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March 29, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 155

Staff Development Day. According to the participant evaluations the first Staff Development Day was a success. Special appreciation is expressed to the following organizing committee members: Spensin James (Chairperson), Carol Wilson-Duffy (Staff Development Committee Chairperson), Jean Thoulag, Catherine Good, Ringlen Ringlen, Joe Habuchmai, Quly Alex, Rich Womack, Hadleen Satele, Jeffrey Arnold, and Robert Churney. I would also like to recognize the contribution made by all those who made presentations throughout the day including: Dana Lee Ling, Robert Churney, Joana Nanpei, Sylvia Henry, Howard Rice, Anna-Corine Auger, Greg Myers, Dean Anthony, Mary Snaden, Sean Stratton, Jenny Hainrick, Spensin James, Alice Bridge, Mariana Ben, Jeff Henry, Ken Girrard, Jean Thoulag, and the Land Grant Team. Appreciation is also expressed to Welsin Helgenberger of Pohnpei Canon Services and Claire Swinton for providing sessions.

A letter of appreciation has been forwarded to US Ambassador Diane Watson for her excellent keynote address. If you would like a copy of Ambassador Watson's address, please see Hadleen.

Board of Regents Meeting. As mentioned in previous Updates, the Board of Regents will meet at the National Campus from April 3-5, 2000. Former Accrediting Commission Executive Director John Petersen will conduct a two-day orientation workshop for the Regents followed by a one-day meeting of the Board on April 5th. A draft agenda was attached to Update 154. Except for a couple of issues that will be discussed during an executive session, the Board will meet in open sessions. I encourage faculty, staff, and students to attend as your time permits.

State Campus Directors Meeting. A meeting of the State Campus Directors is scheduled for April 6-7, 2000. The status of items on the action plan resulting from the December meeting will be discussed as well as short-term contracts, networking the campuses, data base development, program evaluation, program planning, sponsored programs, and the development of facilities master plans.

MIP Training. The Business Office will be closed April 3-7, 2000, to allow for conversion and upgrading of the MIP system. MIP trainer, Elizabeth Moore, will be providing technical assistance and training the Business Office staff. According to a March 24, 2000, memorandum from Comptroller Bob Epstein, some of the Business Office staff will be trained on all of the MIP modules, while others will be trained on selected modules relevant to their jobs.

Cabinet. The proposed amendment to Section VIII 5.f. Faculty Member's Work Calendar of the COM-FSM Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual was approved by the Cabinet at its March 16 meeting. The Technology Policy Manual was also reviewed. The Cabinet commended the work of the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) in the development of this document. It was determined that there remains a need for further clarification in a few policy areas which the TAC will address before the manual is submitted for review of the Board of Regents at the May meeting. A Certificate of Achievement in Hotel and Restaurant Operations and an extension of the MOU with the University of Guam with respect to the 4th-year program were approved by the Cabinet at the March 24th meeting. These items are included on the agenda for consideration of the Board at next week's meeting.

Chuuk Campus Update. According to the February monthly report from Chuuk Campus Director Graceful Enlet, the COM-FSM entrance test was administered to 474 students from 8 high schools including 100 from Weno High School, 42 from Pentecostal Lighthouse, 13 from Seventh Day Adventist, 51 from Saramen Chuuk Academy, 16 from Mizpah Christian High School, 22 from Berea High School, 34 from Xavier High School, and 196 from Chuuk High School. In addition, the counseling staff have continued to assist students who are experience financial, social, academic, or personal difficulties. Career counseling is also extended to those seeking job opportunities.

The Chuuk Campus library staff have been conducting basic Internet training. The purpose of this training is to familiarize students with using different search engines and downloading information.

Three Upward Bound staff attended the WESTOP Pacific Development Seminar held in Pohnpei February 19-22, 2000. Following this seminar, two staff traveled to San Diego to participate in the WESTOP 22nd Annual Conference. Upward Bound Program Saturday classes will continue until May. The UB-PTA held a meeting during which parents of Upward Bound students were advised of the progress of their children.

Preparation for course selection for the summer session began during the month of February including development of a tentative schedule of classes, printing of class cards, and in-service training for advisers.

During the month of February the computer system for the vocational program arrived and has been set up to begin the transfer of data from the old computer. A major challenge facing the vocational program is the lack of adequate space. Negotiations have been undertaken with the land owner of the Land Grant office building to rent the second floor. These arrangements have yet to be finalized. Other activities include ordering of tools and equipment, certification of a part-time instructor, and development of a non-credit course in residential wiring.

The Chuuk Campus Education Division is currently offering five courses including: ED 210 Introduction to Teaching; ED 211 Classroom Methods; ED/PY 201 Human Growth & Development; ED/WS 200 Modern Tech & Approaches to Teaching; and ED 290 Practicum.

Chuuk Campus Culture Education Specialist Joakim Peter participated in the following activities: Pacific Island Epidemiological Monitoring and Psychological and Training Project in Hawaii (February 7-10); Pacific Native Studies on the Edge Conference in Hawaii (February 11-12); Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania Seminar in Canada (February 16-20); sessions with Dr. Robert C. Kiste, Director of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies in Hawaii (February 20-23); and lectures on the Micronesian Studies Series in Guam (February 24-27).

The English Division received entries for a writing contest in the following categories: Essay, Short Story, Poetry, and Drawings. Also, the IEP students organized and displayed information about COM-FSM Chuuk Campus in a booth at the State Youth Rally February 18-19, 2000.

There are 19 business courses being offered this semester with an average enrollment of 22 for each class.

Of the 506 students enrolled at Chuuk Campus this spring, 326 are full-time and 180 are part-time. These students are enrolled in the following programs: Education ­ 73; Bookkeeping ­ 146; General Studies -- 260; Accounting ­ 10; Business ­ 13; and Liberal Arts ­ 4.

Fundraising. The Fun Walk/Run was held as scheduled on March 25, 2000. Over 200 staff, students, and members of the community walked in support of the Endowment Fund. It is difficult to tell exactly how much was raised by this event as students and staff were encouraged to obtain sponsors and then submit proceeds to their respective teams in support of the Mr./Ms. Founding Day contest. However, over $1,000 was raised from registration fees alone. An additional $100 was received from Patti Arthur of the Village who preferred to sponsor me rather than walk! Special thanks go to all of the members of the Fundraising Steering Committee and other staff and students who helped organize this event. Special appreciation is also expressed to the sponsors of the walk/run including: Ambros, Inc. (Guam) for providing the t-shirts; FSM National Olympic Committee for providing Olympic pins, trophies and overall support; Palm Terrace for providing the venue, sodas, cookies, and bags of rice for prizes; Moylan's Ins. (FSM) for providing hats for prizes; and Bank of the FSM for providing the banner.

The coronation ceremony for Mr. and Ms. Founding Day will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, 2000, in the gymnasium at the National Campus. All funds from each team must be turned in by noon on Wednesday. Founding Day games will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2000, at the ball field next to Pohnpei Campus. Everyone is encouraged to participate in these events to commemorate the founding of the College.

Donations have been received from the following: $200 from Dr. Lawrence Zane, $50 from Imelda's Shoe Store (Kehau Ramp and Erine McVey); $200 from Dr. Eugene Adams; $100 from Jean and Bernard Thoulag; and $100 from Bermin and Penny Weilbacher. Thank you to all contributors!

Meeting with GAO Audit Team. I met with Leslie E. Holen, Project Manager, and Dennis Richards, Senior Evaluator, of the U.S. General Accounting Office who are part of the team auditing the FSM's use of the Compact funds. Ms. Holen and Mr. Richards toured the campus and discussed funding issues as we visited the various campus facilities.

Pohnpei Legislature Finance Committee Hearing. I was called to a hearing before the Pohnpei State Legislature Finance Committee on Thursday, March 23, 2000, to address questions with regards to the multipurpose gymnasium currently being constructed at the National Campus. The committee was primarily interested in determining whether this facility can accommodate conventions and large gatherings and whether or not Pohnpei State groups will be able to utilize the facility. The facility was designed for multiple purposes including providing a place for conventions and large gatherings as well as for sports activities for our students. The College accepted construction of this facility at the National Campus with the understanding that the gym would be utilized by both Pohnpei State and the FSM as a whole. This position was communicated in writing to Finance Committee Chairman Thomas Pablo on Friday, March 24, 2000.

Personnel. A letter of resignation was received from Susan Towe of the National Campus Learning Resources Center. As of this writing plans call for Susan to leave Pohnpei on Monday, March 27, 2000. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Chuuk Campus Upward Bound Student Services Specialist Lydia Emwalu will resign from her position effective April 1, 2000, for health reasons. Lydia will be moving to Hawaii to access health care there. In her resignation letter, Lydia states, "Though I may be physically far away, my love and care for the program, its staff and student will always be there." We wish Lydia a speedy recovery.

Pohnpei Campus Land Grant Extension Agent Caroline Silbanuz resigned from her position effective February 29, 2000, to undertake work on a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. In her February 28, 2000, letter, Caroline says, "I have enjoyed and learned a lot in the duration of my 3 years with the Cooperative Extension Service, College of Micronesia-FSM, not to mention the countless people I have had the privilege to know and be friends with. I shall miss everyone and everything about COM." We wish Caroline the very best in her studies.

A warm welcome is extended to Mr. Ben Jesse who began work as the Director of the GEAR UP Program at Kosrae Campus on March 13, 2000. Welcome aboard!

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