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Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary*

Committee Graphic

March 21, 2006


The minutes of  the February 21, 2006 meeting were approved as distributed.

IR Steering Committee 

The Chair announced that there has not been an IR Steering Committee meeting since the last IRC meeting.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team** 

Philip Baczewski reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that the committee met on March 3 at which time Craig Terrell of CITC Network Computing Services, reported that the CITC  has purchased 6 months of Microsoft Premier Support to cover Microsoft Windows Servers deployed on campus. Craig will be the primary contact for such support and will escalate calls to Microsoft if problems cannot be resolved by on-campus staff.  Service from Microsoft under this contract include Infrastructure Support Assistance, 24 x 7 Problem Resolution Support, Information Services, and Support Account Management. A limited number of support hours are available.  Windows 2000 Server and above, along with associated software,  will be supported. Windows NT 4 servers are no longer supported by Microsoft.  Microsoft has offered to help system administrators migrate from NT4 servers to Windows 2000 or above, if UNT assistance is requested. Anyone interested in such service should contact Craig Terrell.

Dell representative, Bill Neiderstadt, was on hand to provide an update on Dell printer service issues and to provide an update on Dell printer offerings.  As a result of these discussions, Bill agreed to arrange for a Dell Premier purchasing site for UNT so that we can get Dell's best pricing on printers and printing supplies. 

DCSMT did not meet on March 17, since that date was during Spring Break.  The next meeting is scheduled for April 7.

Enhanced Learning Planning Group 

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Enhanced Learning Planning Group that this committee has not met, but that he has met with the Distributed Learning Steering Committee and updated the IRC on several items:

1)  iTunes sales representative met with Patrick regarding a roll out of this technology to 100 universities (two or three of which are in Texas). UNT will apply to be included in that group by sending in a questionnaire, after which the company may extend an invitation to UNT. As part of the program, they would like for UNT to have at least 5 or 6 courses that would have a robust use for iTunes university. iTunes will host academic materials for us at no cost for the use of their distribution system through the iTunes music store. Some customization of the product will be allowed. Patrick will discuss support issues with Philip Baczewski. 
2)  A demonstration was conducted for Intelligent Essay Assessor, a product that is supposed to take student assignments and grade them for the professor. To prepare for this, however, a faculty member would have to provide 300 papers that had already been scored by them, to create a standard for grading. Due to this heavy workload on the front end, this product may be more useful as a writing tool rather than a grading tool. It is rather expensive, at a cost of $.80 per paper; therefore, the group is probably not going to explore it at this time.
3)  They have looked at another product called Grade Mark, by the same company that provides us with Turn It In;  a 2-month pilot project is being considered with the English Dept. The company is also interested in peer review, so Patrick plans to ask Turn It In if they will provide us a similar pilot project UNT department; peer review would exist within WebCT Vista for students to go in and grade each other’s papers. 

EIS Planning Group 

Joneel Harris reported for the EIS Planning Group that there have been problems with logging into various systems over the last couple of days. Maurice Leatherbury explained that there was a problem with the LDAP server but that it is believed that the problem has been fixed by now.

Joneel reported that the EIS Planning Group is dealing with upgrade issues. About 15 staff  from UNT plus around 10 from HSC attended the Alliance Conference over Spring Break, where they  looked at upgrade options. Since Oracle has established a migration path from the current version to their new product, called Fusion (a combination of PeopleSoft and Oracle), the committee is discussing what would be the best upgrade plan for UNT. Although the implementation of the upgrade will be a large project, it will not be like the initial installation and implementation. Joneel will keep the IRC posted regarding the committee’s decisions and plans.

Joneel also reported that they have initiated a purchase order to bring in a group to do a CRM workshop in April. The software modules, which are designed for student prospect management, already belong to us, but this workshop will help the EIS project group get started using the software.

Uwe Rossbach asked Joneel if the student advising tracking software was part of CRM. Joneel replied that it is not, but said she would look into the use of Notes in the student advising module.

Standards and Policy Planning Group 

Tim Christian reported for the Standards and Policy Planning Group that he had brought the final draft of the revised Computing and Information Technology Center General Computing Policy for approval, and distributed the final revision. Uwe Rossbach moved for approval of the revised policy; Jon Nelson seconded the motion and the policy was approved unanimously.

Tim reported that his committee is also working on a revision of the Web Publishing Policy. He hopes to have a draft of that document ready for a first reading by the IRC at the end of the spring semester. Tim expressed his appreciation of the General Access Labs for adapting their business processes to accommodate photo-less ID cards.

Joneel Harris stated that Educational Testing Services is revamping the way they deliver GRE testing and are assuming that universities can use General Access Labs for that testing. It is not considered practical to use General Access Labs for that purpose; therefore the establishment of a new 100-seat lab is being considered for that purpose, as well as for an on-campus testing facility for distance learning students.

Student Computing Planning Group 

Philip Baczewski reported for Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner that there has been no meeting of the Student Computing Planning Group since the last IRC meeting, so there is no report.


The Chair reported that the recent LDAP server problems put WebCT campus edition out of business.  He also reported that the WebCT Vista communication protocol has been activated, and that the migration continues from campus edition to Vista in an effort to have all courses migrated into Vista before the end of Spring semester.


Regarding QEP, the Chair announced that on April 4th and 5th a review team will be on campus to meet with many of the people involved in the project.


Maurice Leatherbury announced that on April 7th, CITC will begin its move to the Research Park.  He also reported that he attended the LEARN Board meeting in Austin yesterday and stated that he has been re-elected as Secretary of that organization.  Maurice announced that the build-out of the first link in the state-wide fiber optic network has begun and should be completed by the end of this summer.  He added that the North Texas Gigapop group is well represented on the LEARN Board now, with 3 of the executives being from the North Texas Gigapop group, and CR Chevli of the CITC staff is Chair of the Technical Advisory Group. 


Joneel Harris announced that Oracle wants to get into the learning management arena, but she believes they will not build their own product, but will buy one.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:45 pm.

April 18, 2006


The minutes of the March 21, 2006 meeting were approved as distributed.

The Chair introduced Sara Wilson McKay, the new representative from the School of Visual Arts.

IR Steering Committee

The Chair announced that there has not been an IR Steering Committee meeting since the last IRC meeting.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team** 

Philip Baczewski reported for DCSMT that they met on April 7.  Bahram Paiani, of CITC Network Computing Services, described planned changes to the top-level mail routers in order to move their server farm to the new F5 load balancer.  He promised to keep the NetMan mailing list up to date on the status of any changes in this regard.

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, of CITC Academic Computing Services, reported  on changes on SkillPort courseware, information that was also published in this month's Benchmarks.  She reminded that the CBT web site can be reached at

Ed Lydon, sales manager, and Stan Kaminski, sales engineer, with Okidata Americas, Inc. gave a presentation on Okidata color printers.  One feature of the Okidata color printers is the use of LED instead of laser technology making it possible to provide a 5 year warranty on the printer head.  The Okidata Color printers are also capable of printing banners up to 12 inches wide by 48 inches long.  If anyone is interested in additional information, they can contact the DCSMT Chair.

The next DCSMT meeting will be April 21.

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner announced that SOVA’s lab has an Okidata printer that he would be willing to loan out to any other lab who would like to try it.

Enhanced Learning Planning Group 

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Enhanced Learning Planning Group that the application they submitted to iTunes University to be a pilot group is on hold, but they expect to know something today or tomorrow.  He stated that podcasting is an issue that he believes UNT will need to address in the near future.  Cengiz Capan asked about the status of the Planning Group’s investigation of clicker technology.  Patrick responded that some faculty who are in the funded enhanced learning projects are using them on an ad hoc basis right now.  Some want more flexible tools, for example: tools that have lcd panels so students can take notes on them,  and Patrick is aware of some that are coming on the market soon.  One very interesting tool, Patrick said, is the development of a virtual clicker called a V-pad, which will allow anyone operating over a wireless 80211.tx network to participate and use any device they already have for portable computing as a clicker instead of having to purchase a new device.  The committee is looking at all of the new devices that are becoming available, and still gathering feedback from faculty who are using current clicker technology.  Cengiz asked if they have standardized on any particular device at this time, and Patrick replied that they have not.  There are pros and cons for any of the various devices available at this time.  Cengiz suggested that Patrick give an interim report to the faculty as to where they stand on this issue, and Patrick agreed to do so.

Communications Planning Group 

Lou Ann Bradley reported for the Communications Planning Group that at their last meeting they received an update on the UPS system that was being installed in the ISB, the firewall installation, and what the network will look like in the next phase.  The committee’s next meeting will be held at the Research Park.

EIS Planning Group 

Joneel reported for the EIS Planning Group discussions of the upgrade plans are coming to a close.  They met with the Health Science Center last week and have another meeting scheduled for April 19th.  John Hooper and others met with Oracle recently and was told to expect a delay in the delivery of Version 9.0.  It had been scheduled for the first quarter of 2007.  Since support for the current version, 8.0, ends December of 2006, a delay of Version 9.0’s release may force them to go ahead and upgrade to Version 8.9, particularly if Oracle doesn’t extend support for Version 8.0.  In addition, a CRM workshop that has been going on for the last couple of weeks will be concluded tomorrow, April 19th.  The workshop has enabled an exchange of very good information.  Joneel asked for feedback on the new Kronos reports, and got a few mixed reviews. 

On another note, Joneel reported that the Registrar’s Office implemented a product called Course Applicability System which aids other institutions’advisors in advising students who are coming to UNT.  We have our first school live with us (4 area community colleges have been invited to electronically interface their transcripts in their student system with TASP).  They are very pleased with how this project is progressing. 

Margaret Ambuehl added that Human Resources has begun a project for integrating Kronos Timeclock time entry into EIS.  They expect to have 8 departments doing their time entry by timeclocks either by touch ids or card swipe by some time this summer. 

Joneel added that the Fact Book is the next area they will look at to help in getting student data publicized.  Cengiz Capan asked if there is any progress on development of the Faculty Module and the Teaching Load Credit Report projects.  Joneel responded that Donna Asher, who is working on those two projects, will work on the Faculty Module after the budget is finalized, and is close to completing of the Teaching Load Credit Report project.

Standards & Policy Planning Group 

Tim Christian reported for the Standards & Policy Planning Group that they are still working on the Web Publishing Policy and they hope to bring it to the IRC some time before the end of the semester.

Student Computing Planning Group, WebCT 

Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that the General Access Lab Managers are looking into the implications of using student id cards for credit cards in cooperation with Wells Fargo. She reported that she has been asked to attend the weekly meetings of the Instructional Consulting Unit of WebCT in order to liaison between that group and the General Access Lab Managers.  Elizabeth believes this will be a very useful because she will be advised of problems, upgrades, outages, etc, and she can share that information with the lab managers.  Also, she is going to be working with Jane Himmel on a best practices document for preparing WebCT courses, to minimize the printing or make printing more efficient.

Patrick Pluscht reported that Shane Jester has become head of the CITC WebCT administrative support group.  He also reported that WebCT Vista is becoming increasingly stable.  He stated that although the Campus Edition of WebCT will no longer be available after this semester, those faculty who still have not converted their courses to Vista will still be able to do so through next Fall.  His group will be glad to have only one platform to support, when everyone is using Vista.

Patrick also reported that the SACS committee has given UNT great reviews about the QEP project, which has been very encouraging for those who have worked on this.

Patrick asked if anyone was interested in or looking at web-conferencing products, like WebEx, that will allow sharing of documents and applications for collaborative research. They are looking at web-conferencing within WebCT, and are conducting a demo on it at this time.  There was some discussion about the potential use of this type of technology, and how it works. Patrick said he would share the website address with IRC members by asking the Recording Secretary to send it out in an email.  Members can then view a demo on their own computer.

Computing & Information Technology Center 

Maurice Leatherbury reported that the Computing & Information Technology Center is in the progress of moving all of its employees out to the Research Park.  There are a few more people who will move around May 12th.  Philip Baczewski pointed out that Academic Computing is not moving to the Research Park and will remain in the same place in the ISB.

Maurice also reported that there have been some recent developments in national networking in higher education.  UNT has been a member of Internet 2 for the past 5 or 6 years and participates in Internet 2 through the North Texas Gigapop consortium of seven institutions in the Dallas area: UT Dallas, UT Arlington, TCU, SMU, Southwestern Medical School, UNT and the National Weather Service.  We are also a member of the National Lambda Rail network organization called LEARN.  Essentially there are two national high speed networks devoted to higher education now which has resulted in duplication of efforts, so there has been a movement to merge Internet 2 and National Lambda Rail in the same organization.  The effort to merge has been on and off numerous times.   Maurice expressed his hope that a merger does occur, to avoid this duplication of effort and payment for services.  Maurice was recently elected Chair of the North Texas Gigapop at its last meeting.  Maurice further announced that he believes we are close to getting Region 11 Educational service center connected to the internet through the sponsored education group participant (SEGP).

Cengiz Capan asked about the utilization of Internet2.  Maurice responded that UNT has a 45 MB link that typically averages 25 meg per day.  He explained that regular internet traffic is routed through Internet2 automatically.  It provides reliable bandwidth and is used heavily for video conferencing.  Philip Baczewski added that it is being used for research.  Robert Nimocks pointed out that some research grants require the use of Internet2 by those submitting their proposals for funding.  Maurice estimated that the cost of Internet2 is around $80,000 per year.

Tim Christian stated that there is a research firm, the Gartner Group, that does a lot of research of technology and provides their findings to institutions of higher education, which saves a lot of time in researching new technologies. UNT has a subscription to their services now, paid for by CAS, College of Engineering, the Libraries, College of Business and the CITC. This subscription provides reports which help those using them to make decisions regarding entry points (to avoid overly-hyped products) as well as identify key things to consider from vendors, products, services, and trends.   Anyone can access their website to get information about various technologies. You authenticate using the following web site:

 There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.             


* For a list of IRC Regular and Ex-officio Members click here.

**DCSMT Minutes can be found here.

IRC Meeting Schedule

The IRC generally meets on the third Tuesday of each month, from 2-4 p.m., in the Administration Building Board Room. From time to time there are planned exceptions to this schedule. The schedule can be found here. All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.



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