. Terry Haack, has been appointed to serve on the NITC.




Mr. Brown moved to adjourn.  Mr. Stortz seconded.  All were in favor.  Motion carried.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 a.m.


The NITC Education Council wishes to thank the University of Nebraska Online Worldwide staff for helping arrange and host the April 16, 2014 meeting.


Meeting minutes were recorded by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Tom Rolfes, Nebraska Information Technology Commission.