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Nebraska Information Technology Commission

Thursday, April 17, 2003, 9:00 a.m.

NVCN Videoconference Sites:

Wayne State College Connell Hall-Room 021, 1111 Main Street, Wayne

Executive Building-Suite 103, 521 S. 14th, Lincoln

Chadron State College Student Center-Scottsbluff Room, Chadron



Mr. Dennis Baack, alt. for Community Colleges

Ms. Linda Engel, Nebraska City Public Schools

Mr. Terry Haack, Elkhorn High School

Mr. Jerry Harnisch, alt.-Midland Lutheran College

Mr. Kent Hendrickson, alt.-UNL

Dr. Jack Huck, Southeast Community Council

Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools

Mr. Joe LeDuc, Catholic Diocese of Lincoln;

Mr. Dennis Linster, alt. Wayne State College

Dr. Robert Manzer, alt. for Independent Colleges

Dr. Robin Smith, alt. for State Colleges


Mr. Bob Huber, Nebraska Education Telecommunications Commission

Dr. Dean Bergman, Nebraska Department of Education


Mr. Alan Wibbels, ESU 10; Dr. Ed Rastovski, Wahoo Public Schools; Ms. Yvette Holly, alt.-UNMC; Mr. Keith Bartels, Nebraska Association of School Boards; Mr. Al Schneider, ESU 5; Ms. Brenda Decker, DAS-Division of Communications; Dr. David Powers, Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.


Co-chair, Dr. Huck, called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. There were eight members present at the time or roll call. A quorum existed to conduct official business. Dr. Huck stated that the meeting notice was posted to the NITC and Nebraska Public Meeting Calendar Web sites on March 25, 2003 and that the agenda was posted to the NITC Web site on April 15, 2003.


Mr. Hendrickson moved to approve the April 17, 2003 agenda as presented. Ms. Engel seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Engel-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Linster-Yes, Manzer-Yes, and Smith-Yes. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


Mr. Hendrickson moved to approve the March 21, 2003 minutes as presented. Mr. Linster seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Smith-Yes, Manzer-Yes, Linster-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Huck-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, and Engel-Yes. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


There was no public comment.


Training Advisory Work Group. There was no report.

NET Distance Learning Report (Excel 119k), Bob Huber. Mr. Huber reviewed the data report for hours of service for Network 2 and Network 3, NEB*SAT hours and classes, NVCN hours and usage, help desk service contacts, and IP information. On April 23rd, at 11:30AM, the Governor will launch the digital network. Nebraska is the only state doing multicast data IP networking and switching to prime time.

Mr. Harnisch arrived at 9:07 a.m. Mr. Baack arrived at 9:10 a.m.


Steve Schafer, Chief Information Officer

The NITC held a strategic planning meeting on March 24th. The E-government strategic plan was presented. The NITC deferred action on this and recommended that it to be part of Statewide Technology Plan. The project plan for the Wireless project was approved. Action was deferred on a proposed technical standard/guideline for the use of fax servers. The State Government Council was directed to address the proposed standard/guideline to determine how this will be implemented. After the business portion of meeting, a panel presentation titled “Setting Strategic Direction for IT in the Private Sector” was provided. In the afternoon, discussion focused on effectiveness and measures of the NITC. No big changes were made to the NITC goals. Specific requests and recommendations from the NITC included:

  • An inventory of current state IT spending,

  • A survey or inventory of what Nebraska citizens and business see as high priority services,

  • Commissioners are interested in meeting with the Governor and Legislature (Staff will set up a fall meeting.)

  • Commissioners want greater involvement with the councils (attending meetings, etc.), and

  • The NITC would like the councils to address two questions – what do we need to do to achieve strategic goals and what can we do that would permit more efficient operations.

For the Education Council report to the NITC meeting, Mr. Rolfes conveyed the Education Council’s concerns regarding funding and the budget review process.

NETCOM update. Mr. Schafer, along with Lieutenant Governor Heineman and Dennis Smith, provided a briefing to the Appropriations Committee on the NETCOM project. The Committee was extremely excited and pleased with the progress. The RFP for Phase I has been released and is due May 1st. The contract award is scheduled for announcement on June 16th. Due to expiration of existing service contracts, the implementation is scheduled to begin by October 1st. Currently efforts are focused on Phase II to expand the backbone with additional segments, as well as to work with telehealth efforts.

Mr. Schafer entertained questions and comments from the council members.


Steve Schafer

The Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Advisory Committee has been encouraging data sharing since the mid 1990’s. CJIS recognized that this goes beyond the criminal justice system and wanted to involve the State Government Council. CJIS and the State Government Council have joined efforts. A work group has been formed through the State Government Council and a charter is currently being developed. At their first meeting on March 21st, an overview was provided of the federally funded IMPACT project in Omaha. Discussions involved the schools and their role and impact. Next steps will include expanding participation of this effort.

Tom Rolfes, Education I.T. Manager

At the May 16th meeting, the council will need to take action on recommendations of membership renewals to be approved by the NITC at their June meeting.

Renewals will need to have their sector provide a recommendation. Mr. Rolfes will contact them regarding their nominations:

University of Nebraska – Replacement of vacancy left by Dr. Bill Berndt

Independent Colleges – Mr. Con Dietz’s term expires 6/30/03.

Community Colleges – Dr. Jack Huck’s term expires 6/30/03.

State Colleges – Dr. Tom Krepel’s term expires 6/30/03.

K-12 Administrators – Dr. Ed Rastovski’s term expires 6/30/03.

Private-Parochial Education – Mr. Joe LeDuc term expires 6/30/03.

Educational Service Units – Mr. Al Schneider’s term expires 6/30/03.

Teachers – Ms. Linda Engel’s term expires 6/30/03.

Dr. Sheila Stearns joined the meeting at 9:30 a.m..


EC1.1 Statewide Synchronous Video Network Implementation: Mr. Linster reported that the task group met on March 26. Minutes of the meetings reflect development of several task groups and consideration of many synchronous video issues. Minutes are available at Mike Beach serves as chair of the Statewide Synchronous Video Work Group.

EC1.2 Adequate Rural Bandwidth: Mr. Fisher provided the council with a written report (PDF 65k). Members provided suggestions for the wording for Item IV of the report – use “bandwidth inventory” rather than “needs assessment bandwidth” to determine what is in existence and to use the words “% of capacity” rather than “adequate”.

Dr. Dean Bergman left the meeting at 9:58 a.m.

EC 2.1 Recommend Change in Funding for Technology Training Grants: Ms. Engel commented that a worksheet for this item had been sent to members. The work group felt that training issues should not be delayed but with budget cuts, the future status of this action item is undetermined. One deliverable would be to formulate a plan of action after the assessments are returned from the ESUs. Discussions led to the suggestion for the work group to explore funding options through the NITC’s Community Technology Fund or Government Technology Collaboration Fund.

Mr. Ed Rastovski arrived at 10:00 a.m.

EC 3.1 Life cycle funding strategies and Total Cost of Ownership materials – Dr. Hendrickson reported that some changes had been made to the Ed Tech 2010 Issues paper on Life Cycle Funding. The changes will be posted to the NITC web site and the issues paper will be sent to all the I.T. managers, as well. As with Action Item EC2.1, it is difficult to know how to proceed due to budget cuts.

EC 4.1 Role of Technology in Standards: No Report by the Task Group.

EC 4.2 Educational Technology Proficiency Measures for Students, Teachers, and Administrators: Mr. Haack reported that the group’s main focus has been to get this information out to institutions to make sure it is understood. They are working with the Nebraska Department of Education and institutions of higher education. There is a link on the Department of Education’s web site on academic standards.

EC 6.1 Synchronous and Asynchronous Instructional Methods: Mr. LeDuc reported that one of the deliverables for this action items was to conduct a meta-study of the efficiency and effectiveness of the various distance learning methods used in Nebraska. An electronic version of the proposed study will be sent to members.

Next steps were discussed and included the following: 1) each task group is to determine one deliverable to pursue and accomplish in order to report to the NITC at their June meeting; and 2) the council shall explore applying for NITC grant funds in order to accomplish some of the action items.

Mr. Hendrickson acknowledged and thanked Mr. Rolfes’ efforts and comments to the NITC regarding the council’s concerns and stated that the council must keep these concerns active and alive within the NITC.


Mr. Rolfes made the following announcements:

  • On April 8th, a meeting was held with Qwest, the Public Service Commission staff and Commissioner Jerry Vap, Mr. Fisher and some distance learning consortium representatives to discuss a resolution for jpeg issues occurring in 15 schools. The issue is not totally resolved but some progress has been made. Lieutenant Governor Heineman is also interested in resolving this issue.

  • The NETA Conference will be held in Kearney on April 24th-25th.

  • The RFP for NETCOM is out.

  • The Department of Education has an RFP out to hire a consultant to develop the guidelines for a statewide student information system.


The May 16th, 9 a.m. meeting of the NITC Education Council will be held at UNL’s East Campus Union. It will consist of a short business meeting followed by an Internet2 presentation. An invitation can be extended to all the council’s sectors. The NITC’s Community Council’s Telehealth Subcommittee and their sectors will also be invited. Parking will be provided by UNL.

For the month of June, there will be no Education Council meeting.

With no further business for discussion, Dr. Huck adjourned the meeting at 10:42 a.m.

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

Meeting Minutes