Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, August 2, 2002, Boulder, Colorado

Attending:Board members Kathy Christoph, Perry Hanson, Joel Hartman, Brian Hawkins, Joanne Hugi, Greg Jackson, Joel Meyerson, Susan Perry, Steve Relyea, Martin Ringle, and Amelia Tynan.

Also Present:Staff members Carole Barone, Peter DeBlois, Cynthia Golden, Nancy Hays, Richard Katz, Mark Luker, Karen McBride, Randy Richter, Julia Rudy, and Vicki Suter.

The EDUCAUSE Board of Directors meeting was called to order by Chair Martin Ringle at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, August 2, 2002.

Motion:That the minutes from the April 18, 2002 Board meeting be approved.

Motion made by:Susan Perry
Seconded by:Perry Hanson

Passed by unanimous vote

I: Reports

Highlights of Vice President Carole Barone's Program Report

  • NLII is currently reviewing applicants for fellowships and expects to select them in the next six weeks
  • Carole attended the most recent IMS board meeting. IMS is regularly issuing specifications and CEO Ed Walker has formed excellent alliances with other relevant standards organizations. There will be some structural changes over the next year and a conformance agency within the next couple of months. The international aspects of IMS are impressive.

Vicki Suter, Director of NLII Projects, presented a brief description of NLII's Transformative Assessment Project, a joint effort with NLII, the TLT Group, and CNI.

  • The purpose of the project is to create a learning environment to weave together face-to-face experience with an online workshop, with participants learning from each other and advancing the body of knowledge at the same time.
  • The online work was to ensure that a campus project could be carried out to improve student learning. What was learned was that IT has to be integrated into the project for it to be effective. A paper sharing the experience will be presented at EDUCAUSE 2002.
  • Meanwhile, there is an ongoing community of practice, developing rubrics for evaluation. Mostly large public universities are participating but liberal arts colleges are also represented.

Highlights of Executive Director Cynthia Golden's Program Report

  • The annual conference current issues roundtables were built from the list of issues submitted by the Current Issues Committee. This is a good example of increasing links among committees.
  • Hilary Baker will chair EDUCAUSE 2004 in Denver.
  • Several regional and affiliate meetings have taken place since the last board meeting. CUMREC attendance was down 37% this year, mostly because of travel bans from states that affected state university personnel. A keynote speaker cancelled at the last minute, butand thanks to Mark Olson of NACUBO there was a keynote address delivered and well received. The Southeast Regional was ahead of last year in registration and
  • The Leadership, Management and Frye Institutes were all enrolled at capacity and very successful. Two groups of people who were at attendees of the Frye Institute wrote articles about their experience to be published in two different journals.
  • EDUCAUSE has been working with the Council of Independent Colleges on a cooperative effort to promote the regional conferences tofor small colleges and provide a venue for networking and interaction. Three, which resulted in three small events that will be evaluated soon.were held this year and will be evaluated this summer.
  • SEVIS has become an important issue for our members, with an January 2003 deadline coming quickly. There will be articles in EDUCAUSE Review and EDUCAUSE Quarterly, a Web site has been developed, and there will be a track session in Atlanta on this topic.

Highlights of Vice President Mark Luker's Program Report

  • The Broadband Pricing working group is considering doing a study of more affordable ways of providing access using leased or purchased fiber.
  • The PKI working group has been involved in the development of the higher education bridge certification authority (HEBCA). Since the last meeting, the Department of Education is also expressing great interest. This would be very significant for higher education as financial aid transactions affect every institution.
  • The State of Illinois will issue certificates to everyone in the state, possibly to others; will cross-certify these with the federal bridge; and will participate in EDUCAUSE meetings on how to demonstrate the value of the state bridge connected to the federal bridge connected to the higher education bridge
  • StateNets, the organization of state academic networks is planning to become an official working group of [email protected]
  • The EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force is also meeting at SAC. We have turned in the draft of our response to the national strategy for securing cyberspace. The report is on our Web site. Four NSF-sponsored workshops will help put meat on the bones of the final report; the first -- a meeting of technical security experts outlining where we are in that arena -- will be in Chicago.
  • We completed the agreement with Cornell for the Institute for Computer Policy and Law (ICPL). The annual CPL conference operated under a dual banner this year. Randy Richter and IS staff have developed an information interface for this joint endeavor.
  • The .edu registry has been operating smoothly. EDUCAUSE has been operating an online discussion of whether nationally accredited schools should have .edu domain names as well. The .edu policy board will make a recommendation to the Department of Commerce after the discussion period if a change in policy is recommended.

Highlights of Vice President Richard Katz's Program Report

  • ECAR is hitting its stride; two weeks ago the program passed a milestone, having achieved 103 subscribers (when the goal was 100). There has been a substantial increase in subscriptions based on word of mouth.
  • The first two major studies have just been completed, one on outsourcing and one on wireless. These will be released on August 19, 2002 along with nine case studies. In its first eight months, ECAR has produced 15 research bulletins, 2 research studies, and 9 case studies. These materials have covered a great portion of the research agenda reviewed with the Board of Directors in January. A summary document mapping research products to the research agenda was distributed.
  • ECAR held a symposium last month that attracted 45 people to Jackson, Wyoming (we extended the invitation to subscribers). Forty were CIOs, and there were a few presidents. We received 30 evaluations. Overall satisfaction with the event was rated 4.85 on a 5 point scale (5 = extreme satisfaction).
  • This preliminary meeting in Jackson has provided the setup for the San Diego Symposium, where some very high-powered speakers will be available to the small numbers (100-150) who will attend.
  • The ECAR team will meet at SAC for 6-8 hours to take an introspective look at the research agenda and evaluate how well the program has done, what the important insights learned are, and how this will drive the research agenda for 2003.
  • ECAR have some exciting research in the pipeline, most notably contracting with a faculty and administrative group at the University of Wisconsin System, doing a study of 900 faculty to understand how course management systems are used. ECAR is undertaking a study of enterprise systems in higher education. ECAR is also working with IDC for a study on IT support for faculty and with Eduventures on a study of models to support off campus instruction.
  • Essentially it appears that the ECAR proof of concept has been a success; many members have affirmed the value of the content we are delivering.

The Board expressed its pleasure with the initial success that ECAR has had.

II: Business Meeting

1.Financial update

Wendy Milburn, Director of Financial and Member Services, reported that:

  • For the first six months of financial operations we are doing $238,000 better than budgeted, including $200,000 of unrealized losses in our investments. Even though the conference registration numbers are a little down, the team has done well keeping within budget.
  • We also are still doing better than budgeted for conferences in spite of lower numbers.

2.Investment update

Denny Farnsworth, Director of Administrative Services, reported that:

  • As of July 31, our loss was $303,000 in the market.
  • $5 million of our FISN investments of $6.7 million is in fixed income securities, for which we are getting a predictable and secure rate of return. Because of the state of the market right now, we are letting this investment rise above what our guidelines suggest.
  • Our losses are for the most part in the $2 million invested in equities. The Washington Mutual Fund has performed fairly well and until recently was able to offset losses of the other two investment funds, but the month of July overwhelmed everything, so WMF lost as well. It's going to be a tough market for the foreseeable future. However, inflation is low, labor is available, home values remain high, and the U.S. has had three quarters of growth in domestic product, all of which are positive market indicators. Our investment advisors agree with Greenspan's statement about the effects of the market wearing off and a pattern of growth resuming.

3.Director Reports

Peter DeBlois, Director of Communication Services, shared a new "look and feel" developed to unify the publications and communications visuals of the association. This new graphic approach will allow an identity that will permeate all materials, while still allowing individual program branding. Consistency and unique looks will both be possible. There will be much less discursive text in print materials, driving readers to the Web site for more detail, and e-mail marketing messages will also have less text and more links to the Web site for detail. ECAR, NLII and [email protected] will preserve unique identities. Next on the public relations and communications agenda is a focus on the value proposition of EDUCAUSE membership.

Randy Richter, Director, Information Services & Internet Strategies, explained the function of the Information Services department, emphasizing how much conference technology has become a major set of activities and how much activity is geared toward the .edu domain. The past few months have seen many security attacks on our network so we have installed a multiple-firewall solution - we have dual fire walls here and one in DC. We have also increased password security and have a server dedicated to intrusion detection.

It was suggested that we engage a few member security officers to do an audit to test our security model.

4.President's Report / Review of budget parameters and highlights

Last year the board committed to spend what would be necessary to support the major EDUCAUSE initiatives, in spite of the downturn in the economy, in order to support the membership in the programs they need as well as new initiatives. We continue to operate within this commitment and continue to deliver promised programs accordingly.

This Year's Budget

  • Regional conferences have been ahead of projections, drawing solid attendance from the areas in which the conferences are being held. CUMREC ran at 63%, SAC is running at 83%, and we are running at 76% of the annual conference registrations at the same number of weeks out last year. Travel bans are the real problem. People simply cannot travel out-of-state for meetings, so we need to be prepared for a smaller annual conference.
  • EDUCAUSE uses the number of weeks out to the conference as a measure against previous years, but past registration patterns aren't good predictors any more - people are making decisions at the last minute. Also, the annual conference is earlier than usual and we started promoting later than usual. If the current pattern holds, that would give us around 3,000 paid registrations, 4,300 total. The good news is that vendors haven't registered yet and the current registrations are predominantly institutional.
  • We are trying to control conference costs but are finding convention center costs are outrageous, especially with regard to network connectivity. We must pay far more than in the past and are receiving less service than we could provide ourselves.
  • The greatest challenge we face is that the annual conference comes at the end of the year, and as the conference goes, so goes the fiscal year. Thus it is hard to predict at this time how we will finish up. But we are saying that, realistically, the conference could lose in the vicinity of $400,000 to $500,000. Some hotels may not meet assigned block numbers so the exposure there is another $50,000 to $75,000.
  • Given this scenario for the annual conference, if we look at the current EDUCAUSE budget, we would have a net $200,000 operational loss plus whatever loss would occur from the market.
  • The good news is that membership is doing very well, actually holding steady and even increasing slightly.

Next Year

  • Total reserves at end of 2001 was $9,258,000. These funds consist of three segments:
  1. a "rainy day" fund (funds set aside in the event that the association goes out of business)
  2. funds ($2 million) set aside to do leadership initiatives (not operational monies)
  3. funds for strategic initiatives (primarily from unearmarked corporate contributions and positive year-end cash balances from previous years.
  • We had very successful years from 1998 to 2000, resulting in a $1.5 million surplus. Our worst-case scenario is that the strategic initiatives fund would be depleted but the others would be untouched by the end of 2003, if our budget projections prove to be correct. This would mean that we could make it through the first two years of the poor economy without having touched the other two reserves.
  • A real strength of the organization at this time is our staff situation. We are fortunate to have stability at the management level and small turnover at the non-management level.

The board applauded the fiscally sound state of EDUCAUSE and the soundness of the budget plan.

5.Review of 2003 Program Plan/Proposed New Initiatives

1.System Security Initiatives and Communication

The EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force is well positioned to work with government and other institutions, but we still need to do more. We have hired a half-time person to add horsepower to the initiative (Rodney Petersen), have garnered an NSF grant to support workshops, and are looking to hire one more half-time staff person. This initiative is a work in progress.

2.Continuation of HEBCA Experiments

EDUCAUSE won the Best of the Best Award from E-Gov 2002 for this initiative. These experiments are partly funded by federal government (NIH is contributing more than EDUCAUSE). This is the year it will move from a pure tech demonstration to the next steps of rolling out to the larger community and developing business and operations plans. We are looking to hire a half-time person to support this project. HEPKI and HEBCA are the primary sources of the volunteer support. There may be an opportunity to get more government funding.

3.Completion of Regional Program Conference Plan

Regional conferences have done better than expected in terms of numbers, and the satisfaction rate is also high. We need to continue this regional strategy, so in 2003 we will inaugurate the first mid-western conference, chaired by Norma Holland. We will then plan the western conference in the next year.

4.Online Professional Development Experiments

The Professional Development Committee spent time talking about online professional development and asked that more be done in this arena. We will get a jump on that as we will be Webcasting some presentations at the annual conference (featured speakers plus plenary sessions except one), which will also help members from states with travel bans. We will also spend time looking at the potential of developing Web-based seminars and will expand virtual community tools that we've used as pilots in the past year.

The board felt strongly that EDUCAUSE needs to move aggressively in the direction of "technical talk" types of online activities. This is something EDUCAUSE can do well and we are an appropriate community to manage this type of activity. It was also suggested that we need to think about ways to help schools participate that aren't able currently to do so.

5.Presidential Awareness Programs

We will spend time pursuing ways to reach presidents working with ACE, which is seeking outside funding to support this type of effort. After the last board meeting, we had conversations with the Mellon Foundation about doing short technology briefings for presidents, specifically from the Mellon NITLE schools. It was suggested that we look at what the Annapolis Group is doing, which is similar.

6.Web Enhancements

A cross-section of staff is working as a team on restructuring the EDUCAUSE Web site. The team has identified seven areas: community, personalization, content management system, navigation, search, e-commerce, and the consolidation of authentication/role-based access. At this point we have created a wire frame and successfully implemented Microsoft's SharePoint software for some community activities.

While there was no formal motion, it was the uniform sentiment of the board to endorse the program plan and its six new initiatives.

6.Overview of evaluations and assessments

President Hawkins presented an overview of various evaluations and assessments conducted during the past year.

  • The member survey overall shows that member satisfaction is still high.
  • There are no significant differences in age, gender, and title at the annual national or regional conferences. The regionals are attracting less senior IT people but that has not translated into age differences; that is, we are seeing more a role shift than an age or gender difference in the types of people who attend regionals.
  • EDUCAUSE Quarterly and EDUCAUSE Review are well received, and the books we have published are well received by those who know about them.
  • The Frye Institute was very well received.
  • The annual employee survey shows high satisfaction among EDUCAUSE staff.

7.Announcement

Kathy Christoph announced that there will be a Diane Balestri Memorial Scholarship Fund for SAC.

8.Ratification of the slate of board candidates

In a conference call on May 28, 2002, the board deliberated a slate of candidates to be offered for election in the fall. The motion below ratifies the decision made by the board in that call to officially incorporate it into the minutes of EDUCAUSE.

Motion:That the slate of Paul Gandel, Jeff Noyes, Robyn Render, and Scott Siddall be put forth as the slate to be voted on for Board of Director positions by the membership.

Motion made by:Mely Tynan
Seconded by:Kathy Christoph

Passed by unanimous vote

9.Discussion of candidates for the appointed board position that will be open with the expiration of Joel Meyerson's term on December 31, 2002

These positions are earmarked to ensure that needed perspectives are represented on the EDUCAUSE board, e.g., librarians, presidents, association representatives, business officers. The fourth position is to nominate someone unique who can bring a special perspective, especially wisdom. The Board evaluated a number of possible candidates and provided instruction to Brian Hawkins about the candidate they preferred. He will report back at or before the next meeting.

Chairman Ringle thanked Joel Meyerson for his service on the board, as he will be unable to attend the meeting in Atlanta.

10.Update on .edu efforts

The policy process is under way, with the current policy question in the comment stages. This is with regard to whether nationally accredited organizations may have .edu domain names (currently only regionally accredited institutions are eligible). There will be an .edu board meeting in November about this. In the meantime, we have to do an RFP for a registry to be appointed by next August. One project is to get this RFP out as soon as possible (by November), a second is to prepare for new .edu members, and a third is investigating and preparing for the possibility of charging for .edu domain names. We need to develop a business plan and to do research on this. Before we do that, we need to do some records cleanup.

There was discussion regarding whether we are we going to allow duplication issues and other controversial issues to be addressed and resolved in the "cleanup" stage. The answer is that the cleanup that is going to be undertaken is strictly related to inaccuracies; it will not deal with policy-related questions, as there are a number of such issues already in the queue that will be addressed at a more appropriate time.

11.Update on IT Funding Working Group progress

Julie Rudy, Director of Product Development, reported that the IT Funding Working Group project was launched in June.

  • Fifty members are participating, most of whom are actively discussing from week to week. Online group discussion will end just before EDUCAUSE 2002.
  • The overall group has been divided into four discussion groups, each with a moderator and a focus on a particular aspect of funding:
  1. COSTS - Karen Leach, Hamilton College
  2. PLANNING - Laurie Antolovic, Indiana University
  3. CHARGING - Allan MacDougall, South Orange County CC District
  4. PRACTICE - David Todd, U of San Diego, and Ardoth Hassler, Georgetown
  • We developed a Web site to serve as a home to the working group, where they have posted personal profiles and where members of the group have password-protected access to archived discussion for all of the lists as well as contact and group membership information for each of the lists.
  • The full working group will meet at EDUCAUSE 2002 to summarize key points from their discussion as well as analyze their experience in participating in the project. We will then work with moderators to pull together the key points of discussion to serve as potential content for one or more publications as well as a "gateway" Web resource page on the topic of IT Funding.

12.Update on EDUCAUSE Core Data Survey

Randy Richter and Julie Rudy reported on the progress of the Core Data Survey and Service project.

  • Having received and incorporated comments and suggestions from the Research Task Force about the draft survey text we shared in the spring, the IS staff developed a Web-based prototype of the survey which the task force tested at the end of June. Randy displayed the actual Web-based survey instrument that the task force has pre-tested and explained the design and how the instrument will work
  • IS staff have just finished resolving all technical difficulties discovered in the pre-test phase and we are preparing to move into the next phase, i.e., the task force will be invited to review the final draft of the survey and to name a colleague from a peer institution who will be willing to pre-test the survey instrument.
  • The colleague testing phase will engage members from institutions of different sizes and Carnegie classes, to ensure that the survey doesn't have any particular bias.
  • After we have incorporated feedback from the peer pre-test, we will engage selected members in an actual pilot of the survey, capturing real data that can then be used to develop the Web-based database service.
  • We will begin to work on the public relations/communications aspect of the survey and new service by late summer, with the plan still to disseminate the survey to all primary representatives by late fall or early winter.

13.Adjournment

Gregory Jackson moved and Joel Hartman seconded a motion to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 pm.

The next Board Meeting will be held Monday, September 30, 2002 in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. This working session will be followed by the annual Board Recognition Dinner. The winter meeting of the Board will be held on January 29 in New Orleans, Louisiana, from 8:00 until 5:00. There will be a dinner for all members who can conveniently attend on the evening of January 28th, and a dinner for those who do not fly out the evening of the 29th. The spring meeting will be held the afternoon and evening of May 1, 2003, immediately following Networking2003.