Churchill statue - Fulton, MO

Feb. 16, 2007

MOREnet Council Meeting Minutes

Council Member Attendees: Bert Schulte, Chair, Gary Allen, Annie Busch, Margaret Conroy, Rita Gulstad, Karen Hicklin, Debbie Hughes, Jeremy Kintzel for Robert Stein, Bill Mitchell, Dan Ross and Deborah Sutton for Jeanie Gordon

Alternates Present: Dave Byland and Tom Stokes

MOREnet Staff Present: Jennifer Doll, Bill Giddings, Sherry Loyd, Hank Niederhelm and Debbie Rodman

Public Present: Debbie Musselman, SOS

Deborah Sutton called the MOREnet Council meeting to order in Chair Bert Schulte’s absence. Those who were in attendance are listed above.

ACTION ITEMS

Deferred until Chair Schulte joined the meeting at 11:40 a.m.

Minutes of the November 17 and December 19, 2006 MOREnet Council Meetings – Approval

Chair Schulte asked for amendments, hearing none, the November 17, 2006 and December 19, 2006 meeting minutes were approved as distributed.

CY07 MOREnet Operating Plan – Endorsement

Dave Byland reviewed the operating plan and explained that items listed are items that need to be addressed in the next 12 months.

Rita Gulstad moved to endorse the plan as presented. Annie Busch seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Budget Issues

Network Growth – Discussion

Hank Niederhelm provided Council members with a general overview of the process of forecasting growth and capacity demands on the network. Packet materials included growth facts, bandwidth trend, traffic patterns and failover risk positions.

FY07 Reprojection - Endorsement

Debbie Rodman walked the Council through the FY07 Reprojected Budget.

Gulstad moved to approve the reprojected budget as presented. Jeremy Kintzel seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

FY08 Draft Budget – Endorsement

Jennifer Doll explained that the FY08 draft budget was sent to the Council via email due to the short period of work time between the Governor’s recommendation, NGN forecasting efforts and time necessary to review costs with appropriate individuals. She explained that staff tried to hold costs down but that there will be an increase in member costs and that each sponsor is formulating methods for addressing the increases.

Rodman proceeded with a walk through the revenues and expenses. Assumptions made were as follows: MERC member fees consistent with changes to the base MERC member fee and an increase in average MERC network connectivity fee to $600 per MB, TNP membership fees were estimated based on assumed average increase of 25 percent, and no fee changes were assumed for REAL members.

Gulstad agreed that the MERC assumption was in accordance with their meeting last fall. Sutton reported that DESE will need to determine where the monies will come from as appropriations were not received from the Governor.

Bill Mitchell added that MOREnet deferred several technology expenses and that they along with deferrals made for FY07 will have to be dealt with in FY09. MOREnet reductions and deferrals covered a significant part of the mandatory costs increases in the FY08 budget.

Rodman reviewed staff recommendations for transferring certain year-end balances from FY07 and FY08 to the Plant Fund, along with the addition of Plant Fund Transfers line to the budget charts provided.

Rodman discussed the FER assumptions for FY08, and noted they will need to be updated when the final budget is presented at the July 12 meeting.

Annie Busch asked where the Plant Fund Transfer and FER monies were held. Doll explained that FER funds reside in University accounts and that the Plant Fund is a separate account.

Sutton moved to endorse both the FY08 preliminary budget and the plan for the transfer of the FY07/FY08 affiliate and for-fee fund balances to the Plant Fund. Margaret Conroy seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

CONSENT ITEMS

CY07 Council Goals – Information

Conroy gave a review of the goals. Gulstad inquired as to if the goals were in the MOREnet CY07 Operating Plan and Byland replied that they are.

Broke for lunch at 12:40 p.m.

Conroy continued with ideas of how the Council could manage their goals. There was agreement that the Council meetings do not occur often enough for work on the goals. There was also agreement that work on 1b. to prepare messages on MOREnet’s value and forums for communicating message to constituent groups needs to start right away. Conroy will lead the effort with Kintzel, Busch, Sutton and Byland participating. They plan to have messages ready for review at the next council meeting. Staff will share a document that is currently in progress. Byland will coordinate a conference call.

DISCUSSION/INFORMATION ITEMS

NGN Update

Mitchell shared a copy of an updated NGN schedule. The goal is to have signed contract by September 2007 and in production by October 2008.

Appropriations Updates

Dan Ross reported that he met with Senator Nodler, the sponsor of SB121, and a fiscal analyst to explain some of the challenges involved with implementing the legislation if it were to pass. Based on this new information, Senator Nodler is not pushing the bill forward at this time.

The Governor recommended a $150,000 increase to the REAL program to fund additional online resources.

Mitchell and Ross concur that performance measures are what the committees are interested in this year. They also reported that budgets this year will be looked at as a whole and not by each committee.

SB121 Fiscal Note Response

Byland thanked the Council for their help on MOREnet’s fiscal note response.

Governor’s Budget Recommendations

Mitchell advised that the Governor’s Recommendations did not include any of the MOREnet increase requests, and that the TNP will use most of its fund balance in FY08. Chair Schulte is working on possible solutions between DESE and MOREnet.

CALEA Update - Information

Mitchell reported that MOREnet will be CALEA compliant. The first form has been filed with a Security report due March 12th. MOREnet has advised it will not meet the specified May 2007 compliance date, but expects to be compliant by October 2007. Mitchell reported that higher education members will be compliant if their only commodity internet access is via MOREnet.

FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Program – Information

Mitchell reported that the FCC is entertaining a pilot program to develop a nationwide rural health network to improve access to advanced healthcare services. MOREnet is working with the Missouri Telehealth Network as part of the pilot. Submissions have to be by a qualified healthcare provider. Final orders are due next week and then there will be 60 days to submit proposals. If the pilot program is successful, it will cut down on emergency room visits. There will be 17-20 sites selected during the first round. Any questions or comments should be directed to Ben Colley.

Good News

First Robotics Competition

Giddings gave an update on the First Robotics regional competition to be held in Kansas City March 15-17. MOREnet is going to video stream the competition via Internet2 and provide high-definition videoconferencing to six schools so the school competitors and their schools will be able to communicate during the event.

Riverbluff Cave

Busch shared that David Harrison wrote a book on the discovery of the Riverbluff Cave. He will be traveling all over the United States and is interested in videoconferencing back to the cave during his talks. New discoveries are still being made in the cave of things that have never been found before. Busch again complimented Giddings on his work to bring network connectivity to the cave.

Kauffman Internet2 Science and Math Initiative

Mitchell advised that the Kauffman Foundation’s Vice President for Educational Programs called on MOREnet to work with Kan-Ed to promote the use of technology in the math and science fields. A planning grant proposal is being prepared for submission to get resources to enable an actual proposal. The goal is to submit the proposal by the first week of April. The planning grant will create a 10 month timeframe where a proposal will be produced that could end in a multi-year contract. Ross reported that they may have some resources to contribute as the State is looking for opportunities to get kids interested in math and science as well.

E-rate Update - Information

Doll gave updates covering four different funding years:

FY08: The filing deadline was February 7 and was extended to February 8. MOREnet met the original February 7 file date. Some schools are already receiving notice from reviewers with questions, which is sooner than questions have ever been received before. Doll thanked DESE and the State Library for their help with the Letter of Agencies. Both were helpful in coordinating and getting the submissions on the appropriate letterhead.

FY06-07: Filed last February and funding letters are being received. Monies won’t be received until next fiscal year.

FY05-06: MOREnet received a denial on our Letter of Agency. The denial was overturned last year and is currently being reviewed. On February 15 MOREnet received the first approval letter from that year for $800,000. This is encouraging that other letters will make it through the process as well. Once the actual expense documentation is submitted, funds should arrive by June.

FY03-04: MOREnet received notice in Mid-December of an audit from USAC. Auditors have been at MOREnet during January reviewing expenses and an exit interview was held on February 12. Most findings are on processes that have since been updated to meet current regulations. It will be several months before the review process is final.

Centra (e-Conferencing) Update - Information

Byland reported that the eConferencing services never reached the level of member subscription necessary to become financially viable. All current members using the service have been contacted and support will continue through January 2008. The University of Missouri is the largest user and, in conjunction with MOREnet, is currently looking for an acceptable alternative. MOREnet plans to advise members of any alternatives to the current service by the fourth quarter of FY07.

Busch stated that her library uses this functionality to continue to train their staff and she hopes a replacement will be found. Conroy feels a replacement is needed more for where she thinks the service will go as she is always hearing the need for this functionality.

Council "Futuring" Workshop - Information

Byland invited the Council to attend the HELIX Keynote session at 8:15 a.m. on March 29 prior to the futuring session.

He also shared that individuals from higher education institutions in Nebraska, Arkansas and Kansas may be participating in HELIX this year, resulting from announcements made to the GPN Executive Council.

Council Orientation Update - Information

Byland reminded the Council that the first Council Orientation Session is February 20 at MOREnet. The draft agenda was shared at the September, 2007 Council meeting.

Calendar Updates

Byland reviewed the updates, which are on the calendar in boldface type.

Agency Reports

DESE – Sutton reported that MOREnet’s request for $483,000 for TNP wasn’t approved. That will result in a 25% increase in member fees. DESE is currently looking at various alternative fee schedules for TNP members.

The State Technology Plan was presented to the State Board on February 15. The plan included a lot of impact and relations with MOREnet and MOREnet was a key player in the development of the plan.

DESE held a statewide teleconference in January and MOREnet helped connect 10 remote sites so DESE was able to present the plan to the K-12 population Title IID may result in another 100 classrooms to support 15,000 new students and 5,000 more computers in addition to the 325,000 computers reported last year (quarter).

MOSL – Conroy reported that town hall meetings are occurring to get information for a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) 5 year plan. On March 2 the meeting will be in Columbia and she urged attendance.

On March 1 and 2, a small team of researchers working on a Gates Foundation-funded grant project (through ALA) will be in Missouri to interview MOREnet administrators, state library people, industry reps and government folks about the current state of access for libraries in Missouri. At ALA Midwinter, Margaret participated in a focus group about public library connectivity, and found that Missouri stands out as a shining example of a job well done. So, MOREnet is on the list for an in-depth study. She asked that the Council send thoughts to her as to who, in addition to MOREnet, should be interviewed.

DHE – Kintzel reported that he will be Dr. Stein’s alternate to the MERC board in addition to the MOREnet Council.

DHE is busy presenting initiatives in the legislature, and certain materials concerning higher education performance measures may be beneficial in developing MOREnet messages. Kintzel advised he would share those materials with Council members.

He reported that there was a 4.3% average increase in higher education funding this year compared to 2% last year.

UM – Gary Allen reported that he has consolidated several University of Missouri-Columbia and System IT services effective this month, and those actions eliminated the need for certain contracted services from MOREnet in FY08.

Other Business

Mitchell shared that this was Doll’s last day with MOREnet as she has accepted the position of Controller of the University of Hospital and Clinics. A search for her replacement is underway with Rodman as acting interim director.

Meeting Schedule

  • April 26, 2007
  • July 12, 2007
  • Sept. 21, 2007
  • Nov. 13, 2007

Open Time for the Public to Address the Council

None

Council Meeting Action Items

  1. Staff will share a message for members currently in progress and Byland will coordinate a conference call.

Respectively Submitted,
Sherry Loyd