Information Technology Committee
August 30 - September 1, 2004
August 30, 2004


Committee chair: Dwayne Hunter, Oklahoma State University
Committee vice-chair: Fred Piazza, Louisiana State University
Committee secretary: Howard Beck, University of Florida (Absent)
1862 PLN representative: Nina Boston, University of Arkansas
1890 PLN representative: Vacant

Anne Adrian, Auburn University
Michael Bratcher, North Carolina A&T
Dan Brook, Mississippi State University
Rhonda Conlon, North Carolina State University
Jonathan Davis, Auburn University
Kevin Gamble, eExtension
Don Hamilton, University of Georgia
Larry Lippke, Texas A&M
Kappie Mumphrey, Louisiana State University
Petraq Papajorgji, University of Florida
Ken Pruitt, Clemson University
Lalit Rainey, North Carolina A&T
John Toman, University of Tennessee
Craig Wood, University of Kentucky / eExtension

The IT Program Committee was called to order at 1:00 with Nina Boston as the IT PLC representative, Dwayne Hunter as IT committee chair, and Fred Piazza as IT committee vice-chair. IT committee secretary, Howard Beck, was unable to attend this year's meeting.

Introduction and Previous Day's Update
Dwayne Hunter opened the meeting at 1:00 with a welcome, introductions, and a review of the tentative agenda. The participant list was distributed; corrections were made on this list and returned to Fred Piazza to forward to the SRDC. Nina Boston, Fred Piazza, and Dwayne Hunter gave a report to the committee of the various meetings that took place on Sunday. Web-based Conferencing Discussion
Larry Lippke directed a discussion regarding web conferencing software. Because of a lack of information, Marratech was dropped from consideration. The three remaining products were Centra Symposium, iLinc LearnLinc, and Macromedia Breeze Live. Each product was analyzed from both a client's perspective and from an administrator (conference or meeting) point of view: Larry Lippke provided information about Symposium, Dwayne Hunter provided information about LearnLinc, and Craig Wood and Ken Pruitt provided information about Breeze Live. Costs were given for each product. An online session was held with the CIO from National University to discuss their choice of iLinc and how this choice was determined.

State Reports:
Representatives from Auburn gave their state report.

The day was adjourned at 5:00.

August 31, 2004

The IT Program Committee was called to order at 8:05.

e-Extension Update:
Dan Cotton, the new Director of e-Extension, was introduced to the committee. Dan provided an overview of the activities related to e-Extension, including a definition of e-Extension for those who are unfamiliar with the project. He expressed the need that e-Extension remain customer driven/customer focused and web-based. He would be setting goals in three time-frames including 0-6 months, 6 months - 3 years, and >3 years. There is an immediate need for a prototype which would include a set of deliverables and be action oriented. He expressed the need to work collaboratively. Key players include the Associate Directors: Carla Craycraft and Craig Wood who are splitting the appointment as Content Directors; and Kevin Gamble who is the A.D. for Technology. There may be a lead contact or institutional representative who can build a group of individuals at the local level to work on the various objects. The institutions would have varying levels of participation. The e-Extension group would engage various national and regional groups, such as ACE and NETC, towards development of the project. The idea of a "community of practice" would be investigated. "Branding" would be critical to maintain a sense of institutional ownership and intellectual rights. A Dublin-Core derived meta-data element set would be the standard for metadata tagging and data exchange. Short term goals include:

  • Update and take ownership of the e-Extension website
  • Evaluate the existing market analysis
  • Define the "communities of practice"
  • Initiate content teams who develop materials identified by an RFP
  • Send an RFP for critical pieces of the infrastructure
  • Hire teams that can provide content, etc
  • Establish a business center
  • Develop a prototype CMS system for e-Extension

Dan reported that extension directors will maintain commitment to eExtension through 2007. An evaluation of the endeavor will be made at that point to determine future funding.

Web-based Conferencing Demonstration
Larry Lippke held an online conference with iLinc to demonstrate LearnLinc's capabilities. Additional discussion followed this demonstration.

State Reports
State reports were presented for North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Georgia.

CECP Discussion
Don Hamilton led a discussion regarding the need for a formal CECP module review process. Dwayne Hunter agreed to formulate this statement from the various comments made by committee members.

Nina Boston led a discussion regarding the existing taxonomy for the IT program committee. Following discussion, the taxonomy was simplified with the intentions of creating a better working model.

Nina led a discussion about the existing "Distance Learning" CECP module. Craig Wood led a discussion regarding the new "Security" CECP module.

Committee Elections
The election of new committee officers was held. Michael Bratcher was elected 1890's PLC Representative (3 year term); Rhonda Conlon was elected IT Program Committee secretary. Howard Beck will rotate into the Committee Vice-Chair position and Fred Piazza will become the IT Committee Chair.

Plan of Work and PLC Information Items
Dwayne Hunter and Nina Boston led a discussion regarding the Plan of Work items, along with any Informational or Action Items to be sent on to Administrators. Based upon the discussion, Larry Lippke agreed to initiate an informational item regarding the expected RFP that would be sent from the e-Extension leadership. Ross Love, Administrative Advisor to the IT Program Committee, met with the IT PLC. The proposed plan of work items and the informational item was shared with Ross and discussion followed. The IT committee finalized the 2005 plan of work:

  • CECP courses in Security, Web Design, and Office 2003 will be completed by 1/1/2005. Team leader - Craig Wood
  • The Web conferencing recommendation will be forwarded to ASRED by 1/1/2005. Team leader - Larry Lippke
  • PSD will be recruited to review the distance education module by 1/1/2005. Team leader - Nina Boston
  • Content exchange standards for collaboration will be reviewed and revised on an on-going basis. Team leader - Howard Beck
  • The video conference site will be updated on an on-going basis. Team leader - Larry Lippke
The IT committee sent for the following Information Item to PLC:
Title: Response to eExtension RFP
Justification: It is anticipated that eExtension will distribute RFPs this fall soliciting proposals to provide both information technology infrastructure and content supporting initial eExtension goals. It is the IT committee's plan to evaluate those RFPs for possible proposal submission, bringing to bear the experience awe have gained through years of collaborative experience and CECP. Such proposals would strive to both support eExtension as well as garner resources that support overall CECP objectives.
PCs Involved: IT, Communications, others based on subject matter
Information Needed by AEA and ASRED:
Submission of proposals for this purpose will require expeditious approval because of an anticipated short submission deadline. If the proposal is submitted in the name of the CECP Steering Committee or the IT Committee, we would appreciate receiving guidance ahead of time regarding the submission protocol we must follow. Should we use the traditional multi-state proposal procedure of having a lead institution which handles the funds, or can there be some way the funds are handled through SRDC or other Southern Region repository? Who will be required to approve this proposal?
Timeline: RFPs should "hit the street" during Fall 2004, with proposals to be submitted shortly thereafter.

Joint IT / Communications Meeting
The IT PC held a combined meeting with the Communications PC. Various issues were discussed, including e-Extension and CECP. Both committees agreed that information should be shared between the groups in an effort to gain mutual benefits.

The day was adjourned at 5:00.

September 1, 2004

The committee was called to order at 8:35.

State Reports
State reports were distributed for Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina (NC A&T), Tennessee, Texas, and Oklahoma.

PLC Update
Nina Boston and Michael Bratcher gave a report to the committee about the SR-PLC meeting. The PLC conference calls are scheduled on October 21, February 17, April 21, June 16 and July 21. PLC will also meet face-to-face in December to review the location for the next conference. The IT committee will schedule conference calls approximately one week prior to the PLC conference calls to discuss business that Nina and Michael need to take forward and to update them on progress achieved on the IT Plan of Work.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15.