I realize that typically you do not use a server OS in a client environment, but in this case we are, and I would like to make internet explorer usable. Is there a simple procedure to follow to change IE's security settings to match that of Windows 7/Vista?
I assume you are talking about disable Internet Explorers 'Enhance Security Configuration' when used on a server OS.
To do so you need to go to add remove programs, add/remove Windows Components and untick the 'Internet Explored Enhanced Security Configuration'. Click OK and apply the changes.
This will then make IE work the same as it does on your desktop machine.