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Nebraska Information Technology Commission
Friday, May 19, 2000, 9:00 a.m. CDT
Nebraska Video Conference Network
Host Site: Lincoln: Lincoln Executive Bldg.-Suite 103, 521 S. 14th
Kearney Public Library and Info. Center-2nd Fl., 2020 First Avenue
Omaha: State Office Bldg.-Rm. 134 (1st Fl.), 1313 Farnam St.



Keith Bartels
School Boards
Dr. Jack Huck
Southeast Community College
Dr. David Myers
Lincoln Public Schools
Kent Hendrickson (alternate)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Jeff Johnson
Centennial Public Schools
Art Tanderup
Tekamah-Herman Public Schools
Dr. Reba Benschoter (alternate)
UN Medical Center
Tom Korta
Pius X High School
Alan Wibbels
ESU 10
Dennis Linster (alternate)
Wayne State College
Dr. Don King (alternate)
Chadron State College
Con Dietz (alternate)
Creighton University


Dr. Dean Bergman, NDE; Carna Pfeil (alternate for Dr. Powers), CCPE; and Mike Beach, NET


Dr. Richard Gilliland, Metro Community College; Dr. John Muller, Bellevue University; Larry Bock, Blair Community Schools; Dr. Woody Ziegler, York Elementary School


Sarah Cunningham, Max Thacker, Wayne Fisher, Roger Adams, Kathy Tenopir, Harry Vickroy, Tim Willett, Debbie Schroeder, Rod Bates, John Fiene, Rick Becker, Anne Byers, Michael Winkle, Tom Rolfes, Jen Soucie


Co-Chair, Alan Wibbels, called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m. Mr. Wibbels stated that the meeting notice was posted to the NITC Web site on April 17, 2000 and the Nebraska Public Meeting Calendar on May 3, 2000. The agenda was posted to the NITC Web site on May 16, 2000. Roll call was taken. There were seven voting members and three non-voting members present at the time of roll call. A quorum of voting members was lacking for official business to be conducted. Co-Chair Wibbels opted to continue on the non-action items of the agenda.

Dr. King arrived at the meeting in Kearney at 9:12 AM.

PUBLIC COMMENT: There was no public comment.


Operations Working Group: Mr. Rolfes reported that the Operations Work Group held a meeting over NVCN on May 1. Ten of 16 members were present. The main items of discussion included proposing an audio standard for interactive distance learning classrooms and further review of the NEB*SAT Scheduling priorities document being revised by the task group of Max Thacker, UNMC; Pat Hoffmann, Chadron State College; Rich Schlesselman, STEP Pod, and Nigel Buss, Niobrara Valley Distance Learning Consortium. Mr. Rolfes reported that The Operations Work Group will be holding a meeting in conjunction with the NEB*SAT Technical Training workshop at Northeast Community College on June 14, 2000.

Policies Procedures Planning Subcommittee: Mr. Wibbels stated that a Policies, Procedures, Planning subcommittee meeting is scheduled immediately following the Education Council Meeting. No meetings have been held since the previous Ed Council meeting.

Dr. Huck arrived at the meeting at 9:17AM. A quorum existed to conduct official business. Dr. Huck assumed leadership of the meeting from the Lincoln site.


Mr. Wibbels entertained a motion to approve the agenda as presented. Mr. Hendrickson moved and Mr. Bartels seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bartels-Yes, Benschoter-Yes, Dietz-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Korta-Yes, King-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Linster-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Wibbels -Yes. Motion was carried.


Mr. Hendrickson moved to approve the minutes. Mr. Tanderup seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bartels-Yes, Benschoter-Yes, Dietz-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Korta-Yes, King-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Linster-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Wibbels -Yes. Motion was carried.

Mr. Linster arrived at the meeting at the Lincoln location at 9:25 AM.

PUBLIC COMMENT: There was no public comment.


Training Advisory Work Group:

Ms. Nugent reported on round eight of the Distance Learning Training Mini-Grants. Fourteen grants totaling $123,000 will be recommended to the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission for approval. The State of Nebraska Legislature requires that the NITC and the Education Council be informed of the minigrants in a timely manner. According to Ms. Nugent, several applicants were disqualified for not following directions. Out of the pool of qualified applicants, three were not funded. Sarah Cunningham commented that the overall quality of the grant proposals was acceptable.

  • Mini-grant funding limit proposal:

After a Council discussion of the possibility of increasing the mini-grant funding limits, Mr. Winkle asked for a recommendation for the new biennial budget. Ms. Nugent stated that she would support the continuation of the Mini-Grants because they promote school technology and learning. Monies for grants of up to $10,000 should continue to exist. In the future, the Mini-grants might have a grant available for K-12 and Higher Education of up to $25,000. Mr. Dietz moved to recommend the grants of up to $25,000 for the new biennium. The motion was second by Ms. Benschoter with discussion. Mr. Hendrickson offered a friendly amendment that would include a stipulation of the funds. The amendment would allow one $25,000 to the K-12 schools and one to Higher Education Schools.

The Educational Council agreed with the Training Advisory Work Group that the grants be structured to support the collaboration between K-12 and Higher Education with a limit for at least two grants to be $25,000. A roll call vote was taken to adopt the proposal with added amendments. Roll call vote: Bartels-Yes, Benschoter-Yes, Dietz-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Korta-Yes, King-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Linster-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Wibbels -Yes. Motion was carried.


Member Recognition and New Members:

Mr. Huck reported that four Education Council members have resigned. Dr. Uma Gupta, Dr. Woody Ziegler, Dr. Richard Gilliland, and Dr. James Moeser. These resigned members have recommended new members. Mr. Con Dietz, Vice President of Information Systems at Creighton University was nominated to represent the independent universities. Dr. Rob Ziegler, Superintendent of Madison Public Schools, was nominated to represent K-12 school administrators. Dr. Joseph Preusser, President of Central Community College, was nominated to represent community colleges. The University system will continue with members Hendrickson and Bateman as alternates for the outgoing Chancellor Moeser. Mr. Rolfes will present the exiting members with framed certificates of appreciation.

A motion was made by Mr. Hendrickson to recommend the nominated members to the NITC for approval. Mr. Linster seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bartels-Yes, Benschoter-Yes, Dietz-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Korta-Yes, King-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Linster-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Wibbels -Yes. Motion was carried.

Terms of Service; staggered and limits:

Mr. Rolfes highlighted the member responsibilities as presented in Section 6.3 of the Education Council charter. Under proposed stipulation 6.4 of the charter, Change in membership states "the nomination will then be recommended by a simple majority of the Council members present and forwarded to the NITC for approval." Under 6.5, length of service, Mr. Rolfes stated that the terms would expire January 1 of each year. The language would read: There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms that can be served. One-half of the K-12 and one-half of the postsecondary members' terms shall expire on even numbered years and one-half of the K-12 and one-half of the postsecondary members' terms shall expire on odd numbered years." Under 7.1, the chair and co-chair terms would be two-years long and staggered. Mr. Tanderup moved to approve the membership responsibilities. Mr. Linster seconded the motion. Discussion ensued.

A concern was raised in relation to the Biennium Budget Year. Members recommended that the term dates be moved to July 1-June 30 for the academic school year. Mr. Johnson moved to approve the amendment to the member responsibilities. Mr. King seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bartels-No, Benschoter-No, Dietz-No, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Korta-No, King-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Linster-Yes, Tanderup-No, and Wibbels -Yes. Motion was carried with a 6-5 vote.

Education Council moved to approve the membership responsibilities as amended. Roll call vote: Bartels-Yes, Benschoter-Yes, Dietz-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Korta-Yes, King-Yes, Hendrickson-Yes, Linster-Yes, Tanderup-Yes, Wibbels -Yes. Motion was carried.


Mr. John Fiene, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Technology for the University of Nebraska at Omaha, presented a white paper on public policy and statewide networking. One issue of concern is related to Networking and the implementation of voice, video and data. The connection of the converging groups is taking place on a global plane via Internet. For example, Internet2 has hosted the participation of the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and University of Nebraska at Kearney's satellite classrooms. Mr. Fiene also expressed the eventual need of a group to manage the process and the network. Several benefits were stated, which included, minimizing the digital divide of users, receiving equal access at equal cost. Among other benefits, a pod would have data services that would support the full utilization of distance learning in classrooms.

The major issue is the convergence of voice, video and data via the Internet. A mapping project is needed to track the progress of the convergence. Mr. Hendrickson added that the goal of the convergence is to minimize the gap of message delivery and increase productive communication across the State of Nebraska.

Mr. Wibbels thanked Mr. Fiene for the thorough presentation.


Mr. Wibbels agreed that voice, video and data are merging technologies. He explained that with the advancements in video compression, a statewide standard, migration path and timeline would be beneficial for infrastructure development and information technology planning purposes. Mr. Wibbels asked to table this item for further discussion until after the TINA Study RFP was released.


Mr. Winkle gave a timeline of events and important dates related to the project proposal prioritization process. They are as follows:

July 1, 2000: Agency Comprehensive Information Technology Plans are due.

September 15, 2000: Budget requests are due.

September 18-23, 2000: Assign reviewers to go over the requests. Gather a wide base of opinion and scoring.

October 4, 2000: All reviews complete and returned to NITC office.

October 6, 2000: Distribute the summary of that data to the Councils.

October 13, 2000: Councils prioritize the list. NITC staff will begin preparation of documents for Commissioners.

November 10, 2000: Opportunity for feedback from Education Council, and finalize the list.

November 13-14, 2000: NITC meeting.

November 15, 2000: Forward recommendations to NITC and Governor Johanns.

In addition to the timeline, the Education Council will need to discuss how to prioritize. Scoring instruments are available in the UNITED 2000: Nebraska's Statewide Technology Plan. All documents will be moved electronically throughout the process. NITC staff will assist the Councils in the review process.


Mr. Michael Beach reported on NET. Mr. Beach gave a brief summary of the networks they are involved in, which include:

NETV, Educable, NPRN, Network 2, Network 3, NVCN, Fiber optic feeds to Omaha, Fiber optic feeds in Lincoln, In-house cable, State cable, Campus cable, Cablevison, Instructional Television Fixed Service, Distance Learning Consortia, DS3. C/Ku Teleport, SCPC for PBS, Transmitter Operations, and the Remote Satellite Truck.

Mr. Beach encouraged everyone to attend the technical training workshop which will be held June 14-16, 2000 at Northeast Community College's Lifelong Learning Center in Norfolk. Individuals who are going to attend need to contact Peggy Dewey at 402-472-9333 ext. 348. The registration fee is $25. The latest version of the agenda is posted on the website. The main agenda item is discussion of types of networks that conduct distance learning for teaching tools. In addition, the workshop will include basic distance learning tips.


Mr. Winkle asked that the Education Council volunteer one individual from K-12 and one individual from Higher Education to the TINA Technical Committee. Mr. Winkle also stated that the TINA educational network inventory will be completed by July 31, 2000. Ninety-one out of ninety three counties have replied to the TINA network inventory. The participation of private and parochial schools and colleges is not required, but encouraged.

  • Education Council Representatives to TINA Technical Committee:

Mr. Rolfes explained that the duties of these representatives would include recommendations to the advisory committee on technical issues and specifications prior to the Request for Proposals. Alan Wibbels of Kearney and the Educational Service Unit 10 recommended Ron Cone. Mr. Cone is actively involved in several projects related to K-12 networking. Dale Finkelson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Network Engineering Information Services, was recommended to represent the Higher Education sector. Mr. Hendrickson agreed that Mr. Finkelson would make a good representative.

TINA Education Inventory:

Mr. Rolfes stated that he will be helping the Division of Communications collect the education infrastructure inventory by distributing Excel spreadsheet forms by e-mail and using the

OTHER: Mr. Rolfes revealed that June 1, 2000 will be the first electronic mailing of the NITC's e-newsletter. This e-newsletter will arrive in an inbox as an html file. This html file will be viewable by switching screens or opening an Internet browser. However, there will be a link for Lotus Notes users. This e-newsletter will be available to forward to other individuals in agencies. A special thanks was extended to Rick Becker and Anne Byers for the design and hard work.


The next meeting of the Education Council will be held on July 21, 2000, in Lincoln at 9 a.m., location will be determined. The August meeting is scheduled for August 11 in Chadron with NVCN sites in Lincoln and Omaha.


With no further business, Co-Chair Dr. Huck adjourned the meeting at 11:30 a.m.

Minutes taken by Jen Soucie and reviewed by Tom Rolfes and Anne Byers, Office of the CIO/NITC.

Meeting Minutes