Minutes - March 2013

March 12, 2013

Members present: Judy Fredenberg, John Greer, Mark Grimes, Art Held, Tony Jablonski, Loey Knapp, Roger Maclean, Jesse Neidigh, Sandi Nelson, Erika Noble, Eric Reimer, Manu Samuela, Jennifer Sauer, Sean Schilke, Allen Szalda-Petree

Members excused:  Aaron Heiner, Trent Oliver, Mark Pershouse

Ex-officio members and staff present: Claudia Denker-Eccles, Adrian Irish, Ed Johnson, Gordy Pace

Call to order

Loey Knapp called the meeting to order at 3:33.


Sean Schilke moved that the minutes from the February, 2013 IT Senate meeting be approved. Art Held seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Loey shared several pieces of information:

  • Central IT has been working on consolidating all campus employee email into a single system. We are within about 10 accounts of completing the process. The Rural Institute and the College of Forestry have been entirely converted.
  • The Northern Tier Network connection to Miles City is now complete. There is still some work to do to make it functional, but the connection there.
  • A team is being formed to plan the technology modular units project. Tony Jablonski added that Central IT trying to figure out how much space it needs, then can plan for what can be provided for rest of campus.
  • Planning has also begun for the campus wireless expansion project. Jess  Neidigh asked how can parts of campus not included in the initial project, specifically residence halls, can become included? Loey’s response was to money. If funding is available, residence halls can be part of the larger project.
  • Finally, Loey announced that network upgrades have been completed in Natural Sciences, Rankin Hall and Fine Arts.

Unfinished business 

Amended bylaws

IT Senate bylaws had been edited to reflect amendments proposed at the February 2013 meeting. Two additional amendments were suggested:

  • Judy Fredenberg recommended amending language in Article V, Section 1c – Consent Agenda. She suggested that rather than “Any item may be removed from the consent agenda by a majority vote of members,” be changed to “Any member of the IT Senate can request that a consent agenda item be considered separately.”
  • Sean Schilke recommended amending language in Article IV, Section 1c regarding officer’s terms. He suggested changing “Officers’ terms are one year in length and begin upon adjournment of the final IT Senate meeting of an academic year,” to “Officers’ terms are one year in length and begin upon adjournment of the final IT Senate meeting of an academic year or when successors are elected.”

Both recommendations were accepted. Mark Grimes moved to accept the bylaws as amended. Jesse Neidigh seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IT architecture and infrastructure committee report 

Tony Jablonski distributed a handout prepared by he and Sean Schilke outlining a proposal for committee membership and how issues would be put on the committee agenda. Tony expressed concern that by y having vice presidents nominate members, it would make the committee large. He and Sean recommended having representatives from Faculty Senate, Staff Senates and ASUM.

John Greer pointed out that the proposed committee membership was heavy on central IT and that these issues have huge impact to distributed units. He suggested the committee need a distributed presence.

Jesse Neigigh expressed concern that Faculty Senate and Staff Senate might or might not nominate someone who understands concerns of Student Affairs constituents.

Sean Schilke explained that the thought was that Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and ASUM reps bring “regular person” representation to the committee.

Mark Grimes suggested maybe someone representing high-performance research computing should be on the committee.

Loey Knapp asked for an explanation of the charge of the committee and discussion followed about how the committee’s agenda would be set.

Allen Szalda-Petree pointed out that the Curriculum Review Committee gets an agenda for the year from Faculty Senate and the committee chair can then add to that agenda. He suggested that a similar approach could be taken with IT Senate committees with a report provided at the end of the year to help build the agenda for the following year.

Tony and Sean were asked to bring a revised proposal back to the next meeting.

Student technology assessment committee

Jesse Neidigh reported that the group working on student assessment is trying to tie survey questions back to the IT operational plan. He said the group went through the operational plan line by line and identified things related to students with the intent of asking students which things we should be doing first. He said the list has been narrowed to a dozen things we could have students help prioritize and they will try to further pare that down.

The timeline for the assessment is to complete it by the end of April

Allen Szalda-Petree cautioned that one thing that impacts participation is how long they take. Open-ended questions take longer and that will skew our sample. He suggested limiting the scope and looking at acute, short-term issues. He suggested that the survey could leave an open-ended “is there anything else you want to tell us” question on exit. Those questions typically get a 5-10 percent response rate.

Roger Maclean urged the group to focus on what students they ask. He pointed out that graduating students will have a different response than first year students.

Jesse said the group will finalize the survey and share it with the IT Senate before the next meeting so the assessment can begin in early April. 

ADA task force report

The ADA task force report was moved to the April meeting.

New business

Decision-making principles

It was decided to defer decision-making principles to the April meeting and make that a primary agenda item.

Professional development

Jesse Neidigh presented on Student Affairs IT and the services provided.

  • Support all students
  • Teach students how to solve their own problems
  • Also support staff in Student Affairs
  • Build custom applications - i.e. Bear Hugs
  • Manage specialty applications – i.e. Blackboard transact (GrizCard) 

Jesse pointed out that most of the SAIT staff is students. Those students said that students who work for SAIT throughout their college careers have jobs before they graduate.

Loey asked Manu Samuella to talk about A&F tech team at the April meeting.

Open forum

Jesse suggested talking about affiliate campus involvement in IT Senate at the next meeting. He also recommended getting the IT Senate website listed in the A-Z index.

Next meeting 

The next IT Senate meeting will be Tuesday, April 9 at 3:30 p.m. in the Gallagher Executive Board Room.

The meeting adjourned at 5 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Gordy Pace