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Nebraska Information Technology Commission

Friday, November 19, 2004, 2:00 p.m.

Educational Service Unit 3

6949 S. 110th Street, La Vista, Nebraska



Mr. Arnold Bateman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Terry Haack, Bennington Public Schools

Ms. Yvette Holly, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools;
Mr. Joe LeDuc, Lincoln Pius X High School

Mr. Chuck Lenosky, Creighton University

Mr. Dennis Linster, Wayne State College

Mr. Mike Pate, Millard Public Schools

Dr. Ed Rastovski, Wahoo Public Schools

Mr. Alan Wibbels, Educational Service Unit 10


Mr. Wayne Fisher, Department of Education


Michael Beach, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications; Dr. Michael Chipps, Mid-Plains Community College; Brenda Decker, Division of Communications; Linda Engel, Nebraska City Public Schools; Dr. Jack Huck, Southeast Community College; Dr. Tom Krepel, Chadron State College; Tip O’Neill, Alt. representing Independent Colleges; Dr. David Powers, Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education; and, Al Schneider, Educational Service Unit 5.


Mr. Wibbels called the meeting to order at 2:05 p.m. It was stated that the meeting notice was posted to the NITC and Nebraska Public Meeting Calendar Web sites on October 15, 2004 and that the meeting agenda was posted to the NITC Web site on November 15, 2004. There were 8 voting members present at the time of roll call. A quorum existed to conduct official business.


Mr. Linster moved to approve the November 19, 2004 agenda as presented. Mr. Pate seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bateman-Yes, Holly-Yes, Johnson-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Linster-Yes, Pate-Yes, Rastovski-Yes, and Wibbels-Yes. Results: 8-Yes, 0-No. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


Mr. Bateman moved to approve the October 29, 2004 minutes. Mr. Linster seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Wibbels-Yes, Rastovski-Yes, Pate-Yes, Linster-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Holly-Yes, and Bateman-Yes. Results: 8-Yes, 0-No. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


There was no public comment.

Steve Schafer, Chief Information Officer

Biennial Budget Prioritization. By statute the NITC must review, approve and prioritize any new or additional funding for IT budget requests. The Education Council recommended two educational IT projects. The State Government Council recommended 24 IT projects. At the November 10th meeting, the NITC recommended two tiers of projects:

Tier I included the following:

  • #13-01 Distance Learning--Infrastructure, Programming, and Training from the Nebraska Department of Education
  • #51-01 University Enterprise Server Upgrade from the University of Nebraska
  • #27-06 PioneerNET from the Department of Roads
  • #05-03 Trial Court Automation Strategy from the Supreme Court
  • #65-01 Security Audit from the Department of Administrative Services Chief Information Officer

Tier II included the following:

  • #05-01 Install Personal Computers for Courts from the Supreme Court
  • #37-02 Court Re-engineering-Coverage and Claims from the Worker Compensation Court
  • #27-07 Project Scheduling & Program Management System from the Department of Roads

Some requests were for ongoing, continuation, maintenance, and support projects. The NITC declined to prioritize these and are giving agencies an opportunity to provide more information. The Office of the CIO/NITC will be conducting an evaluation of the forms and the process. Mr. Schafer entertained questions.

Mr. Lenosky arrived at 2:10 p.m. Dr. Haack arrived at 2:20 p.m.

The Office of the CIO had received a grant from the Secretary of State Records Board to develop an Education Portal. One of the portal features requested by the council was a single online application for admission for all Nebraska higher educational institutions. Mr. Schafer asked if this was still a request of the council. He has to provide an update to the State Records Board. After discussion of security issues and the different needs of each institution, it was by group consensus was that this is no longer a requested feature of the education portal.

eLearning Planning Workshops
Jim Zemke and Tom Rolfes

Approximately 130 individuals attended the workshops held across the state in Norfolk, Omaha, Lincoln, Scottsbluff, North Platte, and Grand Island. Elements and format of the planning workshops included small group sharing to collect data; discussion of the future direction of eLearning and a pathway to get there; and a group consensus-building activity was held to rate elements and issues on a scale from 0-5. Mr. Zemke distributed two charts (eLearning workshop summary seq PRwithinGRP 20041116v01.xls (Excel k) and eLearning workshop summary seq PRoverall 20041116v01.xls) indicating the workshop ratings and highlighted some of the results. The summary of results went out to all participants. Council members will also receive a copy. This was the first time that multiple education sectors have had an opportunity to come together to discuss the future of eLearning.


Doug Zauha, Educational Service Unit 3

Mr. Zauha accessed the demonstration through the URL powered by ANGEL through the NWSDAC Consortium (Nebraska Web-based Staff Development Affiliated Consortium). Usage has grown from 5 schools to 75 schools since implementation in August. Each school has its own identity and each individual user has their own login and password. "Nuggets" or modules are available for the following: Library Resources, Event Calendar, In the News, Public Surveys, Public Forums, Course Search, and a Community Search. In July, software license renewal was due and an RFP was circulated by NWSDAC to solicit bids. Cyberlearning Lab's Angel was evaluated as the top choice of four different respondents.


Wayne Fisher, Internet Specialist DL Planning, Nebraska Department of Education

Mr. Fisher distributed copies of the Anti-deficiency Act (“ADA”) (31 U.S.C. § 1341 et seq.) pending legislation and a draft letter to Nebraska’s Congressmen and Senators. The suspension of funding commitment letters since August has left 70 Nebraska K-12 school applicants without assurance of eRate discounts. It was suggested that to let our elected officials know that this affects all states, not only Nebraska, and that these are not accounting of tax dollars but a cash flow issue. To be exempt from the process would require legislation. Mr. Schafer recommended that the letter come from the NITC rather than the Education Council.

Mr. Pate moved that Mr. Fisher, along with NDE’s legal council, draft an official letter in support of continued uninterrupted eRate funding to be sent from the NITC to Nebraska’s congressional and senatorial representatives, with the caveat that the letter may be modified pending proposed legislation. Mr. Bateman seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Linster-Yes, Pate-Yes, Rastovski-Yes, Wibbels-Yes, Bateman-Yes, Haack-Yes, Holly-Yes, Johnson-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, and Lenosky-Yes. Results: 10-Yes, 0-No. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


Members were given copies of the Education Council’s charter (PDF 24k), last revised in June 2000, as well as a document with the appended Legislative intent language that the council was given after the discontinuation of the NEB*SAT Coordinating Council. Mr. Rolfes asked members to consider the future direction of the Education Council. This topic will be an ongoing discussion for the January 21, 2005 meeting. Following are a few of the comments and ideas generated from the discussion:

  • Some members felt the meetings this past year have been more informative rather than action and decision-oriented. There is still much to do with Network Nebraska and getting schools connected.
  • To have demonstrations either before or after the business meeting rather than during the meeting.
  • Change the meeting day. Fridays may not be a good day due to school activities and long weekends.
  • Some concern was raised regarding the decision-making role of task groups versus decisions that should/could be made by the total council.
  • Provide an update as to what is happening in the other NITC councils.
  • Conduct a visioning session to determine the council's direction.
  • Get feedback from the NITC as to their expectations of the councils.
  • At each meeting, solicit agenda items for the upcoming meeting.
  • The council should consider evaluating Phase I and II of Network Nebraska.


It was by group consensus to keep the Friday, January 21st date and time for the next meeting and to have Mr. Rolfes poll the council members as to alternate meeting days and times. Mr. Bateman volunteered the next meeting location to be on UNL campus, with the option of NVCN or Polycom videoconferencing.

With no further business, Mr. Wibbels adjourned the meeting at 3:57 p.m.

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

Meeting Minutes