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April 26, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 157

Campus Directors Teleconference Meeting. A teleconference meeting of the Campus Directors was held on April 17, 2000, via PEACESAT. Present for the meeting were Yap Campus Director Lourdes Roboman, Director of Academic Programs Joe Habuchmai on assignment in Yap, Chuuk Campus Director Graceful Enlet, FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute Director Matthias Ewarmai, and Kosrae Campus Director Kalwin Kephas via PEACESAT and Pohnpei Campus Director Penny Weilbacher, Campuses Liaison Merins Race, and myself in the PEACESAT Conference Room. Unfortunately, connection with Kosrae was lost in the middle of the meeting and Chuuk was able to transmit but not receive. Communication was accomplished with Chuuk, however, with the help of relay work provided by Joe.

Lourdes reported that the new Yap Campus facility is nearly ready for occupancy. However, she requested an extension of the contract by a few days to complete everything. She also reported that Yap Campus staff were preparing to conduct recruitment of new students at Yap High School and at Woleai High School. Recruitment at Outer Islands High School is on hold pending completion of repairs to the runway there.

Matthias reported that there is a need for Associate Director for Physical Plant Alfred Olter to visit the FSM FMI site to inspect the work being done by the contractors. As a result of this request, Alfred will be leaving this Thursday for Yap. Joe is currently working with FMI staff on Yap in setting up the FMI curriculum in the appropriate format for review by the Curriculum Committee.

Kalwin had reported on the status of the hiring of personnel for the Kosrae Campus GEAR UP Program and was beginning to discuss the Land Grant program when communication was cut off.

Penny reported that Pohnpei Campus was visited by 26 staff and students from Guam Community College as part of an exchange program between GCC and COM-FSM Pohnpei Campus' Hospitality Division. Penny also reported that they received a donation in the amount of $200 towards the renovation of the Pohnpei Campus gymnasium.

Graceful reported that a member of the Chuuk Campus staff had just completed training in the media center. He also reported that he is in the process of selecting an Advisory Council for Vocational Education and that Chuuk Campus is currently conducting pre-registration for summer.

During the President's report, Campus Directors were encouraged to meet with their respective Telecom Board members regarding educational Internet rates. Directors were also advised that the draft Technology Policy Manual could be downloaded from the College's web site; all Directors were encouraged to review the content and forward feedback by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2000. (This deadline was subsequently changed to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, 2000.) Directors were also reminded to review planning documents that were forwarded by the Director of Research and Planning, to identify any questions they might have about the plan objectives and indicators format, and to select a vocational faculty/staff person to discuss objectives and indicators for the strategic plan later in the week.

It was decided to meet again, via PEACESAT, on Monday, May 1, 2000, at 10:00 a.m. Chuuk/Yap time (11:00 a.m. Pohnpei/Kosrae time). Anyone who has issues to bring to the attention of the Campus Directors can forward them to me or your respective Campus Director for inclusion in our discussions.

Pocket Meetings with FSM Telecommunications Corporation Board Members and Executives. As agreed at the last Campus Directors meeting, a series of pocket meetings have been held with individual FSM Telecom Board members as well as the Telecom management executives to request consideration for the development of educational rates for Internet usage. Such meetings were prompted by information provided at the Campus Directors meeting indicating that the rates proposed by Telecom to provide Internet services for the COM-FSM system-wide network were prohibitive. According to information received from the Campuses, meetings on this issue have been held with the respective Telecom Board members in Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae. Along that same line, COM-FSM Regent Bryan Isaac and I met with Telecom General Manager Takuro Akinaga and Assistant General Manager John Sohl last Wednesday, April 19, 2000. At this meeting, Mr. Akinaga and Mr. Sohl were both amenable to exploring the idea of establishing special rates for educational and health-related purposes. At the same time, it was suggested that better coordination of the needs and plans in the areas of education and health would facilitate Telecom's planning. The need for such coordination has been forwarded to the Education Summit planning committee to be addressed during one of the break-out sessions.

FSM Education Summit. Vice President for Instructional Affairs Spensin James has been involved as part of the planning group for the FSM Economic Summit which is now scheduled to be beginning on the evening of Tuesday, May 30 through Friday, June 2, 2000. According to information received from Summit organizers, the FSM Economic Summit set five broad strategic areas for improvement of education in the FSM including: accountability and the quality of education; linkages between education and life long experiences; quality of staff; improved collaboration and cooperation for accountability and maximizing use of human and financial resources; and financing education. The primary purpose of the Education Summit is to prioritize goals and objectives and develop specific intervention strategies for implementation. Of particular interest to the College will be the discussions on improving teacher certification programs and the improvement of collaboration and cooperation across all of the stakeholders in the FSM education system. Participants of the Summit include educators, parents, political and community leaders, and anyone interested in improving the education system in the FSM.

Request from Business Office. The next holiday, Constitution Day, falls on the College's next payday. I have been advised by the Comptroller that the Business Office will do everything possible to have checks available on Tuesday, May 9, 2000. To accomplish this, they are asking all departments, divisions, campuses, and offices to submit time sheets early if possible. Thank you for your cooperation with this request.

Personnel. Nothing to report this time.

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