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May 24, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 159

Cholera Epidemic. The cholera epidemic on Pohnpei has resulted in cancellation of the College's graduation, originally scheduled for May 26, 2000, postponement of the library conference scheduled to begin on May 29th here at the National Campus, postponement of the GED program at Pohnpei Campus, and interruption of the Related Services Assistants Institute that had begun at the National Campus. The FSM Education Summit has also been postponed to a yet-to-be-determined time. According to a May 19, 2000, letter from FSM Department of Health, Education, and Social Affairs Secretary Eliuel Pretrick, his department will be monitoring the situation closely with hopes to reschedule the Summit for late August or early September.

It is not yet clear whether the College will be able to hold a summer session. A letter summarizing the impact of cancellation of summer school on the College, especially our students, was sent to the Governor of Pohnpei on May 22, 2000. This letter also provided a summary of preventative measures the College has taken, with the hope that the Cholera Task Force might favorably consider a request for a proposed delayed, shortened summer session. As of this writing, a response has not been received.

In response to the College's request to send an observer to the meetings of the Cholera Task Force, the Pohnpei Governor appointed Vice President for Support and Student Affairs Ringlen Ringlen to serve as a member of the Task Force. Ringlen has been attending Task Force meetings and providing daily updates on the situation to inform members of the College's community on the status of the epidemic. Copies of these updates are distributed to mail boxes and posted on the College's web site. If anyone has any questions regarding these reports or if anyone would like to volunteer to help in the work of the Task Force, please see Ringlen. Special appreciation is expressed to Ringlen for representing the College on the Task Force and for providing the updates on a regular basis.

Staff/Faculty Incentive Awards. A ceremony to present the National Campus Staff/Faculty Incentive Awards for school year 1999-2000 was held on May 18, 2000, in the A-V Viewing Rooms. The following is a summary of awards presented and recipients:

Service Awards: (5 years) - Ramon Ladore, Luciano Mathias, Anca Dema, Magdalena Hallers; (10 years) - Ruthy Lebehn Tafea, Arbel Ben, Salter Barong, Wilson Kalio, Benina Ilon; (15 years) - Rajarathnam Kurapati, Engly Ioanis, Jonah William, Klasthin Diopulus, Rodasio Samuel; (20 years) - Arinda Swingly, Joseph Habuchmai, Ahser Edward; (25 years) Norma Edwin, Dakio Syne; (30 years) - Ketiner Kenneth

Innovative Idea Award: (outstanding ideas that have been implemented and have resulted in cost savings or improved performance) Jonathan Gourlay for the Staff Senate Website Forum and Newsletter

Teacher of the Year: (outstanding teacher) Robert Churney Comments included the following: "He's an understanding teacher who gives chance to students when it is needed." "He makes his class alive." "He knows many techniques that can help students to understand the lesson." "When giving out assignments, he makes sure that students will know what to do."

Award of Recognition: (award given to any faculty or staff who goes above and beyond the call of duty for the good of the College) Carol Wilson-Duffy for non-stop dedication, pitching in to help, being cheerful, and giving 120%

Professional Recognition: (given to individuals attaining degrees, writing books, articles, or publications, being appointed to leadership positions in professional associations or being promoted in the local campus) Gene Ashby for his many writings that are known globally as well as throughout the Pacific

Employee Retirement: Hazel Kurapati (13 years) and Rajarathnam Kurapati (15 years)

Roson Mwahu Award: (non-faculty staff who have not taken a sick day in the calendar year) Gordon Segal and Loatis Seneres

Students' Choice: (member of the staff who supports, assists, encourages, advises, and serves the students as much as possible) Aterino Heliaser Comments included the following: "He always does his job in the library and always helps the students no matter who they are and where they are from." "And plus he always makes the students feel happy." "He doesn't care if something is not his job, he is still helpful."

Community Service: (an individual who has promoted the College in the community, or has performed outstanding community service) Jazmin Gonzales for her untiring efforts to raise funds for the Endowment Fund and Dr. Richard Womack for his efforts to raise awareness regarding the need for increased numbers of well-prepared teachers in the K-12 education system throughout the FSM (the 500/2010 campaign)

Pohnpei Campus also held a ceremony to present staff/faculty awards as follows:

Innovative Idea: Howard Rice and Jack Duffy

Teacher of the Year: Bernardo Dimiliwat

Students' Choice: Patterson Shed and Yoneko Kanichy


I would also like to express sincere appreciation to the National Campus Staff Development Committee under the able leadership of Carol Wilson-Duffy as chairperson and Patti Pedrus as vice chairperson. Members of this committee include: Joe Habuchmai, Linda Maradol, Jackson Phillip, Christina Baker, Catherine Good, Alicia Ada, John Haglelgam, Robert Churney, Henry Wilson, Arleen Dumantay, Gordon Segal, Hadleen Satele, and Quli Alex.

Also a big thank you to the Pohnpei Campus Staff Development Committee under the able leadership of Debra Perman as chairperson. Members of this committee include: Yoneko Kanichy, Patty Grandos, Bernardo Dimiliwat, and Phyllis Silbanuz.

Board of Regents Meeting. A regular meeting of the COM-FSM Board of Regents is scheduled to be held May 29-30, 2000, at the National Campus. A copy of the draft agenda is attached. If anyone has questions regarding the agenda, please feel free to see me. Except for the executive session on legal matters, all sessions of the meeting will be open. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to sit in as your schedule permits.

FSM Congress. I attended the opening session of the FSM Congress held on Monday, May 15, 2000. Although a request has been made to have the College's budget hearing sometime this week, to date no hearing has been scheduled.

Assistant Directors Meeting. A meeting of the Assistant Campus Directors for the Land Grant Programs at the State Campuses has been scheduled for June 13-15, 2000, in Pohnpei. This meeting will focus on the development of the COM-FSM Local Plan of Work, quarterly reports, and the Plan of Work Update for FY 2001. It is hoped that discussions at this meeting will serve to clarify these and other issues.

Cabinet Actions. At its May 12, 2000, meeting, the Cabinet reviewed and approved the Outside Employment and Activities Policy for submission to the Board of Regents at next week's meeting. The Cabinet also approved a policy regarding the distribution of the remaining Congress student assistance funds which provides that eligible students will be provided 70% payment of their remaining balance after Pell Grant has been awarded. This amount can be adjusted upwards or downwards depending on the number of eligible students needing assistance. Also, the Cabinet decided not to allocate certain amounts to respective campuses. This policy becomes effective immediately and does not need Board approval.

At its May 19, 2000, meeting, the Cabinet approved a policy on tapping the College's positive fund balance which states:

A positive fund balance at COM-FSM can be utilized for a special expenditure only in the case of rare and exceptional needs and only depending upon the availability of cash to cover the expenditure. Any such special funding item must be approved by the COM-FSM Finance Committee, Cabinet, the President, and the Board of Regents.

The issue of an accompanying policy to allow campuses that generate revenues in excess of their projections to amend their budgets to access these funds will be addressed at a meeting of the Finance Committee this Thursday.

Proposed FY 2002 Budget Development Guidelines were reviewed and approved by the Cabinet for presentation to the Board.

The proposed Certificate of Achievement in Vocational Studies was once again discussed at length. This program was referred back to the Curriculum Committee to clarify issues related to the total number of credits and the Certificate of Achievement framework.

New Phone/Fax Numbers. Since the move to the new building, Yap Campus phone/fax numbers are as follows: phone 350-2296/5149 fax 350-5150. The numbers for the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute are as follows: phone 350-5245 fax 350-5244.

Personnel. A memorandum of resignation has been submitted to LRC Director Dakio Syne from Assistant Librarian Rachel Poll Jacob effective June 2, 2000. Rachel has accepted a teaching job with the Southern Christian Academy in Guam. In this memo, Rachel said:

Thank you for all you have done for me and for sparking my interest in library work. I learned a lot in the year and a half of my employment here at the college.

I shall also remember the kindness and friendship attended to me during my work here. Some day in the future I hope to see you all again.

We thank Rachel for her work with us and wish her the very best in her new position in Guam.

A warm welcome is extended to three new employees. Nancy Simor began working as a Student Services Assistant I with the female residence hall at the National Campus on May 8th, Michaela Logwar joined the Yap Campus Upward Bound Program as a Student Services Assistant II on March 13th, and Arthur Jonas as a Student Services Specialist II with the Kosrae GEAR UP Program on May 1st. Welcome aboard!

More Next Time!

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