Columbia, MO Columns and Jesse Hall

MOREnet Council Meeting Minutes - Nov. 30, 2011

Wed. Nov. 30, 2011, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Members present: Russ Brock, Chair, Gary Allen, Margaret Conroy, Dave Doennig, John Gillispie, Leigh Ann Grant Engle, Craig Klimczak, Mariano Marin-Gomez, Waller McGuire, Paul Mensching, Rusty Monhollon, Kevin Palmer, Archie Sprengel, Doug Young, Cindy Youngblood

Alternates present: Jacque Cowherd, Mark Mabe, Barbara Reading

MOREnet staff present: Natasha Angell, Lynn Burgan, Chip Byers, Janet Casady, Sherry Loyd, Hank Niederhelm, Greg Silvey

MOSL staff present: Jean Morrison

Chair Russ Brock called the MOREnet Council meeting to order. Those who were in attendance are listed above.

Chair Brock asked for additions to the agenda, hearing none, he asked for a motion to adopt the agenda. Rusty Monhollon so moved, Craig Klimczak seconded and it passed unanimously.


Minutes of the August 18, 2011 MOREnet Council Meeting – Approval

Chair Brock asked for any recommended changes and/or additions to the August 18, 2011 meeting minutes as distributed. There were no recommendations and Margaret Conroy moved to approve the August 18, 2011 meeting minutes as distributed. Kevin Palmer seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Investment Project Evaluation Policy – Endorsement

Greg Silvey reviewed the policy created by the subcommittee which included himself, Rusty Monhollon, Kevin Palmer, Cindy Youngblood and Paul Mensching. Kevin Palmer and Monhollon added that all criteria stated in the policy should be met before an investment project should be entertained by the Council.

Klimczak moved to endorse the Investment Project Policy as distributed. Dave Doennig seconded the motion. Palmer added that the committee members built the framework from their own institutional project experience. All were in favor and it passed unanimously.

FY13 Member Fees – Endorsement

Natasha Angell reported that there will be no change to Membership Service Package pricing for FY13. In order to reduce complexity associated with MOREnet fees, there will no longer be one and three year Managed Connection Fee pricing. The annual rate will be $1,700 for all MOREnet-ordered connections. Due to FY11 network growth of 35%, the University of Missouri paying $896,000 and the Missouri Telehealth Network paying $156,000 for Next Generation Network the total Network Connectivity Fee revenue will be reduced by 10.3%. Documentation provided in the meeting packet identified Email Hosting and Web Hosting as being under review. Since the materials were distributed staff has concluded that there will be no price change for those two services in FY13. The email archiving pricing is still being reviewed.

Monhollon moved to endorse the Managed Connection Fee, Network Connectivity Fee and For-Fee Service fees as presented. Mariano Marin-Gomez seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


FY13 Work in Progress Budget Projections – Information

Silvey explained that in order to set FY13 fees, an operating budget was developed where certain assumptions were made approximately 8 months prior to the start of FY13 and that many of those assumptions were based on what is expected to occur in FY12. Due to the many factors that could change those assumptions throughout the year, a work in progress budget was created. This work in progress budget currently projects revenues over expenses of $71,703 for FY13. A preliminary budget will be presented to the Council at the March 2012 meeting.

In order to monitor the spending down of reserves as encouraged by the audit report, the Council asked that staff report unobligated reserves as a separate report. At the May meeting, staff will also be asking the Council to endorse the Plant Fund contribution for FY13.

Educational Broadband Service Update – Information

Chip Byers reported that since the last Council meeting MOREnet has secured letter agreements to access to 13 licenses in Missouri and installed 10 radios to demonstrate “substantial service” or educational use of the license. Total project cost was $82,530.70.

The next step is to look at RFPs for E-rate eligible wireless services, complete exclusive lease agreements with license holders to establish formal access to the licenses, work with school districts and libraries within the protected footprint to determine equipment options, and continue research and development efforts to establish an architecture and procurement contracts for various solutions. There are 343 members affected by this project and therefore many solution options could be engineered.

New Service Update – Information

Byers also reported that MOREnet has introduced or expanded 3 new services. There are now Virtual Server capabilities in Columbia and Kansas City for disaster recovery purposes. Some members, however, are starting to look at the Network Backup service for this need. Microsoft Volume Pricing has been added for libraries and K-12 that allows them to purchase at the highest discount rate. Currently there are 6 schools in the process of purchasing the service. The higher education community already has a similar program. Conroy didn’t remember seeing the Microsoft communication and asked that staff forward the information to her as she’d like to help spread the word on this new service option. The Backup Service has been expanded. Asigra software now supports backup of individual desktops and additional software can be used to backup files to a local storage system.

John Gillispie added that new services generally take a couple of years to establish themselves as some members are already in current service contracts and unable to move to MOREnet as their service provider. In aggregate, the revenue from all for-fee services currently covers all for-fee service expenses.

Digital Learning Environment Framework – Information

The framework was introduced at the fall 2011 MITC conference and was presented in both a full context diagram and in an evolutionary form that is easier to understand. MOREnet’s context diagram is built around a student-centered learning model. Staff has received feedback on technical, instruction and administrative layers to be associated with the student-centered context model. Staff continue to validate the model with MOREnet members and industry experts.

Leigh Ann Grant-Engle said that DESE is getting close to awarding a SIS RFP contract. It is not a state mandated or required contract at this point in time, but rather a contract from which school districts can purchase. She indicated that higher education is not eligible for the service at this time, but is hopeful it will be in the long-term. Rusty Monhollon indicated that higher education should standardize credit transfer so that a student can know how many credits from a two year institution will transfer to each four year institution without having to contact each institution separately. Rusty believes MOREnet is the organization that could help with accomplishing that. Byers added that institutions would need to establish those policies and that standards would need to be established before MOREnet would be able to help in this effort. At this point MOREnet’s efforts are focused on providing an integrated solution for an individual institution.

Grant-Engle offered to send Byers additional information on SIF and other national data standards.

Gig.U Update – Information

Gillispie reported that Gig.U has extended the RFI due date and that vendors are responding. On December 13 there will be a webinar for all participants to talk about an early review of those responses. Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid will speak at that national event. Following the webinar there will be a 2 hour forum to get the community up to speed. A formal read out and get together of Gig.U communities and universities to go through responses in detail and map where to go will take place in February.

Blair Levin spoke at the recent MoBroadbandNow conference and at a Chamber of Commerce event held in Columbia last week. Gary Allen added that there was also a panel discussion on ultra–high bandwidth projects that included Google and Gig.U at the MoBroadbandNow conference.

MSBA On-Line Consortium Development – Information

Angell shared that MOREnet, MSBA, eMINTS and the University of Missouri College of Education are working to form the “MSBA Online Consortium”. This consortium is to address online and distance learning needs of Missouri school districts. The team is hopeful that collaborations across the membership will encourage cost savings.

2011 Missouri Future of Learning Forum Summary – Information

Angell reported that MOREnet held its first Missouri Future of Learning Forum, concurrent with MITC in October. Thirty-four high school students, representing 18 Missouri high schools participated in the event, as well as facilitators from Prototype. As design participants for two full days, students were invited to engage and to help plan the future of learning. On day three, each of the six student teams presented its solution to all MITC attendees in the closing conference session. There were a number of sponsors that helped make the event possible and the event was well-received, some even described it as one of the best student learning experiences they have witnessed.


Member Reports – Information

K-12 Advisory Group

Chair Brock reported that the last meeting of the K-12 Advisory Group occurred during MITC in October and that there were several bylaw changes made during a charter review. Going forward, the group intends to meet during MITC in the fall and MASA in the spring. The group also formed an Advisory committee made up of technical directors. Marin-Gomez reported that the Advisory committee has created a website to be used for communications. Conroy suggested they include school media personnel.


Palmer reported that the MERC Board met on September 27th and that the Institutional Representatives (IR) met on November 9th. The Board discussed the updates on budget, services, digital learning, member retention and related issues. The topic of most concern was the FTE calculations for MERC member institutions. Palmer and Nancy Piringer, Higher Education Program Manager, are working to generate a report to determine the best way to proceed. The IR meeting included similar service offering presentations.


Conroy reported that MOSL staff met with two of the three public library MOREnet Council representatives to discuss some decisions that need to be made about the REAL program fund use. Another discussion is forthcoming. State Library staff is also working with MOREnet staff to determine REAL membership fees for FY13.

Meeting Schedule

  • March 29, 2012 – 1:00-3:00 p.m. – via TelePresence
  • June 21, 2012 – 10:00-2:00 p.m. – at MOREnet

Meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm