Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 9:00 am CT
Varner Hall Board Room, 3835 Holdrege, Lincoln



Mr. Mark Askren, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mr. Burke Brown, Palmyra School District OR1

Mr. Matt Chrisman, Mitchell Public Schools

Mr. John Dunning, Wayne State College

Mr. Ted DeTurk, ESU 02

Dr. Dan Hoesing, Schuyler Community Schools

Mr. Steve Hotovy, Nebraska State College System

Mr. Gary Needham, ESU 09

Mr. Mary Niemiec, University of Nebraska

Mr. Randy Schmailzl, Metro Community College

LIAISONS/ALTERNATES PRESENT:  Dr. Kathleen Fimple, CCPE; Ms. Cassandra Joseph, South Sioux City Community Schools; Ms. SuAnn Witt, NDE

MEMBERS/LIAISONS ABSENT:  Mr. Derek Bierman; Mr. Mike Carpenter; Mr. Steven Hamersky; Dr. Mike Lucas; Mr. Greg Maschman, and Mr. Darren Oestmann; Mr. Ed Toner; and Mr. Gary Targoff


Co-Chair, Mary Niemiec, called the meeting to order at 9:02 am CT.  The meeting notice posted to the NITC Web site and the Nebraska Public Meeting Calendar on August 14, 2015.  The agenda was posted to the NITC Web site August 14, 2015.  The Open Meeting Statutes were located on the south wall of the Varner Hall Board Room. Ms. Lopez-Urdiales called the roll and found nine voting members or alternates present. A quorum was reached in order to conduct official business. Members and guests introduced themselves.


Mr. Dunning moved to approve the meeting agenda as presented.  Mr. Hotovy seconded.   Roll call vote: Akren-Yes, Joseph-Yes, Chrisman-Yes, DeTurk-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Hotovy-Yes, Needham-Yes, Niemiec-Yes, and Schmailzl-Yes. Results: Yes-9, No-0, Abstained-0. Motion carried.



Ms. Niemiec asked to table the review and approval of the May 27, 2015 minutes until the next meeting.


Update from the May 21 and July 23 NITC meetings

Mr. Needham provided an update from the May 21 and July 23 NITC meetings. NITC Commissioners have communicated to the various Councils that each initiative and action item should be measurable and also include strengths and opportunities as well as barriers and challenges. Felix Davidson, Chair of the NITC, is the chief operating officer for the State of Nebraska.

Dr. Dan Hoesing and Burke Brown joined the meeting.

A review of the 2014-16 Network Nebraska and Digital Education strategic initiative action items

Mr. Rolfes provided a brief summary of the Network Nebraska and Digital Education action items from the 2014-16 Statewide Technology Plan. He reinforced that the Education Council has the responsibility for recommending updated action items, which may include new additions, deletions, and edited action items. This work will need to be completed in time for the 11/12/2015 NITC meeting. Lengthy discussion and comments were shared by the Education Council members concerning the current action items, with suggestions for modifications.

Education Council Visioning Process

Ms. Niemiec elaborated that the Education Council visioning process followed six guiding principles:

·         Transformation of the learning environment

·         Professional development to maximize the use of technology

·         Available, accessible, reliable and secure infrastructure

·         Promote information and technology literacy

·         Collaboration and communication among all levels of education, government, and community

·         Commitment to workforce development

Ms. Niemiec and Mr. Needham shared that the Visioning Committee was recommending a complete replacement of the former action items with action items that were more under the control and execution of the Education Council with NITC staff resources. This will bring about a significant change to all previous Education Council action items that were more a description of other education entities’ efforts. The new action items that will be proposed for the October Education Council meeting will be more action-oriented and more measurable and be based on the following:

Network Nebraska Initiative (DRAFT)

·         The Education Council will work in collaboration with the Community Council Broadband Initiative to find solutions for available, accessible, reliable, secure and affordable Internet access as related to academic success.

·         Challenge the NNAG Participant Criteria subcommittee to develop a strategy for community affiliate connections in Network Nebraska.

Digital Education Initiative (DRAFT)

·         Create Professional development opportunities for all Nebraska educators related to blended and online learning.

·         Through a collaborative research project, create a guide for best practices in the use of blended and online learning technologies with the intent of narrowing the gap between K-12 and higher education

Network Nebraska Update.

Mr. Rolfes reported that on July 1, 2015, 14 new ESU 3 school districts and the Lincoln Diocese of Catholic Schools also became participants of Network Nebraska-Education, adding about 57,000 additional students daily using the statewide Internet service. Lincoln City Libraries are putting down new fiber are expected to join mid-year, hopefully before January 2016. Additional inquiries for membership have been received from Lutheran High School Northeast in Norfolk, Brownell-Talbot school in Omaha, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ high schools located in Kearney and Geneva. Participant hosted memberships were explored by the Neihardt Center in Bancroft and the Ashfall and Trailside Museums, as part of the University of Nebraska State Museum. The Network Nebraska Advisory Group are expected to finalize and recommend the new section of Participant Criteria called Participant-Hosted Entities and will be bringing this document to the Education Council. The upcoming WAN transport RFP will be the largest telecommunications services RFP in the history of Nebraska and will affect about 150 K-12 circuits, 30 higher education circuits, and about 100 UNL Extension circuits. Bids will be opened prior to the December holiday break.

Subsector Updates

State colleges, Steve Hotovy, John Dunning. Steve Hotovy expressed his support for the Visioning Process and Team. Peru completed their wireless upgrade using the DAS master lease option. Larger system-wide projects include Parchment as their electronic transcript process. Implementation has started and should be done by November. An RFP for services will be released, soon. Proposals due in late November with implementation in December. State colleges are relatively small and cybersecurity improvements coordinated with the University staff are a challenge. Data reporting and analysis are growth areas. John Dunning said that Wayne State is partnering with Northeast Community College to take advantage of geographic proximity to leverage Network Nebraska to get a gigabit connection between campuses and allowing redundant Internet access between the two campuses. NCC and WSC standardized on a data storage and recovery software that enabled cost savings and used UNCSN and UNMC as 3rd and 4th backup sites for data recovery. WSC is implementing a managed print system on campus. Bret Bieber at UNL has been helping with federated identity management.

Community colleges, Randy Schmailzl. Randy Schmailzl focused on the D O Space digital library implementation for $28 million at 72nd & Dodge, which is a digital content implementation, and a $90 million building project for 3 buildings on the Fort Omaha campus. Omaha Public Libraries is not expected to be a fiscal partner with this project as it spends about $25 per patron on digital content development while other cities spend $75-$119 per patron. [possible future tour] Randy will share the Program Statement for the project and facility with Tom Rolfes, who will share it with the Education Council members.

Independent colleges. No report.

University of Nebraska, Mark Askren, Mary Niemiec. Mark Askren shared that President Bounds is communicating that all campuses and central administration is expected to work together more effectively within the system, and to leverage more technology staff and resources through collaboration. With I.T. spend as a flat budget, campuses rarely have anything left over for innovation, with very few systems being retired and more applications being added. Student success is a real focus with the pilot project of Canvas helping to measure predictive analytics and lower costs and to provide for students with greater needs and more educational efficiency. I.T. security is a major concern. Mary Niemiec reported that the University Independent High School will be offering seven dual credit classes that count for general education credit. President Bounds has once again set aside funding for 150 course registrations for Nebraska students to take University High School classes.

Coordinating Commission, Kathleen Fimple. Kathleen Fimple reported that the CCPE is working with the Nebraska Dept of Education to compile accurate information for dual credit classes across the state. State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) now involves 28 states, with AR, IL, OK, MI, all either being added or being considered. All 13 Nebraska higher education institutions are on SARA and 7 private colleges on.


K-12 public, Burke Brown, Ted DeTurk, Dan Hoesing, Gary Needham. Burke Brown said that hardware virtualization is becoming more of a trend, and student data is enabling more effective diagnoses. District OR1 will be upgrading its wireless this fall. Ted DeTurk reported that the LOR and LMS studies are important initiatives, as well as the Data Dashboard. The AQUESSTT accountability system is important for schools. Distance Learning needs are continuing to grow. Dan Hoesing said that Schuyler just renovated six schools for internal wireless and just put in a new recording studio to offer programming and news to the home. Cargill corporate partnership at Schuyler is a win-win for students and employee retention. The Homestead Center will be a multi-tenant learning center in downtown Schuyler. Gary Needham reinforced that hardware virtualization and cloud technologies and applications are becoming more important. Summer 2016 will be a summer full of change for Nebraska schools. ESUs have originated an ESU Statewide Technology Plan to develop a federated environment for single sign-on and the Nebraska Cloud, available for the pilot schools in the Dashboard and Advisor systems.

K-12 private. No report.


Nebraska Dept of Education, SuAnn Witt. There will be an infrastructure clinic for internal networking and wireless E-rate funding on October 8 at ESU 10 in Kearney. Distance Ed incentives provided $1.3 million for course exchanges in 2014-15 and for 2015-16 the budgeted amount will provide for less than half of that.


Dr. Hoesing shared that there will be a Technology Fair in Schuyler on October 13-14 to showcase agriculture, health care, and education and to answer the “Why are we using technology in education?” Dr. Hoesing will send the link for the event to Tom Rolfes so he can share it with the Council members.


Agenda items suggested for the next meeting included:

Strategic Initiative Action Items


The NITC staff will explore possible meeting locations for the 10/21/2015 face-to-face meeting and notify the Education Council members and alternates.


Mr. Hotovy moved to adjourn.  Mr. Dunning seconded.  All were in favor.  Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:37 a.m. CT.

Minutes were taken by Tom Rolfes of the Office of the CIO/NITC.