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April 12, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 156

Founding Day. To say that this year's Founding Day activities were a huge success is very much an understatement. Special appreciation is expressed to the following persons who invested a lot of time and energy to organizing and implementing these activities: Patricio Ramirez and the recreation staff (Castro Joab, Salter Barong, and Loatis Seneres); Student Body Association Officers and State Representatives; Francisco Mendiola and the maintenance and security staff; Lore Nena; Joseph Habuchmai; Patterson Shed; Patricia Jack; Arbel Ben; Pelma Palik; Merins Race; Martin Mingii; Lucy Donre; Diaz Joseph; Benson Moses; Debra Perman; Arinda Swingly; Benina Ilon; Ringlen Ringlen; Spensin James; Bastora Raymond; Hadleen Hadley; and Rita Hinga.

Special recognition also goes to those responsible for the Founding Day VII Mr./Ms. Founding Day coronation including co-chairs Benina Ilon and Morehna Santos, Bastora Raymond, Jazmin Gonzales, the Pohnpei Campus dancers, MC Jonathan Gourlay, Patricio Ramirez and the maintenance staff, the Chu Chok Chuuk Association for decorating the gym, the cafeteria staff, and the maintenance and security staff. A big "Thank You" and congratulations to Mr./Ms. Candidates and their respective teams including: Mr./Ms. Founding Day Helmer Helgenberger and Caroline Senda of the Blue Team ($15,889.26); First Runners-Up Rodney Mori and Dayna Anthony of the White Team ($10,010.26); Second Runners-Up Jonathan Mathau and Catherine Fattineg of the Red Team ($6,263.52); Third Runners-Up Kennedy Sohl and Eliza Narruhn of the Purple Team ($5,136.60); Fourth Runners-Up Courtney Lebehn and Stephanie Rettin of the Brown Team ($3,403.75); and Fifth Runners-Up Ason Jackson and Flora Weilbacher of the Green Team ($3,100). As we said during the ceremony, you are all winners! Also, appreciation is extended to the flower girls and their parents including: Anjolyna Guerrero, Nadya Liwisa Ilon, Siana Lee Maradol, Desiree Mendiola, Joanie Lane Santos, and EvaLani Hawley.

And thank you to Joseph Saimon and Luciano Mathias for recording all of the Founding Day events so that we may enjoy them over and over again on Channel 6! I've received numerous comments from the community on these events thanks to your efforts.

Whoops! In Update 155 staff who had contributed to the organization of Staff Development Day were recognized. Unfortunately, I failed to mention Patti Pedrus who serves as the Vice Chairperson of the Staff Development Committee. After Update 155 came out, I received several messages informing me of the contributions made by Patti in ensuring the success of this activity. Thank you, Patti! And please forgive the oversight.

Board of Regents Meeting. The COM-FSM Board of Regents met as planned from April 3-5, 2000, at the National Campus. During the first day and a half, Dr. John Petersen, Executive Director Emeriti of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, presented an orientation workshop for the Board which covered the following topics: the lay board; acting as a unit; major responsibilities of the board; major responsibilities of the individual regent; preparation for the job; establishing a code of ethics; understanding institutional and academic culture; having good information; establishing operational rules; the board chair; the president and the board; academic affairs; planning; monitoring institutional effectiveness; policy making; academic budgets; assessing board effectiveness; chief executive officer evaluation; accreditation; resources for boards; and special concerns for boards and presidents.

Following Dr. Petersen's presentation on Tuesday morning, the Board heard a report from Mr. Dan Roland of the Consulting Group, Salomon Smith Barney, on the investment of the College's Endowment Fund. Following this report, a meeting was held with Mr. David John who presented a proposed Defined Contribution Retirement Plan to members of the Board.

The Board of Regents meeting was officially called to order at 2:25 p.m. on April 4, 2000, in the Board Conference Room. All Regents were present with the exception of Regent Yatilman who was unable to travel out of Yap due to the plane mishap there. Regent Yatilman was, however, able to join the Board via teleconference during the election of officers held on Wednesday, April 5th. The Actions and Directives from this meeting are attached.

A meeting of the Campus Directors was held April 6-7, 2000. Topics discussed were listed in Update 155. All Directors, including the Director of the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute, were present for the meeting.

FSM Torch Relay Task Force. The FSM Torch Relay Task Force has requested that the College have a representative at their meetings. As a result, Director of Maintenance Francisco Mendiola joined the April 5, 2000, meeting held at the NOC/Red Cross Conference Training Room. The Olympic Torch Relay will be held on Pohnpei on May 24, 2000. Two COM-FSM students ­ Ason Tulensru and Vera Guwaathag ­ and two COM-FSM staff ­ Sonny Padock and Francisco Simram ­ will be participating in this event.

Kosrae Upward Bound Students to Visit. According to a March 10, 2000, letter from Kosrae Upward Bound Program Director Morgan Jonas, the U.S. Department of Education has approved the 2000 Kosrae Upward Bound Program College Visit to the National Campus to be held from April 29 through May 5, 2000. According to Director Jonas, the delegation will be comprised of 23 Kosrae High School pre-seniors and five staff who will be living in the residence halls, eating their meals in the cafeteria, and sitting in on some classes with COM-FSM students. I would like to ask everyone to join in making these students and staff feel welcome.

Personnel. I am pleased to announce that Personnel Officer Linda Maradol had a healthy baby girl on Sunday, April 2nd. Caitlin weighed in at 7 lbs. 1 oz. Linda will be on leave for approximately two months. In the meantime, Norma and Merins will be handling personnel matters. Congratulations to Linda and her family!

Jazmin Gonzales has passed along word that Raj Kurapati is recovering well after having triple by-pass surgery at St. Luke's Hospital in the Philippines. Although he experienced some complications after surgery, he was transferred out of the Coronary Vascular unit on March 26, 2000, and is now undergoing rehabilitation. We all wish Raj a speedy recovery.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Chuuk Upward Bound Counselor Lydia Emwalu at Queen's Hospital in Honolulu. If you recall Lydia's resignation from the Upward Bound Program was announced in Update 155. We extend deepest sympathy to Senator Emwalu, their family, and Chuuk Campus.

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