Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, August 10, 2006, Boulder, Colorado

Attending: Board Members John Bucher, Jerry Campbell, Brian Hawkins, Rebecca King, Lucinda Lea, Marilyn McMillan, Jeffrey Noyes, Robyn Render, David Smallen, George Strawn, and Ellen Waite-Franzen.

Absent: John Hitt and Margaret Plympton (Margaret Plympton joined by phone at 1:30 pm.)

Also present: Staff Members Carole Barone, Peter DeBlois, Denny Farnsworth, Lisa Gesner, Cynthia Golden, Becky Granger, Richard Katz, Mark Luker, and Catherine Yang.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Robyn Render at 8:00 a.m.

Motion: That the minutes of the April 27, 2006 Board meeting be approved.
Motion made by: Ellen Waite-Franzen
Seconded by: Lucinda Lea
Passed by unanimous vote


Highlights of Senior Fellow Carole Barone's Report

  • Cynthia Golden has taken over the EDUCAUSE seat on the IMS Board. Rob Able is doing a good job as CEO of IMS.
  • The Learning Technology Leadership Institute was held at Penn State this July and was very successful. It will be held at the University of Wisconsin next year.

Highlights of Vice President Cynthia Golden's Report

  • The Enterprise Conference was very well received and will be held again next year. Please submit names of those who would be good program committee members.
  • We just concluded the second summit last Friday and the topic was business continuity. It was also very well received. This is an important topic for EDUCAUSE and one of the key themes was communication. One of the prime goals of this conference is to generate content and to share it widely.
  • The SAC Board met at Snowmass and several key topics are on the table for discussion:
    • Should the conference dates be changed?
    • Should the venue be changed?
    • Should the name of the conference be changed?
    • Should SAC continue to be an affiliate or should it be absorbed by EDUCAUSE?
    This discussion was sparked by declining attendance, confusion about the mission of the conference based on the name "Academic Computing" and the current massive construction underway in Snowmass.

Highlights of Vice President Richard Katz's Report

  • Katz keynoted the AACRAO Technology Conference.
  • The job description survey is in process, but it still needs a lot of work.
  • The Recognition Committee has created the Catalyst Award and it will go to Course Management Systems this year.
  • EDUCAUSE is in discussions with NACS, ARL, ACRL on a summit type of program on IT and disintermediation.

Highlights of Vice President Mark Luker's Report

  • The first workshop for the new Campus Cyberinfrastructure working group was just held at Snowmass and it was very successful.
  • In the Policy arena:
    • Net Neutrality is in full swing, hundreds of letters were sent to congress.
    • Interpretation of the recent court ruling on CALEA depends on several undefined terms in the law and the FCC rulings. Luker distributed a draft summary letter from the Network Policy Council to EDUCAUSE members that predicts that the vast majority of colleges and universities are exempt from CALEA requirements and need take no additional action with repect to CALEA requirements at this time. Neither the NPC nor EDUCAUSE can provide legal advice, however. The leaders of each campus must consult with their own counsel regarding their response to CALEA.
    • The subject of peer to peer file sharing is becoming very active again.

President's Report

  • Hawkins introduced the members of the Boulder management team that attended the meeting.
  • Susan Foster couldn't speak at SAC and Marilyn McMillan filled in for her and did a wonderful job.
  • Wendy Milburn resigned as Director of Financial and Member Services. Beverly Williams has assumed responsibility for Member Services. Denny Farnsworth has announced his intention to resign in April of 2008. We have a temp to assist us in the financial area and we have an offer out to an individual who will take over the financial area in early September, and who will phase into the administrative area over the next eighteen months.
  • The Blackboard and Desire2Learn lawsuit has exploded in our community. EDUCAUSE's position remains to be uninvolved and to let the suit be resolved in the courts. Hawkins proposed that we explore the breadth of the patent and potentially aligning with other groups who plan to challenge the patent. Hawkins will follow the issue and keep the Board apprised.
  • The Pentagon is monitoring student communication for terrorist activity. EDUCAUSE has been asked to request information under the Freedom of Information Act. Hawkins stated that this is a higher education issue, not an IT issue.
  • Marinello Beauty Schools obtained 13 .edu addresses. They had since transferred them to Vantage Media, which has set up a number of other entities. Vantage has threatened a lawsuit, probably between Marinello and Vantage, but EDUCAUSE may be drawn in.
  • EDUCAUSE was under strong pressure to help the GAO conduct a successful survey of file sharing in higher education. EDUCAUSE helped with the design of the survey and urged the selected participants to respond. When we learned that the survey would not be confidential, we notified our membership of this, taking no position, and just advised them to be aware of this fact. A written response to congress is required regarding our note on this issue. It may come from ACE and EDUCAUSE individually, or there may be a joint response.
  • A report has just been released from Ithaka. Ithaka is a spin-off corporation from the Mellon Foundation, and two other foundations. The goal is to create non-profit organizations when the market does not meet current needs. Ithaka asked to explore the need for an organization to support open source software. The study states that Apache and Linix have been very successful and others should follow. The primary recommendations are for a clearing house for information, and assistance with licensing.


Financial Update

In addition to the material in the Board book, Hawkins reported that we are about $800,000 ahead of budget at the end of June. EDUCAUSE membership and ECAR subscriptions are doing better that expected.

Investment Update

Farnsworth reported that the EDUCAUSE portfolio is holding its own due to portfolio diversity. In addition to the material in the Board book, we gained $30,000 in June and $39,000 in July.


Discussion of the Preliminary Program Plan, Grand Challenges as the Focus of the Program Plan, and the Budget for 2007

  • This year's program plan is different from any other due to the grand challenges. The focus is on four major challenges. They are:
    • Improving Student Success
    • Lowering Cost of Doing Business through IT
    • Sustainability
    • Improving Innovation and the Competitive Edge
  • Four themes run through these initiatives; they are:
    • Professional Development
    • A Culture of Evidence
    • Analytics
    • International/Global Dimensions
  • Luker gave an overview of everything that cyberinfrastructure encompasses in response to a question from Bucher. Cyberinfrastructure is a topic that is bubbling up from the bottom from the academic disciplines, as well as down from the NSF and other funding agencies.
  • King requested a clarification of shared services. Hawkins explained that the concept is for EDUCAUSE to broker services for a fee, from one institution to another. Special topic entities would be structured as not for profit organizations. EDUCAUSE would form these groups and would spin them off as independent organizations if they demonstrated that they could sustain themselves.
  • Nine topics were suggested for serious consideration for EDUCAUSE to pursue, and the following six were selected as the top priorities:
    • Student retention and graduation through analytics
    • Graduate student professional development
    • Shared services
    • Management, governance , and financing of campus IT services
    • Sustaining and developing the academic workforce
    • Cyberinfrastructure

Discussion of Budget Parameters and Dues Proposal for 2007

Brian reviewed the highlights of the proposed budget. Smallen raised the issue of the salary pool. There were a number of questions and comments about the size of the pool. The Board concurred with the budget proposal in its entirety, and it will be submitted for final approval at the winter Board meeting.

Ratification of the Slate

On the May 11, 2006 conference call of the Board, the Board deliberated the slate of candidates to be offered for election. This motion ratifies that decision and officially incorporates it into the minutes of EDUCAUSE.

Motion: That the slate of Tom Maier, Tracy Mitrano, Scott Siddall, and Peter Siegel be put forth as the slate to be voted on for Director positions by the membership.
Motion made by: John Bucher
Motion seconded by: Marilyn McMillan
Passed by unanimous vote.

Discussion of New Appointed Board Member

The Board wanted more time to consider their selection. They will make their decision at the meeting at the annual conference or sooner.

Discussion of "Competitors" for EDUCAUSE

Hawkins reported on mindshare

Lea reported on time

Waite-Franzen reported on dollars

Render reported on volunteerism

Katz reported on corporate dollars

  • When asked for organizations or topics that competed for time, the following were mentioned: Vendpr conferences (Sungard, Blackboard, Oracle, Sun, etc.), I2/NLR, SHEEO, Gartner, Supercomputing, CNI, Library initiatives, ARL, DLF, SIM, CIO list, Forums, EDUCAUSE itself, Campus Technology, local consortia, SIGUCCS, NITELE, CLAC, and ACUTA.
  • When asked about competition for dollars, the following were mentioned: Training, professional development, and policy representation.
  • When asked about competition for mindshare, the following were mentioned: CIO, Edutech Report, Gartner, NASULGC, CISCO, NMC, peers, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Science Magazine.
  • The Board broke into five subgroups to discuss the complexities of the five dimensions. The groups then returned to report to the full Board.
    • EDUCAUSE is positioned high in leadership and has professionalized the IT community
    • There is high trust, loyalty and confidence in EDUCAUSE, partially because of the involvement of the community in processes, as they are part of the "baking" of outcomes
    • EDUCAUSE is THE leader in policy and PD, not in innovation
    • The question now is how does EDUCAUSE become a member of the higher education community, not just the IT community?
    • EDUCAUSE is positioned as the leader with CIOs
    • EDUCAUSE is tops in professional development, but vendors are on top for training
    • Budget is a very large factor, competing for dollars is the same as competing for time.
    • Getting a presentation accepted is a demand on time
    • Competitive advantage may be gained by partnering with other groups
    • EDUCAUSE should change its position by partnering and using more technology, and by assuring that it doesn't compete against itself.
    • Institutions spend about 70% of our dollars on training and 30% on professional development. Vendors provide the training and they are our competitors.
    • EDUCAUSE is positioned as the leader in professional development
    • We should analyze the market to determine what training and professional development is needed.
    • EDUCAUSE should change its position by engaging IT staff sooner
    • EDUCAUSE should change its position by expanding capacity and eating our competitors
    • Competitors are all the local / state/ regional peer groups.
    • The EDUCAUSE position in this domain is second or third place.
    • There is more demand for volunteerism than the organization can accommodate.
    • EDUCAUSE is probably 2nd or 3rd in this category
    • There was a discussion on formal regional structure. Perhaps EDUCAUSE should go to those regional groups and solicit volunteers.
    • To change position, it is essential for EDUCAUSE to make more opportunities.
    • The threat to EDUCAUSE is the corporations themselves. They are reducing their conference support.
    • Corporations are having their own conferences and may no longer need to be a part of the EDUCAUSE conference.
    • The key message is to make our conference so good that people won't be drawn away.
    • The presentation of ALA preconference seminars was given as an example of a tool used to bring more attendees into the tent.
    • EDUCAUSE should develop new strategies to put more people in contact with each other.
  • Hawkins asked that the Board respond to two general discussion questions by e-mail.

Discussion of New Directions for EDUCAUSE

This item was deferred until a future Board meeting.

New Business

There was no new business.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

Next Board Meetings

  • Sunday, October 8, 2006
    Dallas, Texas, 1:00–5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Georgia, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 17, 2007
    Washington, D.C., 12:30–5:00 p.m.