Nov. 18, 2005
MOREnet Council Meeting Minutes
Council Member Attendees: Gary Allen, Cheryl Bielema, Annie Busch, Margaret Conroy, Don Doucette, Curt Fuchs, Jeannie Gordon, Bill Mitchell, Sara Parker, Dan Ross, Bert Schulte, and Robert Stein
Additional Attendees: Natasha Angell, David Byland, Jennifer Doll, Bill Giddings, Jeremy Kintzel, Sherry Loyd, Rebecca Miller, Barbara Reading, Deb Sutton, and Scott Willett
Public Attendees: Jim Tice
Call to Order and Announcements
Sara Parker introduced Gary Allen, Associate Vice President for Information Systems and University of Missouri-Columbia Interim Chief Information Officer and Scott Willett, Department of Health and Senior Services Chief Information Officer, to the Council.
Parker announced her need to leave the meeting around noon and said that Robert Stein would preside over last half of the meeting. Stein will be the Council chair through December 2006.
There was an addition to the agenda; Jeremy Kintzel of DHE to report findings from a survey requested at the September Council meeting on college/university surcharges.
Budget Report (Attachment 1)
MOREnet was asked at the September Council meeting to provide a comparison of the FY05 Year End Actual versus the FY06 Revised Budget. The Council accepted the budget comparison as prepared.
Services Discussion - Further Analysis (Attachment 2)
Videoconferencing: Kintzel's survey consisted of four questions asked to the chief academic officers of two-year and four-year colleges and universities. The detailed findings were shared via a handout at the meeting. Additional information shared was that approximately half of the respondents are delivering classes via MOREnet videoconferencing, that Northwest Missouri State University attaches a flat surcharge to students taking courses via MOREnet videoconferencing and that the majority of the institutions using MOREnet videoconferencing will charge non-academic and/or other users to cover costs incurred.
Stein asked if the Council wanted DHE to follow up with the institutions that did not respond to the request or if the analysis was sufficient based on the consistency in approach from most respondents. The Council responded that no further investigation was needed.
Don Doucette noted that MOREnet should be commended for the very clear data that was provided in the Council meeting packet.
When discussing the videoconferencing service data it was decided by the Council to return to that discussion after the training service data discussion occurred.
Training: Annie Busch said that she senses from the MPLD that they would be willing to pay for their training use. Curt Fuchs believes the K-12 community would too. Doucette said that he doesn't feel the urgency to change the current cost recovery model at this time. Dan Ross hasn't heard of any additional cuts for FY06 but added that it could still be possible since there are cuts already being considered for FY07. Barbara Reading said that she hadn't heard of a mass Library withdrawal from MOREnet, however, she has heard of libraries not being able to participate in other programs because of MOREnet's increased fees. Bert Schulte added that he doesn't feel a compelling reason to change anything at this time, but pointed out that it is important to be able to explain what is important if the legislature asks questions and that we should be prepared to move in one direction or another if the need arises. The Council was in agreement. There was also a discussion of the ideal timing for contingency planning; it was decided that there would be a better understanding of what needs to happen in January after the State of the State address. Ross added that requests from the administration about contingency planning usually include several percentage groupings and that MOREnet might think about contingency planning for different levels of reduction.
Research: There was no discussion of this service.
There was consensus among Council members to not take action on any of these service items at this time. They look forward to the January meeting for discussing contingency planning. At that time MOREnet will provide a profile of users and a short description about administrative, education and virtual field trips.
Council Review of Meeting with UM Vice President, Nikki Krawitz
Parker asked if the Council was satisfied with the information received from Krawitz's visit to the September Council meeting. Stein said that with MOREnet fitting fiscally within the University system the Council should work within the rules the University must adhere to. He emphasized the importance of working within established channels and reinforced the importance of ensuring that the communication system has built in mechanisms to ensure that the voice of the Council is heard. The Council must have a quick response mechanism by which to respond so an opportunity for their input is not missed. Mitchell added that Krawitz said that she would like Council responses to come through MOREnet instead of directly from the Council.
Legislative Strategy (Attachment 3)
FY07 Appropriation Request: Parker shared that the SOS decisions are still sequestered for the State Library but not expecting much, if any, increase. Mitchell shared that there is a cost to continue request of 5.3% of the core appropriation across the board for all University of Missouri operations.
MOREnet's Draft Legislative Handouts: Parker asked that the Council get their changes to Sherry Loyd or Mitchell before the end of next week. Mitchell asked that everyone share their comments and suggestions as MOREnet has been working on them very closely but may have missed something.
Parker said that SOS is trying to gather information about the extent to which electronic licenses are used or not used by the schools. This will be important information when developing legislative strategies. She said that the tendency is for the cuts to come from HB3 not HB12 so advocacy needs to help to clarify that issue. Conroy also added that electronic databases are used by all school-aged children in the public libraries. It is important to keep the electronic licenses in HB12. Busch asked if the electronic licenses can be counted from the server. That information was shared last year broken down by site. It could be recalculated by district usage.
Just prior to the lunch break Stein took the opportunity to thank Parker for her excellent leadership of the Council.
Upon returning from lunch, Stein referenced the Ross suggestion to use local information about the number of people serviced by MOREnet when working with constituents and legislators from a particular region. Mitchell said that if anyone wants to look up MOREnet members by legislative district, they can go to http://solutions.more.net/apps/orglookup/index.jsp.
MOREnet also has detailed activity and usage data for each member by legislative district. If interested, contact Joyce Herzing (email@example.com) to request a custom report.
MOREnet Executive Director Report
E-rate Update: Rebecca Miller briefly discussed the two significant E-rate appeals that are in process. The Council encouraged that MOREnet should share information about this appeal and its status with Senator Bond's office. The information about the appeals should be communicated separately to that office.
Miller said that the Anti-Deficiency Act was passed yesterday. This extends the one-year exemption for another year.
Miller also briefly described the recent FCC request for rule making modifications and MOREnet's submitted suggestions.
Miller has conducted three regional E-rate training sessions recently. The feedback from the sessions indicates that the members are pleased with the information shared at the training sessions.
Next Generation Network Project Update: Mitchell said that MOREnet is taking a multiple option approach to the project with three current options: 1) RFP for dark fiber with an up to 20 year IRU (Irrevocable Right of Use) and 2) MoDOT and the state fiber, and 3) bid for traditional managed service as MOREnet has in the past. After findings are made there will then need to be a point in which a decision must be made. He reminded the Council that the current backbone contracts expire in February 2007.
Scott Willett agreed that taking the multiple option approach is a good path for MOREnet to take. He said that the state is operating similarly by issuing an RFP for managing the MoDOT fiber. There was agreement that open communication between the state and MOREnet will be a must.
There was discussion concerning whether the final decision would be a Council decision. Stein said that the Council voice would be heard and the final decision would involve all stakeholders based upon timing and sources of funding.
MOREnet Council Business (Attachment 5)
Ross reported that the Office of Administration consolidation is moving forward. As a result, he anticipates his staff to increase from 200 to 1300.
He said that the state has altered its plans for lighting the fiber to accommodate the MOREnet need and schedule. He anticipates the fiber being lit by mid-to late April.
He understands that MOREnet is looking at all of its options for bandwidth and is supportive of that approach. His plan is to become the lowest cost, best value provider and if that works for MOREnet, great, and if not, that's okay too. He said that he would probably do the same thing.
Parker thanked him for the economic development tool on the State's webpage used in comparing different travel options. Ross also hopes to add internet content filtering (via Smart Filter). His plan is to suggest the filtering be controlled by the respective departments. He said that a large amount of bandwidth would be recovered when this process is in place.
Mitchell asked Ross about Lightcore implying that MOREnet traffic is not state business. Ross said that MOREnet is education and therefore is state business.
Stein said that he appreciates Ross saying that MOREnet should check all their options. He asked that Ross be sure to communicate with the Council regularly.
MOREnet to provide written updates (bi-weekly or monthly) to the Council.
The question was asked of Ross what procedures are happening when an IT position at a state agency becomes vacant? Ross said that a vacant position doesn't mean it needs to be filled or that it needs to be given back to the legislature. He decides on a case-by-case basis as flexibility is needed when a mandate needs to be filled.
Doucette asked if there was any news as to where MOREnet will reside. Ross said that if the mindset of the legislature is to include MOREnet in with the state, they can do that. However, Ross is not asking them to do that and has not received any message from the administration to do so. He said that MOREnet provides a different set of services than the state does.
Schulte reported that DESE is continuing discussions about virtual schools and distance education learning. He said that the providers are raising the issue and interest.
Barbara Reading said that the State Library had nothing to report.
Stein shared copies of DHE's official submission to the Governor's Office for the 10 -12 % core budget cut requested of higher education.
Approval of Minutes, September 27, 2005: Busch motion to approve. Fuchs seconded. All were in favor.
Council External Representative Appointments: Stein pointed out a mistake on the membership document in the packet. Doucette's term was extended in December 2004 for 2 years. Prior to the January 2006 meeting, expired terms will be fixed. Stein said that the general operating procedure of the Council will be that an expired member will continue to serve until new appointments are made.
Planning Calendar: Critical NGN dates will be added to the calendar.
FY06 Goals: Council goals have never been documented due to the lack of knowledge the Council had since they were a new council. Stein said that this item will be on the January 2006 agenda and that everyone should be thinking of what the Council wants to accomplish during this next year.
Other Business: None.
Meeting Schedule: Next meeting is January 31, 2006. Stein said that Loyd would be contacting the Council to schedule the Council meetings through the end of November 2006. He asked that Loyd consider other important meetings when identifying meeting dates. He encouraged the Council to attend or send a representative to each meeting. It is important to have all seats filled to maintain balance among libraries, DESE, and higher education.
Open Time for the Public to address the Council
Jim Tice said that the Annual Rural Education Symposium will be held on November 29th in the ballroom of the Governor's Office Building. This symposium is based entirely on distance learning. Virtual learning is one aspect of distance learning. The guest speaker is Julie Young, president and founder of Florida Virtual School. She will be attending virtually from Florida. Representative Jane Cunningham will be attending virtually from Washington, D.C.
After a recent videoconference where Eric Nicklas had presented the significance of MOREnet in distance learning and Busch had also spoken, Representative Cunningham shared with Tice that she had gotten a call from a college or university person saying that MOREnet's budget was cut. She hadn't been aware of the cut. After seeing the service MOREnet provides to boys and girls during the video conference, Cunningham is now a personal witness.
Doucette moved to adjourn. Busch seconded. All were in favor.
The meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.
Respectively Submitted, Sherry Loyd