JUNE 20, 2002


    The June 20, 2002, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council was held in the Board Room at Iowa Public Television and various ICN sites. The following members were in attendance: Floyd Davenport for Robert Barak, Board of Regents; Al Bode, ISEA; Jim Bodensteiner, Board of Regents; Merv Cronbaugh, IACCT; Paul Bowers for Kathy Decker, IAICU; Ed Gambs, SAI; Mary Gannon, IASB; Ellen Kabat Lensch for Gene Gardner, IACCT; John Hartung, IAICU; David Montgomery, DE/CIANS; Pam Pfitzenmaier, IPTV; Kay Runge, DE/Libraries; Robert Busch for Mick Starcevich, SAI; and Robert Vittengl, AEA Boards. Greg Davis, IASB; Kathryn O'Shaughnessy, ISEA; Gail Sullivan, DE; and Mary Travillian, AEA Boards, were absent.

    Due to the absence of ETC Chair Mary Travillian, the immediate Past Chair Al Bode served as the chair of the meeting.

    The following guests were also in attendance: Kathy Guilgot and Bruce Houlton, RTC 1; Marty Lundberg, Brenda Harms, George Herman, and Bruce McKee, RTC 2; Theresa Zeigler, RTC 3; Colette Scott, RTC 4; Kathy Goebel and Rick Maehl, RTC 5; Julie Thomas, RTC 6; Roger Rezabek, RTC 7; Georgia Clayton, RTC 9; John Haack and Wendell Maakestad, RTC 10; Nancy Voltmer, Tim Graham, Pat Thieben, Trista Peitzman, and Shelly Goergen, RTC 11; Eddie Dunn, RTC 12; Lois Hunt, Linda Abel, and Richard Mason, RTC 15; Chuck Chrisman, RTC 16; Mike Bacino, ICN; Vickie Myron, ETC Alternate for DE/Libraries; and Lisa Albers, Kathy Borlin, and Debbie Fiscus, IPTV.


    IIA. Final Approval of 2003 ICN Educational Video Scheduling Deadlines

    At the March 2002 ETC meeting, members tentatively approved the 2003 ICN Educational Video Scheduling Deadlines. In order to assure that all educational schedulers and RTCs had an opportunity to review the proposed deadlines, the ETC had determined that they would give final approval to the deadlines in June.

    The ETC gave final approval on the 2003 ICN Educational Video Scheduling Deadlines as submitted with the following motion:

    MOTION 1

    Pam Pfitzenmaier moved that the ETC approve the 2003 ICN Educational Video Scheduling Deadlines as submitted. Kay Runge seconded. All in favor. Motion passed unanimously.

    IIB. Recommendation from ETC to ITTC of Video Rates for July 1, 2003 through June 2004 Time Period

    Acting Chair Al Bode reminded ETC members that one of their annual duties includes a recommendation to the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission concerning ICN video rates that will take effect the following fiscal year. By its own administrative rules, the ITTC must set video rates in September for the following fiscal year. Because the ETC does not generally meet again prior to the ITTC September meeting, the ETC determines recommendations for video rates at its June meeting.

    Members were provided with a copy of the current (FY02) ICN video rates as well as rates scheduled to take effect July 1, 2002, for FY03. John Hartung pointed out that last September the ITTC increased the video rates (effective July 1, 2002) for the Regents universities and independent colleges/universities more than the rates charged to the community colleges. After a lengthy discussion, the following motion was made:

    MOTION 2

    Merv Cronbaugh moved to recommend that educational video rates be raised no more than 5% for FY04 with the current rate stipulation concerning E-rate discounts for K-12 and library video rates continued. Mary Gannon seconded. Discussion followed.

    Following a lengthy discussion concerning the budget cuts that have been experienced by schools and colleges/universities and the resulting tuition increases for higher education, Pam Pfitzenmaier moved to amend the motion. Merv Cronbaugh seconded.


    Pam Pfitzenmaier moved to amend the Motion 2 to state that the ETC recommends no rate increase in the ICN educational video rates for FY04 and further recommends an equalization of the video rates for all of higher education including the Regent institutions, independent colleges/universities, and community colleges. Paul Bowers seconded. Discussion followed.

    Ayes--14; Nays--0; Absent--4; Not Voting--0. Amendment passed.

    Prior to voting on Motion 2 in its amended form, Paul Bowers requested that a representative from the Iowa Communications Network provide insight into any proposed rate increases that might be considered by the ITTC at their upcoming July meeting. Mike Bacino of the ICN responded that the ITTC plans to discuss possible rate increases at its July 11 meeting in anticipation of final action at its September meeting. Mike shared that he has drawn up two different rate options for ITTC discussion, one reflecting an across-the-board increase of 5% and the other an across-the-board increase of 7%. He did respond that he would take into consideration the disparity in rates between the Regents universities, independent colleges/universities, and the community colleges in drawing up the options. Mike stated that he anticipates that following the July 11 ITTC meeting, the rate increase options will be posted on the ICN Web site for comment/feedback from interested parties.


    The ETC recommends the following to the ITTC: There should be no increase in the ICN educational video rates for FY04. The current rate stipulation concerning E-rate discounts for K-12 and library video rates should be continued. An equalization of the video rates for all higher education including the Regents institutions, independent colleges/universities, and community colleges should be instituted.

    Ayes--14; Nays--0; Absent--4; Not Voting--0. Amended motion passed.

    II.C. Appointment of ETC Members to Review RTC Plans

    The following ETC members volunteered to review the FY 03 RTC funding plans when they are submitted this summer: Al Bode, Merv Cronbaugh and Pam Pfitzenmaier. It was suggested that Mick Starcevich be approached to be a reviewer as well. IPTV staff will check with Mick to see if he is available.

    II.D. Election of ETC Chair (June 02-June 03) and Chair-Elect
    (June 03-June 04)

    Chair-Elect Robert Barak notified current Chair Mary Travillian that he will be unable to serve his term as Chair of the ETC for the June 2002-June 2003 time period. Bob indicated a willingness to be elected as the Chair-elect with his duties as Chair to be assumed for the June 2003-June 2004 term.

    MOTION 3

    John Hartung moved that the ETC accept Bob Barak's request to step down as ETC Chair for June 2002-June 2003. Merv Cronbaugh seconded. All in favor. Motion passed.

    John Hartung announced that he will step down as an ETC representative from IAICU for June 2002-June 2003 and stated that Paul Bowers will be the new IAICU representative. John Hartung will be an ETC alternate for Kathy Decker and Paul Bowers.

    MOTION 4

    John Hartung nominated Paul Bowers as the ETC Chair for the June 2002-June 2003 term. Mary Gannon seconded. All in favor. Motion passed.

    MOTION 5

    Paul Bowers nominated Robert Barak as ETC Chair-elect to assume Chair duties for the June 2003-June 2004 term. Mary Gannon seconded. All in favor. Motion passed.

    Mary Gannon reminded the incoming Chair Paul Bowers that a new ETC Executive Committee would need to be appointed to coincide with the current nominations and rotation schedule. It was discussed that the outgoing chair, current chair and chair-elect are automatically part of the ETC Executive Committee. The incoming Chair is to select additional Executive Committee members to create a balance of new and experienced members as well as reflecting representative membership of the ETC.

    II.E. Discussion of June 3, 2002, Special ETC Meeting

    Acting Chair Al Bode opened the discussion by reviewing the actions taken at the recent special ETC meeting. The June 3, 2002, meeting of the ETC was held via the ICN. At that meeting, 10 voting ETC members were present fulfilling the ETC by-laws for a quorum (by-laws require at least 10 members and/or alternates be present).

    One action taken at the June 3 meeting was the following motion: "Mary Gannon moved that the ETC accept RTC Funding Option #5 with 3 stipulations to the motion: 1). A sub-committee be appointed to study other options; 2). Encourage sharing of responsibilities between regions; and 3). A friendly amendment was made to change the amount funded to Des Moines Schools from $9,600 to $6,714 and to equally distribute the remaining $2,886.00 between the regions. Mick Starcevich seconded." The vote was 8-2 in favor of Option 5.

    Two additional motions were made at the June 3 special meeting. Each of those motions was passed by a 10-0 vote.

    Pam Pfitzenmaier, having voted with the majority on Motion 1 at the June 3 meeting, offered the following motion:

    MOTION 6

    Pam Pfitzenmaier moved to reconsider Motion 1 from the June 3 special meeting, as stated in the notes of the June 3, 2002, meeting. Ellen Kabat Lensch seconded.

    Following a very lengthy discussion among ETC members and feedback from RTC members in attendance, the ETC members voted on the motion to reconsider.

    Ayes--2; Nays--11; Absent--4; Not voting--1. Motion to reconsider failed.

    Pam Pfitzenmaier stated that Motion 1 (RTC Funding Option 5) will be presented to the Iowa Public Broadcasting Board who will hold a special meeting to act on the recommendation.

    Paul Bowers, as the new chair, will be forming a sub-committee to study alternative RTC funding options for the following year. Kathryn O'Shaughnessy and Merv Cronbaugh have agreed to be part of that sub-committee.

    As a point of personal privilege, Merv Cronbaugh requested that ETC members not "shoot at each other" due to funding cuts but rather focus their comments (and voting responsibilities) to the public officials, including legislators, who have created the budget cuts.

    As a point of personal privilege, Mary Gannon voiced concern that Motion 1 of the special ETC meeting was not forwarded to the IPTV Board in a timely manner. She questioned whether such action of delaying the motion was sound public policy.

    As a point of personal privilege, Pam Pfitzenmaier stated that it is often very difficult to get commitments from some ETC members as to whether they will attend ETC meetings. She reminded ETC members that they should notify an alternate if they cannot attend. Further, she asked that if ETC members know they cannot regularly attend ETC meetings, they should consider stepping aside and allowing another representative of their organization be an ETC member.

    II.F. Information--Distance Learning for K-12 Students: Initial Findings from Study by Lance Wilhelm

    Lance Wilhelm of Ankeny Schools and a doctoral candidate at Iowa State University presented the results of a recent survey of Iowa high school students concerning distance learning from their perspectives. Lance provided a handout of his preliminary findings. He will forward a more formal summary of findings once his dissertation is complete and defended.


III.A. ICN Happenings--Mike Bacino

Mike Bacino provided information concerning Adesta (formerly MFS/Kiewit). This company was the successful bidder of 67 Part III sites. Now that the leases are concluding on these sites, Adesta has notified the ICN and its 67 sites that Adesta will deed the tail circuits to the schools/state. Memos concerning this action (sample letter distributed to members) were sent to the superintendents at the schools involved. Schools affected have a choice of three options: (1) accept ownership and have the ICN provide maintenance and locate services on a cost basis; (2) accept ownership and have an independent contractor/provider provide maintenance and locate services; or (3) transfer ownership and responsibility for the fiber to the ICN. The affected sites are to complete a Declaration of Intent and return it to the ICN by June 28, 2002. Of the 67 memos sent, 27 declarations have been returned thus far, 25 of which have asked that the ICN take ownership, 1 asked for additional information, and the other (AEA 12) has accepted responsibility for the circuit.

A question was asked about the other Part III leases that are ready to expire. Mike responded that he is hopeful that at least some of the companies will follow the lead of Adesta and will deed the tail circuits to the schools/ICN.

Mike then updated the members concerning the progress of the ATM rings and provided a handout to the members.

Mike also informed members that he has been appointed as Interim Executive Director of the ICN, filling the spot vacated by the retirement of Harold "Tommy" Thompson on July 1. The ITTC has begun a nationwide search for a new director to be chosen in the fall.

For more information about the fiber leases or the ATM rings, please contact Mike at

III.B. Comments from Members and Guests

Roger Rezabek of RTC 7 asked about the status of the ICN video cancellation policy and any recommendation that the ETC might make to the ITTC concerning this existing policy. Roger reminded ETC members that the issue had been tabled and had not been resolved. Paul Bowers responded that he and Mike Bacino had met to discuss the cancellation policy. Roger asked what the time frame is for resolving the issue at the ETC level as he was concerned that this issue should be resolved before fall scheduling started in August. Paul Bowers said he would take that under advisement as the incoming Chair of the ETC and work with Roger to explore what can be done to expedite that process.


The June 20, 2002, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council adjourned at 12:45 p.m. The next meeting of the ETC is September 23, 2002, at Iowa Public Television.


Education Telecommunications Council Minutes
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