Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, January 26, 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana

Attending: John Bucher, Kathleen Christoph, Perry Hanson, Brian Hawkins, John Hitt, Rebecca King, Jeffrey Noyes, Margaret Plympton, Robyn Render, David Smallen, George Strawn, and Ellen Waite-Franzen.

Absent: David Ward

Also present: Staff members Carole Barone, Denny Farnsworth, Cynthia Golden, Richard Katz, Mark Luker, and Diana Oblinger.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Perry Hanson at 1:05 p.m.

Motion: That the minutes from the October 18, 2004 Board meeting be approved.
Motion Made by: John Hitt
Seconded by: Kathy Christoph
Passed by unanimous vote


President’s Report

  • Health benefit renewal process has begun, at this time we are expecting about a 12% increase in premiums
  • David Smallen and EDUCAUSE are near the conclusion of an arrangement in which the COSTS survey will be incorporated within the Core Data Survey, beginning in 2006.

Highlights of Senior Fellow Carole Barone’s Report

  • Carole’s interview of John Hitt appeared in the latest edition of EDUCAUSE Review. The interview has generated a lot of interest.
  • Participated in a two-day facilitated planning session with IMS last week, with the focus of increasing the interoperability of learning technology and content. IMS has reached the level of maturity when they will begin to provide a practical testing tool. This will give vendors the opportunity to test their products against a list of compliance criteria.
  • The NLII transition ended when Diana began the just-concluded meeting. The meeting was dynamic and energetic and the future is full of promise under Diana’s leadership.

Highlights of Vice President Cynthia Golden’s Report

  • Mely Tynan will be Chair of EDUCAUSE 2007, and will therefore serve on the 2006 conference committee
  • Regional conferences are in full swing for the spring season and we just finished the Mid-Atlantic conference in Baltimore. A new tool was introduced at the Mid-Atlantic conference; on line speaker evaluations. Individual speakers have not been evaluated at regional conferences until this time. Speakers are also able to upload presentations immediately and on their own.
  • Registrations are ahead of last year for the upcoming SW Regional conference and others.
  • Planning is in process for a new institute on educational and instructional technology for this July. It will be announced mid-February.
  • Planning is in process for one day seminars on Teaching and Learning, Security, and other topics.  The goal is to place these seminars in campus facilities. During board discussion it was suggested that the bigger topics, such as the Management Institute, be broken down into a series of one-day seminars.
  • Marilu Goodyear will be joining this summer as an ECAR  fellow, while she is on sabbatical and will also be working with the PD staff on management and leadership development programs.
  • E-content – continuing to build content strategy and content coordination. Blogs were rolled out this week at the NLII conference. Pod-casting was used at this NLII meeting for the first time.
  • The 20-20 Group will meet in Washington in March. Cynthia distributed a list of the participants.

Highlights of Vice President Richard Katz’s Report

  • ECAR has 57 subscribers that have not renewed, but 19 have indicated that they will. Only 5 have said they will not. The renewal rate will probably be in the range of 92 to 96%.
  • The November Symposium received high satisfaction marks.
  • July 13-15 are the dates for the ECAR Summer Symposium and it will be held at Wentworth by the Sea. HP will be the sponsor. The symposium will be devoted to the topic of IT and research support.
  • The research agenda is going very well with good people on board. There is a project on IT Support for Research. Phil Goldstein is driving a project on business intelligence. Gail Sallaway is leading a project on Identity Management. Bob Kavavik is finishing a project on IT Investment and Business Process Performance. ECAR will be going out in about two weeks on a big study on networking.

Highlights of Vice President Mark Luker’s Report

  • [email protected] working groups have been very active. Identity management, which includes PKI and HEBCA, is a hot topic. There are several major areas of activity including:
    • EDUCAUSE’s HEBCA project
    • The Federal Government’s eAuthentication initiative
    • The private-sector-focused EAuthentication Partnership
    • The International Committee on ID Management
    • Internet2’s Shibboleth and the InCommon Federation
  • NSF Middleware Initiative – Two successful “CAMP” meetings were held recently and planning is underway the next one, on middleware for medical applications, to be held in Tempe, AZ immediately after the [email protected] Annual Member Meeting.
  • VoIP and CALEA – EDUCAUSE is leading a coalition to document to the FCC why higher education should be excluded from proposed new regulations that would require re-engineering our campus and academic networks to facilitate legal wiretapping.

Highlights of Vice President Diana Oblinger’s Report

  • NLII has just completed their annual meeting; attendance was the highest of any NLII meeting. Pod-casting was introduced for the first time, with students filing reports and various topics. Pod casts were subsequently put on blog sites.
  • Future directions were discussed in a strategic planning session.
  • The name of NLII will change to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative.
  • The new tag line will be “Advancing Learning with IT Innovation.”        
  • Educating the Net Generation, an experimental e-book, will be released in about two weeks. Included are chapters from experts in libraries, learning space design, student services, curriculum development, as well as from students.

Financial Update

Financial reports are found on pages 55-59 of the Agenda Book. At this time, it appears we will close the year with a surplus of $800,000, $1.4 million ahead of budget. Four areas contributed significantly, annual conference, unrealized gains on investments, ECAR, and one-time issues that received alternative funding.

Investment Update

No additions to the material in the Agenda Book.

Review of reserve fund levels and targets

EDUCAUSE maintains a financial reserve fund that is adequate to allow the association to maintain a consistently high level of services to members through difficult economic times. Reserves should also be adequate to fund an orderly shut down of the association, permitting it to meet all its legal and moral obligations, should that ever become necessary. The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) surveyed their members and found that the actual reserves maintained were approximately 56% of annual income. If one looks at 56% of our annual operating expenses for 2005, the result is a financial reserve fund target of approximately $7,180,000 (including the ECAR and EDUCAUSE operating budgets) for purposes of shut down or other emergency situations.

In addition, in October of 1999, the Board established the expectation of maintaining a $2,000,000 leadership fund in order to provide seed money and initial operating capital to fund extraordinary opportunities and investments that might arise to provide the initial capital for programs and initiatives that would afford the membership with a margin of excellence, and that could not be handled through the normal operating budget.  This fund was (and is) not intended to be an endowment, but it is “seed corn” for efforts that the Board deems of extraordinary value to the membership.  The EDUCAUSE Leadership Fund is to be used only in extraordinary circumstances, and only with full Board discussion and agreement. This fund was (and is) not intended to be an endowment, but it is “seed corn” for efforts that the Board deems of extraordinary value to the membership.  It should be viewed as non-renewable, one-time seed money.

The combination of these two targets for 2005 is $9,180,000 compared with $9,018,000 million last year.  It is expected that the EDUCAUSE financial reserves at the end of 2004 will be approximately $10,550,000, or approximately $1.4 million in excess of our target.  This excess is due to the larger than expected annual conference in 2004, and an exceptional year for the association, resulting in approximately an $800,000 operating surplus, that is included in the calculation of this reserve fund level.

The Board of Directors recognizes that allowing reserves to grow beyond a needed level is not in the best interest of the membership, and that excess beyond these targets should be reinvested in programs and services for the membership. To deal with the current situation, the Board approved in the August 2004 meeting that for FY 2006 a percentage of the reserves could be drawn down to provide for operating income for EDUCAUSE, and that this draw (defined as between 5 and 7% of the reserves) should be reviewed and approved as part of the overall process of budget submission and Program Plan approval in the August and October meetings each year.  It should be noted that the current policy of the Board is to automatically include fixed income growth (interest), as revenue in the operating budget.  It also should be noted that pursuant to the motion of the October 25, 1999 meeting of the EDUCAUSE Board, these targets and actuals should be reviewed annually by the Board.

Motion: That the Board affirm that the current combined targets of $9.2 million for reserve levels in the EDUCAUSE Financial Reserves and the EDUCAUSE Leadership Fund are appropriate, and that this motion reflects the annual review of these reserve levels called for in a motion made at the October 25, 1999 Board meeting.
Motion made by: Ellen Waite-Franzen
Seconded by: John Hitt
Passed by unanimous vote.

Motion: That $750,000 of the current excess of reserves be made available to management during 2005 to handle any shortfalls of projected revenue, to further invest in the membership, and to invest in the services and programs in support of the membership. In the event that these funds are not needed to cover a shortfall, that they be available for special one-time projects (such as enhanced programs in business continuity and security), and the balance be left untouched in order to support initiatives approved in future years. In anticipation of including a stream of ongoing operating funds coming from the reserves, that management be permitted to make ongoing, base budget commitments to further meet the needs of the membership, as discussed in our May and August meetings of 2004.
Motion made by: John Hitt
Seconded by: Ellen Waite-Franzen
Passed by unanimous vote

Discussion of EDUCAUSE role & direction with ISACs (Tab #4)

Mark’s report on computer and network security begins on page 89 of the Agenda Book. The EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Task Force is now about 5 years old. The physical attacks of 9/11 attack raised the stakes dramatically. EDUCAUSE joined the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace in order to represent the interests of higher education. The National Strategy encourages colleges and universities to secure their cyber systems by establishing some or all of the following as appropriate:

  • One or more ISACs to deal with cyber attacks and vulnerabilities
  • An on-call point-of-contact to Internet service providers and law enforcement officials
  • Model guidelines empowering CIOs to address cybersecurity
  • One or more sets of best practices for IT security
  • Model user awareness programs and materials

Since 2003, EDUCAUSE has represented the higher education community in many coalitions and representative bodies:

  • National Infrastructure Protection Center
  • InfraGard
  • National Centers of Excellence in Information Assurance
  • National Committee on Education for Cybersecurity
  • Center for Information Security
  • Cybersecurity Forum for Higher Education
  • US-Computer Emergency Readiness Team
  • National Cybersecurity Partnership
  • Congressman Adam Putnam’s Corporate Information Security Working Group
  • Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security

The EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force has been remarkably effective in organizing community strategies and tools for tackling the problem of information security in higher education. We now have:

  • Active working groups in the areas of awareness and training, effective practices, risk assessment, policies and legal issues, and emerging technologies
  • An annual conference for security practitioners in higher education
  • A Framework for Action pledging increased executive support for cybersecurity
  • The bookComputer and Network Security in Higher Education
  • The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research
  • An e-mail Security discussion list
  • A cybersecurity blog on the EDUCAUSE Web site
  • A partnership between EDUCAUSE and the Center for Internet Security
  • The Information Security Governance Self Assessment tool for Higher Education
  • Publication ofPrinciples to Guide Efforts to Improve Computer and Network Higher Education
  • A CD that contains Cybersecurity Awareness Resources for the Higher Education Community
  • A large number of presentations and articles by Task Force members and staff

Areas of need were emphasized by community stakeholders and experts in a series of workshops hosted by EDUCAUSE. Detailed recommendations were made in the following areas:

  • Education and Awareness
  • Security Standards, Policies, and Procedures
  • Security Architecture and Tools
  • Organization, Information Sharing, and Incident Response

IndianaUniversity created the Research and Education ISAC (REN-ISAC) early in this process under its own initiative based on its unique position of network operations center for Abilene and its access to other research networks. It is currently providing a suite of services to number of institutions and has plans to expand its product line. IU has asked EDUCAUSE to participate in the funding of the REN-ISAC on behalf of higher education.

EDUCAUSE, in its role of sector coordinator for higher education, needs to help the higher education community to decide the best way to fill its needs for information sharing and analysis. There are numerous options, since the federal government has backed away from its simple requirement that each sector have its own ISAC, and DHS itself plans to operate a federally-funded warning network that could be used to meet some of these needs. The matter is made more complex by the extreme diversity of the networking configurations and requirements of the colleges and universities across our sector.

It is proposed that EDUCAUSE work with the Security Task Force (including representatives of the REN-ISAC) to investigate all of our options and priorities for cyber security before designating the requested funds.

Update on administrative computing issues

Cynthia reported that our CUMREC affiliation is coming to an end. Brian sent a letter to CUMREC on December 2 notifying them that our affiliation would end after the 2005 CUMREC conference. CUMREC has determined that they will cease to exist after their conference. The CUMREC Board will remain in existence for approximately one year after the conference. One of their tasks will be to determine what to do with the remaining funds. One suggestion is to provide scholarships.

The AGAISS group has agreed to take on the challenge of determining how to continue PD opportunities for administrative computing professionals in the absence of CUMREC.  EDUCAUSE is working with CUMREC on a communication plan that will announce the end of CUMREC and provide people with information on other avenues for professional development. 

Richard Katz will present a keynote address at the CUMREC conference as will Maynard Webb from E-Bay and Thornton May.  This will be the 50th anniversary and last conference for CUMREC.

Update on Open Source directions

Richard distributed an Open Source handout. There are many OS initiatives such as Chandler, Sakai, OPSI, and others.  An invitational meeting, an open source summit was held in Westminster in June.  As a result of the meeting, several ideas for EDUCAUSE participation were developed. It was decided that EDUCAUSE needs to provide factual information and remain neutral. The three-page handout contains the initiatives that have been developed. February 2005 was designated Open Source Month on EDUCAUSE Live!

Professional Development has focused heavily on Open Source. We had fifteen sessions on Open Source at the 2004 Annual Conference, the CIO Constituent Group had an Open Source discussion, and we have published fine articles on Open Source in EDUCAUSE Review.

Ongoing initiatives include EDUCAUSE Live!, showcasing Open Source on the EDUCAUSE Web Site, and to become for the United States what the UK Open Source Watch has become.

Conference call re: Board Slate – Set for 4:00p.m. (EDT), Wednesday, June 8

New Business

There was no new business.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

Next Board Meeting

Thursday, April 7, 2005 from 12:30 – 5:00 in Washington, DC at our offices at 1150 18th St.