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Nebraska Information Technology Manager
Monday, April 17, 2000, 10:00 a.m.
Energy Square, Board Room, 1111 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska



Keith Bartels
School Boards
Dr. Jack Huck
Southeast Community College
Dr. David Myers
Lincoln Public Schools
Arnold Bateman
University of Nebraska
Jeff Johnson
Centennial Public Schools
Art Tanderup
Tekamah-Herman Public Schools
Dr. William Berndt
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Tom Korta
Pius X High School
Alan Wibbels
ESU 10
Larry Bock
Blair Public Schools
Dr. Don King
Chadron State College
Dr. Woody Ziegler
York Elementary School
Dr. Dean Bergman, NDE; Dr. David Powers, CCPE; Brenda Decker, DOC; and Mike Beach, NET
Dr. Richard Gilliland, Metro Community College; Dr. Uma Gupta, Creighton University; Dr. John Muller, Bellevue University; and Dr. Sheila Stearns, Wayne State College


Dave Wagaman, Sarah Cunningham, Max Thacker, Dennis Baack, Wayne Fisher, Stan Carpenter, Roger Adams, Roger Hahn, Shirley Schall, Linda Engel, Jerry Hurley, Sue Gildersleeve, Kathy Tenopir, Carna Pfeil, Kathleen Fimple, Dr. Reba Benschoter, Sandy Sostad, Rick Becker, Anne Byers, Michael winkle, Tom Rolfes, Lori Lopez Urdiales


Co-Chair, Alan Wibbels, called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. Mr. Wibbels stated that the meeting notice was posted to the NITC Web site and the Nebraska Public Meeting Calendar on March 20, 2000. The agenda was posted to the NITC Web site on April 7, 2000. Roll call was taken. There were 8 voting members and 4 non-voting members present at the time of roll call. A quorum existed of voting members for official business to be conducted.


Mr. Bateman moved to approve the agenda as presented. Mr. Tanderup seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bartels-Yes, Berndt-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, King-Yes, Bateman-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Wibbels-Yes. Motion was carried.


A correction to the minutes was to change the fourth bullet under "Communication Strategy" to read as follows:

  • NASB (Nebraska Association of School Boards) and the school administrators newsletters would be good sources to relay information. Mike Delany and Brian Hale would be good resource contact persons.

Mr. Bartels moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Mr. Bateman seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Wibbels-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Bateman-Yes, King-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Huck-Yes, Berndt-Yes, Bartels-Yes. Motion was carried.

PUBLIC COMMENT: There was no public comment.


Mr. Fisher distributed the "Summary Results of the December 1999 Distance Learning Survey" report. The low numbers of some consortiums could be due to the size of the consortium or the length of time the network has been in service. Numbers do not reflect the capacity of the system – this is a snapshot in time. Mr. Fisher entertained questions and comments from the group. Members requested more analysis on survey question 6 regarding the distance learning classes that would and would not be offered as well as information on dollar amounts saved. Mr. Fisher agreed to run more analyses on the figures.

Mr. Korta and Mr.Bock arrived at 10:25 a.m.

HIGHER EDUCATION DATA, Kathleen Fimple, Coordinating Commission on Postsecondary Education

Ms. Fimple distributed the following charts and tables to council members: Change in Number of Courses Offered and Mode of Delivery 1995-96 to 1998-99; Estimate of the Number of Students Served by Distance Learning 1998-99; Number of Distance Education Courses by Discipline (Traditional, Synchronous, and Asynchronous Delivery); and 1997-98 Off Campus and Distance Education Courses. An intern worked on the definitions. The Commission welcomed any suggestions from the council members. Some of the numbers may be under-recorded for students served. This is due primarily to some institutions not providing receiving site information or institutions would provide receiving site information but no numbers.

Dr. Ziegler arrived at 10:31 a.m.

The Commission is exploring the data collection process and frequency. It is planned to have web-based report submission. This report is currently done biannually but the Commission is considering having it done on an annual basis with a published report done every two years. Discussion followed regarding permanent centers, definition of distance education, and timing and coordination of data collection. Mr. Wagaman explained that the timing of CCPE's data collection is due to the budget instructions for supplementary budgets. Council members were encouraged to e-mail questions and requests for additional information to Ms. Fimple at


LB 446 authorized the Division of Communication $600,000 to conduct a study on wireless public safety communications issues. Interoperability and coverage areas emerged as the primary issues. Federal Engineering is the consultant hired for the study. The consultants have been in 15 locations across the state. Federal Engineering will make recommendations, as well as provide cost estimates and analysis. Some of the fears that have been voiced are as follows: the State will come in and tell them to start over without being able to afford it; the state patrol is going to dictate what we're going to have; and we've heard this before and nothing is going to happen. The Division of Communications is attempting to address concerns and fears. There is a Wireless Advisory Committee, made up of several law enforcement sectors and state agencies, appointed by the governor assisting with the project. The Division of Communications web site,, has updated information on the Wireless Study.

TINA ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION, Brenda Decker, Director, Division of Communications:

Mr. Decker distributed copies of the TINA Update PowerPoint presentation. Items covered in the update were the themes that have emerged from the study, guidelines for network design and alternatives presented by the consultant, Federal Engineering which included the following:

  • Alternative 1 - Maintain the status quo
  • Alternative 2 - Maintain baseline with extended SONET network telecomm infrastructure Plan
  • Alternative 3 - Prime contractor with postalized services telecomm infrastructure

Dr. Myers arrived at 10:55 a.m.

The TINA Advisory Group is endorsing the Prime Contractor concept for further examination. Ms. Decker explained that the Prime Contractor is not a sole source provider. Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Dakota have similar efforts in aggregation studies. Pennsylvania has reported saving 100’s of millions of dollars with the prime contractor model.

Ms. Decker will go before the NITC at their April 20th meeting for endorsement. Upon approval of the NITC, an aggressive timeline will follow to move forward with next steps. One of the next steps is to organize the TINA Technical Advisory Committee comprised of two representatives from each of the councils. The timeline will be aggressive to gather the data in hopes of having an RFP ready by December. The Community and Government Councils, as well as the Technical Panel have endorsed examining Alternative 3 and to move forward with the next steps to build the business case. Ms. Decker entertained questions from the Council members.

Dr. Huck entertained a motion that the Education Council endorse the concept of Alternative 3 to move forward with the next steps to build a business case. Mr. Bock so moved. Mr. Johnson seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Johnson-Yes, Korta-Yes, King-Yes, Bateman-Yes, Myers-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Wibbels-Yes, Ziegler-Yes, Bartels-Yes, Berndt-Yes, Bock-Yes, Huck-Yes. Motion was carried.


Council members received the following documents via email regarding LB 1217 and the Network 3 expansion proposal:

  • NEB*SAT Capital Projects that May be Applied to the Network 3 Expansion Proposal
  • Hardware Infrastructure Considerations
  • NEB*SAT Cash Projects that May Be Applied to Network 3 Enhancement
  • Chart/Graphs: Network 3 Annual Usage in Hours, Network 3 Usage by Monthly Average Hours, 1999-2000 NEB*SAT Network 3 Hours of Service
  • Memo from Linda Wagner to Michael Beach

Rod Bates, Director of NET, read a written statement to the Council (PDF 74k) regarding the expansion of Network 3. The NETC (Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission) has not yet taken an official recommendation on this document. Michael Beach, Assistant Director of Engineering, briefly explained the six projects. There will be a users group organized by NET. This group will work with the Council. Clarification was requested regarding the $100,000 for statewide aggregation. Ms. Decker explained that the Division of Communications is proposing to conduct a pilot project like TINA with education. Ms. Decker will have the proposal at next month's meeting. For the first year, $100,000 would be utilized for the pilot project and then used for NET's upgrades until FY2008. NET will begin making regular usage reports to the Education Council. The Education Council hereby recommends to the NITC and NETC that:

  1. Up to $100,000 of FY 2000-01 state building funds be used by NETC to empower the Division of Communications of the Department of Administrative Services with the authority and responsibility to pursue contract negotiation for the statewide aggregation of land-based telecommunication services on behalf of the agencies of state government and political subdivisions;
  2. Up to $611,040 in unspent NEB*SAT project funds be reallocated to fund the Network 3 expansion project from 20 to 30 channels and that the Policies/Procedures/Planning Subcommittee of the Education Council (working in conjunction with NET Engineering) be responsible for delivering the specific recommendations of amounts and projects to be reallocated within 30 days;
  3. The Education Council shall consider the issue of establishing a late schedule change fee and/or drop penalty fee relating to the utilization of the NEB*SAT System and that the Policies, Procedures, Planning Subcommittee of the Education Council (working in conjunction with the NEB*SAT scheduling staff and Education Council-Operations Working Group) be responsible for the specific recommendations of amounts and timelines related to penalties and fees to take effect in the Summer programming period of 2001.

Dr. Myers moved to support all three recommendations. Mr. Bock seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Myers-Yes, Bateman-Yes, King-Yes, Korta-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Huck-Yes, Bock-Yes, Berndt-Yes, Bartels-Yes, Ziegler-Yes, Wibbels-Yes, Tanderup-Yes. Motion was carried.

Documents and letters of support for NET3 Expansion were distributed by Sarah Cunningham, Central Community College.

NEBRASKA DISTANCE LEARNING ASSOCIATION, Shirley Schall, Director, Southwest Nebraska Distance Learning Consortium

Mr. Schall read a written statement (PDF 66k) describing the professional association and its origins. This association is not directly tied to the Education Council. Ms. Schall encouraged members to become part of the association.

OTHER: There was no other business.


The next meeting of the Education Council will be held on May 19, 2000, in Kearney at 9 a.m., location will be determined. The June meeting is scheduled for June 16th in Norfolk in conjunction with the NEB*SAT Technical Training Workshop.

With no further business, Co-Chair Dr. Huck adjourned the meeting at 12:23 p.m.

Minutes taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Tom Rolfes, Office of the CIO/NITC.

Meeting Minutes