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Nebraska Information Technology Commission

Friday, May 21, 2004, 9:00 a.m.

UNL City Campus Student Union

15th & R Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska



Mr. Arnold Bateman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Jerry Harnisch, Midland Lutheran College (Alt. for Robert Manzer)

Ms. Yvette Holly, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Jack Huck, Southeast Community College

Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools

Mr. Joe LeDuc, Catholic Diocese of Lincoln

Mr. Chuck Lenosky, Creighton University

Mr. Dennis Linster, Wayne State College;

Dr. Jerry Moskus, Metropolitan Community College

Mr. Alan Wibbels, Educational Service Unit 10
Dr. Ed Rastovski, Wahoo Public Schools
Mr. Al Schneider, Educational Service Unit 5


Mr. Mike Beach, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission

Mr. Wayne Fisher, Department of Education

MEMBERS/LIAISONS ABSENT: Ms. Brenda Decker, Division of Communications; Ms. Linda Engel, Nebraska City Public Schools; Mr. Terry Haack, Elkhorn High School; Dr. Tom Krepel, Chadron State College; Mr. Michael Pate, Millard Public Schools; Dr. David Powers, Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education


Co-chair Dr. Jack Huck called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m. There were ten voting members present at the time of roll call. A quorum existed to conduct official business. It was stated that the meeting notice was posted to the NITC and Public Meeting Calendar websites on March 22, 2004 and that the agenda was posted to the NITC website on May 18, 2004.


Mr. Bateman moved to approve the May 21, 2004 as presented. Mr. Harnisch seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bateman-Yes, Holly-Yes, Huck-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Linster-Yes, Moskus-Yes, Harnisch-Yes, Rastovski-Yes, Schneider-Yes, and Wibbels-Yes. Results: 10-Yes, 0-No. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


Ms. Holly moved to approve the March 19, 2004 minutes as presented. Mr. Bateman seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Wibbels-Yes, Schneider- Yes, Rastovski-Yes, Harnisch-Yes, Moskus-Yes, Linster-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Huck-Yes, Holly-Yes, and Bateman-Yes. Results: 10-Yes, 0-No. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


There was no public comment.


Mr. Rolfes informed the Council that the CIO and NITC offices have moved up to the third floor of the Executive Building and sharing the floor with the Division of Communications. The new suite number is 301.

Mr. Beach arrived to the meeting at 9:09 a.m.


Tom Rolfes, Education Information Technology Manager

The Council has several members whose memberships are up for renewal. Dr. Moskus is resigning and will need a replacement. Robert Manzer will be leaving Nebraska to take another administrative position. A recommendation for a replacement for the Independent Colleges and Universities sector will come at a later time.

Mr. Lenosky arrived at 9:13 a.m.

The recommendation for membership renewals and/or replacements effective July 1, 2004 is as follows:

Higher Education Renewals: Arnold Bateman, Dennis Linster
Higher Education Replacement for Dr. Moskus: Mike Chipps, Mid-Plains Community College

K-12 Education Renewals: Terry Haack (awaiting confirmation), Jeff Johnson, Mike Pate, and Alan Wibbels

Dr. Rastovski moved to approve the confirmed and pending recommendations for membership renewals and/or replacement. Mr. LeDuc seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Holly-Yes, Huck-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Lenosky-Yes, Linster-Yes, Moskus-Yes, Harnisch-Yes, Rastovski-Yes, Schneider-Yes, Wibbels-Yes, and Bateman-Yes. Results: 11-Yes, 0-No. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Dr. Manzer and Dr. Moskus were recognized for their service to the Education Council.


Dan Brown, Nebrask@Online

At the request of the Education Council, NOL developed the protocol for a searchable engine of course programs and degrees. Data for the search engine came from the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE). Most of the data in the engine pertained to four-year degrees. One major shortcoming of the beta search engine is that it failed to return results on some very popular courses of study within the community college sector (i.e. the academic transfer programs). Questions were raised as to the completeness, comprehensiveness, and inclusive of the data. After discussion of a couple of approaches, it was recommended that NOL and NITC staff meet with CCPE to discuss the portal, data and search options. The Council also recommended that focus groups of high school counselors and college admission officers be conducted to solicit their input on the web-based admissions application that was demonstrated at the last Education Council meeting.

Woody Ziegler, Nebraska Department of Education

Several members of the Nebraska Internet2 K-20 Initiative Steering Committee attended sectional meetings in Arlington, Virginia on April 19. The theme for the April 19th Advisory Council meeting was to find ways to demonstrate Internet2 and Network success and impact in their home states, especially with policymakers and legislators. The rest of the week included other meetings and demonstrations. The biggest selling point of I2 is that it is not a “commodity” Internet but a “safe” Internet. Funding issues, promotion, utilization and awareness of I2 are other issues of concern. It is not enough to let public schools know that I2 is available but they need to know what it can do for classroom instruction. The SEGP application for Nebraska will be sent in next week. In order to raise awareness, presentations at conferences will be held throughout the summer. Mr. Ziegler is leaving the Department of Education and recommended Larry Star, Nebraska Department of Education, Social Studies Curriculum Specialist, to replace him on the Steering Committee.


Steve Schafer, Chief Information Officer

Mr. Wibbels chaired the rest of the meeting. Mr. Johnson arrived to the meeting at 10:10 a.m.

At their March meeting, the NITC approved eight strategic initiatives related to future information technology development and investments. Three of these came from recommendations from the Education Council. By statute every November 15th, NITC must prioritize IT budget requests to the Legislature and the Governor. In prior years, this process was more reactive. This time around, the NITC wants to take a more proactive stance. Thus, the strategic initiatives were developed in order to guide agencies in their IT budget requests. These will be due in September. Staff will then conduct a gap analyses of the requests and develop a prioritized recommendation for the NITC. The NITC will then make final recommendations and prioritize budget requests. The NITC recommendation will be communicated to the Governor and the Legislature. The Council’s action plans should reflect the NITC’s strategic initiatives. Mr. Schafer entertained questions and/or comments from the Council.


Tom Rolfes, Education Information Technology Manager

The following changes and/or recommendations were made to the Council’s Action Items:

PRIORITY EC-1: Provision of an infrastructure that will permit all citizens of Nebraska to have access to the same educational experiences, regardless of location.

  • EC 1.1 (Continuation) Title: Statewide Synchronous Video Network Implementation – Keep as is
  • EC 1.2 (Continuation) Title:Sufficient Rural Bandwidth – Combine with EC 1.3
  • EC 1.3 (New) Title: Support the Nebraska Network project through the Interim Network Policy Work Group – Delete the wording “through the Interim Network Policy Work Group.

PRIORITY EC-2: Identification and facilitation of diverse training opportunities;

  • EC 2.1 (Revised) Title: Recommend Change in Funding for Technology Training Grants – Keep but extend timeline to conduct assessment only.

PRIORITY EC-3: Ensurance of life cycle funding - No Action Item

PRIORITY EC-4: Accommodation of learner needs - No Action Item

PRIORITY EC-5: Coordination of statewide education I.T. efforts and resources, including collaboration with public and private entities

  • EC 5.1 (New) Title: Nebraska eLearning Initiative for the coordination of synchronous and asynchronous distance learning experiences for K-20 students. Keep as is
  • EC 5.2 (New) Title: Value-added services for the Nebraska ‘Click into Education’ Portal – Keep as is.

PRIORITY EC-6: Pursuit of leading edge technology applications to enhance teaching and learning – No Action Item

Mr. Linster moved to approve the revised 2004-05 Education Council Action Items. Mr. Bateman seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bateman-Yes, Holly-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Lenosky-Yes, Linster-Yes, Moskus-Yes, Harnisch-Yes, Rastovski-Yes, Schneider-Yes, and Wibbels-Yes. Results: 12-Yes, 0-No. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Strategic Initiative – Network Nebraska
Rick Golden, University of Nebraska
Mr. Golden reported that CAP (Collaborative Aggregation Partnership) continues to work on connections. Its most current member is Project 42 that includes ESU 10,11,15, and 16. Upcoming members include Creighton University, Lincoln Public Schools (ESU 18), and Central and Mid-Plains Community colleges. The lines have been ordered for the connection for Wayne State College and it is anticipated that it will be up and running in late June or early July. Conversations have occurred with ESU 3 and ESU 2 but no commitments have been made. CAP has also been working with Roger Keetle from the Nebraska Hospital Association, representing the statewide telehealth network. Several hospitals have been connected – Scottsbluff, Hastings, Grand Island, Aurora and currently accessing the UNMC via the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Last week, the University of Nebraska released an RFP for Internet1 that would include optional provisioning of service out of Omaha as well.

Strategic Initiative - eLearning Initiative (Word 249k)
Jim Zemke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Endorsement of this initiative is vital to its success. The NITC has adopted the eLearning Initiative as one of their eight strategic initiatives for the upcoming biennium. It is hoped that this important endorsement will lead to increased collaboration among education-related entities to help move this important initiative forward. There is a need to move this from a concept to reality. To facilitate the formation of the proposed Nebraska eLearning Consortium an eLearning Workshop is being organized for this summer. The primary purpose of this workshop will be to develop a plan to advance the eLearning Initiative and establish the eLearning Consortium to include:

  • Defining statewide eLearning goals and objectives
  • Organizing draft documents to address the issues of definition, organization, structure, representation, accountability, authority, etc
  • Identifying potential sponsor(s) and funding source(s)
  • Developing an action plan and timeline to activate the Nebraska eLearning Consortium

Strategic Initiative - Statewide Synchronous Video Network (Word 33k)
Mike Beach, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission
The Work Group continues to focus on three major areas: 1) funding sources to upgrade systems, cooperating with the Department of Education and the Public Service Commission; 2) software scheduling and coordination options; and 3) the continuum of characteristics related to statewide distance learning. Most recent efforts have been focused on the two-year review of the video standards. There will be two activities held, May 26th in Kearney. First, in the morning the Statewide Synchronous Video work group will meet. A luncheon meeting will be a held with the ESU Network Operation Coordinators and Distance Learning directors. In the afternoon, there will be testing of the video standards. It is anticipated that the standard will be ready to go before the Technical Panel in August and then to the NITC for final approval at their September meeting. Mr. Beach entertained questions and/or comments from the Council members.

There were no additional action items recommended to support strategic initiatives.


Mr. Rolfes made the following announcements about upcoming conferences and meetings:

June 16-18, 2004 – Nebraska Symposium on Information Technology in Education and the Nebraska Distance Learning Summit

July 26-27, 2004 - Midwest Internet Institute in Lincoln

June 3rd, 2004 - NITC meeting in Columbus begins at 12:15 p.m.


There will be no meeting in June. The next meeting of the Education Council will be held on Friday, July 16, 2004, 9:00 a.m. at Southeast Community College, 301 South 68th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. The September 21st meeting will be held at UNMC.

With no further business, Mr. Wibbels adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.

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

Meeting Minutes