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March 15, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 154

Board Meeting. A meeting of the COM-FSM Board of Regents is scheduled to be held in Pohnpei April 3-5, 2000. The first two days of the meeting will be devoted to an orientation workshop to be conducted by Dr. John Petersen, former Executive Director of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The following are among the topics to be covered by Dr. Petersen: the Board's role and responsibilities; trusteeship; Board organization and practices; Board relationship with the communities they represent; Regents as advocates for the College; Board member ethics and conflict of interest; Board self-evaluation; Board education and resources; the decision-making process; educational policy; the Board's role in planning; monitoring institutional effectiveness; the Board/CEO relationship; evaluation of the CEO; human resources policy; faculty/staff participation in decision-making, academic senates; fiscal policy; governmental relations; clarifying the mission; protecting institutional autonomy; interpreting the College to the community; interpreting the needs of society to the College; student and staff welfare issues; and serving as a court of appeal.

The formal Board meeting will be held on April 5, 2000. A draft agenda is attached for your review. If anyone has comments or questions regarding the agenda, I would be most happy to answer them.

A meeting of the State Campus Directors will be held on April 6th and 7th to take advantage of their presence here for the Board meeting.

Cabinet News. Two policies were approved by the Cabinet at its March 3, 2000, meeting. The policy on Special Academic Awards was approved to read as follows:

Special Academic Awards are to be presented during graduation to recognize high academic achievement. Awards are given to the top graduate from each degree and certificate program who attains a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4

The other policy passed at the March 3rd meeting was one entitled, "Non-instructional Use of Instructional Equipment," which has been placed on the draft Board agenda for review and adoption.

Due to the Staff Development Day activities on March 17th, the Cabinet will meet on Thursday, March 16, 2000, at 8:00 a.m. in the President's Conference Room. At this meeting the Cabinet will consider the Technology Policy Manual and the proposed Amendment of Section VIII.5.f Faculty Member's Work Calendar of the COM-FSM Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual. It is anticipated that the Faculty Workload Policy will be ready for review and adoption by the Board at the May meeting.

For a summary of Cabinet meeting discussions and deliberations, please see the Staff Senate web page at the following address:

Updates on Web. Thanks to Ken Girrard and Gordon Segal, the Updates from the President's Office are now available on the College's web site. Special appreciation is expressed to Ken and Gordon for making this possible.

FSM State and National Leadership Conference. In a February 17, 2000, letter from FSM President Leo A. Falcam, the College was invited to participate in the March 6-10, FSM State/National Leadership Conference which was held in Chuuk. Vice President for Instructional Affairs Spensin James traveled to Chuuk on Tuesday afternoon to represent the College at the conference. On Wednesday, March 8th he presented an overview of the College including the current mission statement and accompanying goals, a summary of our current program offerings, charts summarizing fall enrollment statistics at both the National and State Campuses, a summary of the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute, and a summary of the Endowment Fund and fundraising activities. Spensin spent Thursday at Chuuk Campus before returning to Pohnpei on Friday, March 10, 2000. Anyone interested in the outcomes of the leadership conference is encouraged to speak with Spensin.

Meeting with Pohnpei Governor. On Thursday, March 2, 2000, I met with Pohnpei State Governor Johnny P. David, Lt. Governor Jack Yakana, COM-FSM Pohnpei Regent and Special Assistant to the Governor Podis Pedrus, and Mr. Ringlen Wolphagen regarding the upcoming 2002 Microgames to be hosted by Pohnpei State. As stated in earlier Updates, under the former administration an agreement had been reached between Pohnpei State and the College to cooperate in the development of sports facilities in preparation for these games. During the March 2nd meeting, Governor David re-affirmed the State's commitment to host the games. He further stated his plan to re-establish a coordinating committee which will include representation from the College.

Also during this meeting, two round-trip tickets from Pohnpei to Guam were presented to Governor David on behalf of Mr. Tim Glath, President of Mobil Oil, Micronesia, who had won the tickets in the 200 Club Raffle held in December on behalf of the Endowment Fund. Mr. Glath had asked that these tickets be used to help the people of Pohnpei. The tickets were donated for the raffle by Air Nauru.

Pohnpei Campus. According to the February 2000 Pohnpei Campus monthly report, Director Penny Weilbacher headed a COM-FSM Pohnpei delegation to attend a WESTOP Conference in San Diego, California. Other delegates to this conference included Upward Bound Program (UBP) Director Paul Seng, Talent Search Program (TSP) Director Heinrich Palik, UBP Counselor Diaz Joseph, TSP Counselor Francisco Simram, and UBP Administrative Assistant Dernita Iehsi.

The Pohnpei Campus Advisory Council met on February 17th and agreed to invite Mr. Paulino Lambert of the Pohnpei Department of Manpower and Labor to the March meeting. The Council approved two new replacement members, Mr. Reed Oliver and Mr. Dion Neth. The Council has been divided into the following working committees: outreach, program, hospitality, and gymnasium.

FSM Congress Senator Peter Christian has requested that Pohnpei Campus offer GED courses to high school drop outs from his election district and that the Campus offer business courses for the small businesses in the same district. Planning and preparation for both projects is in progress.

In the February report, Penny announced that registration was open for the following non-credit courses: Basic Japanese for Adults; Basic Japanese for Children; Polynesian/Modern Dance; Water Color Painting; and Pohnpeian for Beginners.

After renovation of the second floor of the former dormitory building, the Vocational Program officially opened its newly improved office and classroom that will be shared by the Vocational and Apprenticeship Programs. Vocational Program Chairman Jack Duffy and his staff and students constructed most of the classroom furniture and fixtures. Congratulations on this accomplishment, Jack!

Land Grant. According to the February monthly report from Vice President for Cooperative Research and Extension Yasuo Yamada, Agriculture Researcher Dr. Flordeliza Javier traveled to Fiji to collect banana tissue cultures for the banana trial project entitled, "Germplasm Availability." As a result of this trip Dr. Javier was able to introduce 159 tubes of nine (9) accessions needed in the trials. Two accessions are still being regenerated, multiplied, and rooted at the Tissue Culture Laboratory.

On February 9th Sea Grant Extension Agent Ahser Edward traveled to Honolulu to attend a workshop on Assessment and Monitoring of US Coral Reefs.

According to the February monthly report from Chuuk Campus Assistant Director Ansina Kony, Chuuk Land Grant staff were deployed to various islands in Chuuk State to bring services to the people as follows:

Merle Nelson, Health and Nutrition ­ Tamatam, Polowat, Polap, Pulusok
Seiko Jacky, Health and Nutrition ­ Ruo, Nomwin, and Fananu
Inos Kuliano, Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) ­ Ruo, Nomwin, Fananau
Patrick Phichol, Food Safety & Quality (FSQ) ­ Ettal, Kuttu, and Moch
Dane Shirai, Agriculture ­Wonip, Tol
Mertha Wainis, Community Resource Development (CRD)/Sewing ­ Wonip, Tol
Ykiko Yerten/Risko Walter, FSQ, Health and Nutrition ­ Wonip, Tol

In addition to the above activities, Eva Capalla, Seiko Jacky, and Ykiko Yerten traveled to two villages in Fefen to conduct a nutrition workshop and conduct cooking demonstrations. Nutrition education was conducted in coordination with Chuuk Organization for Community Action (COCA), the Department of Agriculture, Fefen Municipality, and Pentecost Lighthouse Academy. The messages presented focused on proper nutrition and food choices for children and adults especially as they relate to prevention of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

During the month of February, training was conducted in Keng Village in Weloy Municipality in Yap on the following topics: lessons from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP); safety in the kitchen; proper food handling and personal hygiene; vitamins A & C, minerals (iron and calcium), protein, carbohydrates, the Three Basic Food Groups/balanced meals; calories in food, weight control and diseases caused by what we eat and drink.

In the Kosrae Cooperative Extension Services (CES) program, home visits were made to 20 clients, 12 of whom are breastfeeding mothers. During these visits cooking demonstrations and lessons on menu planning were provided. Weekly visits to Utwe Elementary School also continued during the month during which cooking demonstrations and lessons on calcium and iron were presented to 13 eighth graders.

Three banana farms were also established this month in Malem Municipality in Kosrae.

In Pohnpei, considerable attention was focused on eradication of the False Sakau, which has been termed an invasive weed. According to the February monthly report from Pohnpei Campus Assistant Director Jackson Phillip, most of the farmers determined to have this plant have been willing to destroy them with the exception of one. This situation will continue to be monitored.

During the month, Pohnpei CES staff assisted several hog farmers by giving iron injections and clipping the teeth of piglets, deworming pigs, injecting sick pigs with penicillin, and castrating boars and piglets.

Nutrition Extension Agents gave EFNEP lessons to the Sokehs Women's Group entitled, "Meatless Burger and Banana Doughnut." They also wrote and demonstrated 9 recipes using fish or chicken with bele, chaya, tapioca leaves, banana flowers, and/or taro leaves. Demonstrations were provided to 36 individuals and 33 parents in 7 Head Start Centers in home gardening procedures.

Other accomplishments during the month of February included activities in support of the "Grow Low" campaign to encourage farmers to plant sakau at lower elevations to prevent erosion, establishment of private nurseries, assistance in the establishment of a nursery at Bailey Olter High School, and assistance to the COM-FSM landscaping team in identification of plants and possible suppliers.

In the area of research, Dr. Karl Brookins has been developing a proposal for polyculture of coral reef fish and invertebrates. He has also been exploring the development of proposals on using marine algae as nutrition supplements for plants with Dr. Javier, Dr. Mike Dema of the Math/Science Division, and Agriculture Division Chairperson Kiyoshi Phillip. Together with COM Executive Director Singeru Singeo, Karl coordinated a contract with Island Homes Construction to make security improvements to the Nett Point Marine Research Facility in light of a recent attempted break-in. Research Assistant Klasthin Diopulos has been re-assigned to serve as an aquaculture research assistant under Karl's supervision.

Mr. Mike Abraham of Pohnpei State Marine Resources and Sea Grant Agent Ahser Edward are developing a proposal to organize the fishermen on Pohnpei to foster understanding of environmental issues. This proposal will be submitted to the Pohnpei Governor's office for funding. In addition, two course outlines related to the Internship program and the Coral Reef Monitoring Program have been submitted to the Curriculum Committee in preparation for a planned summer program.

Staff Development Plan. Several weeks ago, Staff Development Committee Chairperson Carol Wilson-Duffy distributed a needs assessment survey throughout the system to identify areas to be included in the College's system-wide staff development plan. Carol has asked that all surveys be returned to her no later than March 27, 2000, as the Committee is planning to meet to begin development of the plan on March 29th. Kindly assist Carol and the Staff Development Committee by completing these forms in a timely manner. Thank you for your help.

Outreach Librarian. In the last Update, a welcome was extended to Program Development Outreach Librarian Dean Anthony. In a March 7th memorandum to all State Campus Directors and the Director of the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute, Dean stated:

As the Outreach Librarian I am charged with preserving the strong ground work of Library Science established during the Trust Territory Days, celebrating 30 years of educational assurance while demonstrating my commitment to sustainable
training paths for the future. Establishing investments in the newest technologies as determined by the needs and infrastructure of your individual librarians is the first step into the future.

Dean goes on to say:

I am confident about the challenges that lie ahead and look forward to meeting all of you and your library staff personally to identify your training and staff development needs. This involves a combination of developing, arranging, conducting, coordinating and facilitating training sessions for librarians through a combination of Summer Training Institutes at the National Campus, on-site training in your various states, and through distance education formats using traditional and emerging technologies.

It is anticipated that the work that Dean will be doing will not only enhance the skills of our library staff but also help the College address a recommendation from the 1998 Evaluation Team from the Accrediting Commission which states in part: "The visiting team recommends that College of Micronesia-FSM act as a system to share library resources among the National and State Campuses."

Fundraising. A meeting of the Fundraising Steering Committee was held on March 2, 2000, during which further preparations for the March 25th Fun Walk/Run were made. Pohnpei Campus Student Activities Coordinator Patterson Shed will be responsible for registration forms for Pohnpei Campus, while Director of Student Services Lore Nena (with the help of College Nurse Benina Ilon) and Student Activities Supervisor Patricio Ramirez will handle registration forms for the National Campus. HCOP Coordinator Jazmin Gonzales will organize the registration to be conducted during the day of the event, and Vice President for Support and Student Affairs Ringlen Ringlen will arrange for the water stations. The registration fee is $5 and all finishers will receive a free t-shirt. My office will cover the registration fee for all students who wish to participate. Again, Founding Day teams are encouraged to take advantage of this event to get sponsors to raise funds for your team. Please keep in mind, however, that only funds actually collected by noon on March 29th will be counted in your totals. Community members are encouraged to participate. The more, the merrier! You don't need a sponsor sheet to participate ­ only the registration form and $5 fee. I encourage everyone to join in this event for the benefit of the Endowment Fund. Thank you for your support.

Donation to Library. A 1995 edition of the Federated States of Micronesia Code of Laws was donated to the library by Salomon Saimon, Esq. of the Law Offices of Saimon & Associates. A letter of appreciation to Mr. Saimon was sent yesterday.

Evaluation Visit. I have accepted an invitation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to serve on an Evaluation Team that will visit Kauai Community College October 24-26, 2000. The team will be headed by Dr. Marie B. Smith, President of American River College in California.

Personnel. A warm welcome is extended to Mr. Herner Braiel who began working as an Administrative Specialist V at Chuuk Campus on March 6, 2000. We are glad to have Herner with us.

More Next Time!
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