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Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board rescinds software program agreement

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Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012 11:55 pm

FAIRBANKS — After a lengthy discussion Tuesday, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board rescinded a software licensing project developed by two school district employees that was approved at an August board meeting.

The 4-3 vote brings the App Track computer program interim agreement between the school district and the program developers to a halt.

The innovative program, developed by Kevin Heneveld and Mark Lafoon, who own Lyceum (Software) Solutions, is designed to manage mobile computer devices, such as iPads, iPods and iPhones.

Despite the Aug. 7 approval and previous work session, board members continued a lively debate Tuesday, questioning and expressing serious concerns about possible legal and liability issues with the project.

Wendy Dominique who led the discussion to rescind the board’s resolution in its present form, backs its intent whole-heartedly but with a number of reservations, and says it has too many unanswered questions.

“It is a great project for the future,” she said. “It needs to go back to the drawing board and it needs to be vetted a little more.”

Sue Hull agreed that the process of taking on the project could be improved but was concerned if it was rescinded it could be lost.

“I don’t think this has been thoroughly researched,” said Sharon McConnell, board vice president. “We need more information. We’re setting a precedent.”

Kristina Brophy agreed in part, saying, “The process was not satisfactory, but it’s not enough for me to reject.”

But the board did reject the project with Dominique, Sean Rice, Silver Chord and McConnell voting to rescind, and Brophy, Hull and John Thies to keep it.

Legal questions centered around whether the school administration could participate in a revenue earning perpetual license, or whether that was something that would need Borough Assembly approval beforehand. Under the agreement, the district would earn 80 percent of the revenue of future sales of the program.

Employee compensation also was questioned, since the men developed some of the program while on the job as systems and database administrators, and some on their own time.

Lyceum already has sold the APP Track program to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Ketchikan customer, and the Anchorage school district is interested.

Board members requested the school administration to move forward, work on the APP Track licensing project and provide more information in the upcoming month.

Contact staff writer Mary Beth Smetzer at 459-7546.

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