Fort D - Cape Girardeau

April 13, 2006

MOREnet Council Meeting Minutes

Council Member Attendees: Robert Stein, Chair, Gary Allen, Cheryl Bielema, Margaret Conroy, Curt Fuchs, Bill Mitchell, Dan Ross, Bert Schulte

Alternates Present: Rita Gulstad attended for Don Doucette, Karen Hicklin attended for Annie Busch, Barbara Reading attended for Missouri State Librarian, Tom Stokes attended for Dan Ross, Deborah Sutton attended for Jeanie Gordon

MOREnet Staff Present: David Byland, Jennifer Doll, William Giddings and Sherry Loyd

MOREnet Council Chair Stein called the MOREnet Council meeting to order. Those in attendance are listed above.

Minutes of the January 31, 2006 MOREnet Council Meeting

Bert Schulte moved that the minutes of the January 31, 2006 MOREnet Council meeting be approved as printed. Cheryl Bielema seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.


Plant Fund Use Policy

Chair Stein asked for consent from the Council to have the staff recommendation concerning the Plant Fund Use Policy considered for adoption. Council members agreed and began an extensive discussion about several aspects of the policy. Several amendments were posed and passed as follows:

  • Substitute "accumulating" with "establishment of funds" in the introductory paragraph of I. Plant Fund Use. Bielema made the motion, Curt Fuchs seconded, and it passed unanimously.
  • Remove "However," from the second sentence of the second paragraph under DESCRIPTION and move the rest of the sentence starting with "In the event of an emergency, loss of appropriation…" to II. RESTRICTIONS as the second sentence and insert "with the endorsement of the Council" between "management" and "will". Margaret Conroy made the motion, Rita Gulstad seconded, and it passed unanimously.
  • Remove from the whole section references covering capital improvements to an existing building or property location in I. Plant Fund Use. Fuchs made the motion, Barbara Reading seconded, and it passed unanimously.

Jennifer Doll explained that the University Budget Office doesn't have a stated policy concerning movement of Plant Funds; however, the practice is to inform the Budget Office when significant monies are being moved from one category to another.

The Council was in favor of the changes made to the policy and unanimously passed the policy.

Fund Balances

Overview: Precedent, Practice, MOU

After Dave Byland gave an overview of the document, Chair Stein confirmed that constituent voices must be heard and historical precedence must be acknowledged. He then thanked staff for establishing the document indicating that it would be important context for future discussions and actions.

Council Fund Reserve Policy

A replacement document for the meeting packet was shared with the Council.

Gulstad moved to approve the concept of setting up a financial exigency amount and having staff report back to the Council with a recommendation of what they feel the amount should be. Conroy seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

MOREnet staff was directed to create an umbrella document explaining all reserves and how they relate to each other. This document is to use tighter language in describing what the Program Operating Reserve is and how it relates to the Plant Fund, acknowledge the risk assessment and audit recommendations and address fund balance issues discussed. This will be an agenda item at the next Council meeting as a policy needs to be in place with a dollar amount established by June 30, 2006.

There was agreement of the Council that Plant Fund balances would be reported regularly via attachment to any budget documents shared with the Council.

For-Fee Services Fund Balance Policy

Gulstad moved to include the For-Fee Services Fund Balance Policy in the umbrella document mentioned above. Bielema seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

FY08 Appropriation: New Decision Item Requests

A replacement document for the meeting packet was shared with the Council.

The University deadline for New Decision Item requests is Monday, April 17, 2006. Chair Stein explained that the Board of Curator's May meeting is being held earlier this year, therefore only a broad budget review will be done at that meeting. At their July 21, 2006 meeting the Board of Curators will take final action on the University of Missouri budget.

Chair Stein indicated that he had talked with Vice President for Administration, Nikki Krawitz, and that she wanted to assure the MOREnet Council that the University of Missouri Finance and Administration Office understands the challenge of taking action at this early stage and that her office as well as the University is very receptive and open to the Council registering its voice throughout the appropriations request process. Bill Mitchell will be meeting with Nikki Krawitz to ensure communications are timely. Chair Stein reported that Krawitz stressed the importance of viewing the MOREnet budget request within the context of the total appropriations request for the University of Missouri as well as for all of higher education.

Council members discussed the equipment needed in the staff recommendation and whether it would be NGN related. Mitchell explained that the one-time equipment replacement needs is essential under all conditions, regardless of which options are chosen for NGN.

Schulte moved to approve both requests. Fuchs seconded, and it passed unanimously.

The Council Meeting recessed for lunch at noon.

Upon returning from lunch, Chair Stein presented Fuchs with a plaque for his service on the Council. He will be retiring from the Columbia Public Schools on June 30, 2006. Fuchs has been a member of the MOREnet Council since its inception.


Council Goals

Of the goals submitted, there were two reoccurring themes; the need for the Council to have a national perspective on best practices and new education and research technology initiatives in other states, and the need for enhanced collaboration across all member sectors.

Gulstad, Reading and Deborah Sutton agreed to form a subcommittee to draft 2-3 MOREnet Council goals that are measurable. They will also identify a tracking system. The MOREnet Council Goals Subcommittee will report back to the Council at its next meeting.

Gulstad made a motion to approve the rest of the Consent Items with no discussion. Schulte seconded, and it passed unanimously.

Member Fee Announcements

No discussion.

Technical Research Plan

No discussion.


Legislative Update

Mitchell reported that Senator Dougherty requested that MOREnet receive a two percent ($203,000) increase, which the committee approved. The House of Representatives approved flat funding for MOREnet for fiscal year 2007 so MOREnet's line item in HB3 will go to the joint budget conference committee.

Reading reported that there was a brief period of time when there was interest in increasing the HB12 budget, but the pages were already "closed" so it was a moot issue. The Senate has "passed out" HB12 without any changes. The funding, if the Governor signs HB12 where it is right now is flat for the REAL program in FY07.

Next Generation Network Update

The NGN project is on hold as several issues have arisen that require the need to reassess the project. Mitchell will update the Council when a decision on how to proceed has been decided.

E-rate Update

MOREnet staff is working to expedite the current appeal with the FCC on the Letter of Agency denial. The SLD has said that if the FCC will return MOREnet's letter to them they will expedite the appeal.

MOREnet staff recently learned that the SLD has begun to issue denials of E-rate applications linked to contracts not containing two signatures and two dates (one by the service provider and one by the applicant). There is no FCC rule requiring two signatures/two dates. MOREnet follows University System procurement guidelines, which do not require two dates on contracts. While MOREnet has not received an application denial for this reason, it is very possible it will occur in the near future.

MOREnet Good News

Bill Giddings showed a video clip of the Riverbluff Cave in Springfield. MOREnet has been very involved in the technology available in the cave. If Riverbluff Cave receives its grant, 12 teachers will be trained as paleontologists and will implement what they learn into their curriculum.

The HELIX and Spring Conference is a collaborative effort across member sectors. Total attendance at the conference this year was 380.

There was a Town Hall meeting in late February where attendees from the pubic library, higher education and K-12 gathered to learn and share ideas. MOREnet hopes to hold another meeting before the end of the school year.

MOREnet has been assisting the 15-year old Columbia Aeronautics and Space Association (CASA). Each year, Hickman High School hosts a week-long space mission that is streamed out over the local cable company. This year's mission was streamed over the Internet so more parents, grandparents, and other interested parties could observe the mission. There were 250 visitors to the stream from12 states, Australia, England and Germany.

Planning Calendar Update

An updated planning calendar will be provided in every meeting packet with significant items in boldface type.

Agency Reports

Dan Ross reported that the Office of Administration received a $5 million cut to their general revenue. Ross is working to get the amount restored. MoDOT is moving along with the lighting of their fiber; the east ring has been lit, however, they have found that additional equipment is needed to light the west ring. OA's Bid document is still in purchasing but the proposed legislation (SB1115) would potentially hurt that bid.

Sutton reported that DESE hasn't had any negative feedback from schools regarding the proposed member fee schedule and that the schools appreciated the timing of the information received.

Reading reported that the Libraries are working on the deliverables for the agreement for FY07.

Gulstad reported that higher education just finished their HELIX conference, which went well, as Giddings reported earlier in the meeting. The MERC member fee letters have generated some feedback as MERC was unable to subsidize the fees for this year.

Chair Stein said he appreciated being able to attend the HELIX conference this year. From several meetings he has recently attended, he has been made more aware of the lack of a typology to discuss the various blended formats that utilize technology in education delivery. More and more courses are blended in some fashion. The challenge of program review and approval policy development is more difficult without agreement on a typology. Chair Stein added that there is always the potential for additional legislation related to educational delivery modalities.

Future discussions of the Council could be around the utilization of technology for educational delivery and what the national trends are and how the Council might continue to pursue what collaborative issues they could promote.

Other Business

There will be a meeting on Monday, June 12, 2006 from 10:00-3:00. Conference room TBD.

Meeting Schedule

  • June 12, 2006
  • July 14, 2006
  • September 15, 2006
  • November 17, 2006

Schulte moved to adjourn at 1:30 p.m. Bielema seconded, and it passed unanimously.

Council Meeting Action Items:

  • Staff to make noted changes above to the Plant Fund Use Policy.
  • Staff to create an umbrella document explaining all reserves, how they relate to each other and also include the For-Fee Services Fund.
  • Gulstad, Reading and Deborah Sutton to form a subcommittee to draft 2-3 goals for the Council that are measurable. They will also identify a means by which to track them.

June 12th Meeting Agenda Items:

  • Council Reserves
  • Council Goal Subcommittee report
  • Planning Calendar Update

Respectively Submitted,
Sherry Loyd