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August 17, 2000- Palikir, Pohnpei
Update from the President's Office - No. 165

Chuuk Campus July Update.  Fall semester preparation.   According to the July monthly report from the Acting Director of Chuuk Campus, the Vocational Education classrooms and offices are ready for fall classes.  Woodworking tools have been received and assembled, a new electrical system for power tools is being installed, and some work benches will soon be completed.  Courses to be offered in the fall 2000 semester include Introduction to Carpentry, Blueprint Reading and Interpretation, and Technical Math.

The Business Department has scheduled a total of 15 courses to be offered during fall semester, while the Math & Science Department has scheduled 16 courses.  The math instructors will be comparing three teaching methods – Lecture Method, Activity Discovery Method, and Guided Discovery Method – to determine which is most successful with Chuukese college students the content of MS 095.

The Social Science Department is scheduling a total of 6 courses with 10 sections for the fall semester.   In addition, the Social Science Department Chairperson has completed work on both the supplementary readers and student workbook for ESL SS 095 and for ESL 098 which have been submitted to the IEP Coordinator.   Also, the Social Science and Math & Science Chairpersons have completed a Teacher’s Toolkit to be used in the Chuuk State DELTA Institute being held this month.

Computer Maintenance.  The Chuuk Campus Computer Technician completed a six-month contract during which time he upgraded and configured the computer systems software, operating systems, applications, and utilities; installed a peer-to-peer network at the library; and designed a registration application. The technician provided a detailed exit report in which he summarized the current status of the computers and associated equipment at Chuuk Campus.  Plans call for extending an additional contract for the technician to continue this work once funds become available in October.

Land Grant.  The Land Grant Program was busy with the Youth Summer Workshop which was conducted from July 3rd to August 3rd  under the Youth Development Program with  over 80 youths in attendance.  Under this program participants were provided with practical knowledge on gardening, food and nutrition, cultural and spiritual life, small business, and sewing through a variety of methods including lectures, demonstrations, role play and games.

Graduation.  Preparations are underway for the graduation ceremony to be held at Chuuk Campus on Wednesday, August 16, 2000.  I will be leaving Pohnpei on Tuesday to attend this ceremony.  Plans call for me to return on Friday at approximately 1:00 p.m.   Vice President for Instructional Affairs Spensin James will be acting during my absence.

Trip Report.   The following is a summary of activities during my most recent trip to Palau.  I departed Pohnpei on a much-delayed flight at 1:30 a.m. on July 23, 2000, to travel to Palau to attend the PREL Board of Directors meeting, among other activities.

PREL Board of Directors Meeting.   I arrived in Palau at approximately 1:00 p.m. on July 23rd and began attending the meeting at 3:00 p.m.   Highlights of this meeting of particular interest to the College include an announcement by PREL CEO and President John Kofel that PREL will be bringing Ms. Sally Lovejoy, key staff member of US  Congressman Goodling, on a tour through the region served by PREL sometime in the next few months.  Nomination forms for participants in PREL’s Professional Trainers Program were distributed at the meeting.  IHE’s may nominate a staff member to participate in this program.  During the trainee’s tenure with this program, he/she becomes a PREL staff member.  Opportunities for attaining a Master’s degree through this program can be arranged.  PREL is also supporting 17 candidates (including one from each IHE outside of Hawaii)  from the region to enroll in the Master’s in Instructional Technology and Telecommunications program being offered via distance education through Western Illinois University.  COM-FSM will be nominating Gordon Segal to participate in this program.

Dr. Dennis Gooler of PREL announced an award for a new initiative in the region – The Pacific Regional Technology in Education Consortium (RTEC).  RTEC is a four-way partnership among PREL, the University of Hawaii, the University of Guam, and the Hawaii State Department of Education which is designed to address the following issues:  1)  professional development to enhance the number and qualifications of teachers and their understanding of technology; 2)  development of technology infrastructure plans;  3)  adult education; and 4)  provision of an information source with respect to the use of technologies for teaching and learning.  Dr. Gooler indicated that the RTEC project will facilitate dialogue between and among IHE’s to consider a new teacher preparation program which features strong integration of technology in the curriculum and collaboration among IHE’s to facilitate the transfer of students from one institution to another.

The next Pacific Education Conference will be held in Guam in July, 2001.  A theme has not yet been selected.  Fr. Jim Croghan, Director of Xavier High School, has joined the PREL Board of Directors as a constituent member, former Hawaii State Senator Mike McCartney will be replaced by Michael Kabua of the Marshalls (Mike McCartney missed three consecutive meetings), and Chuuk State Director of Education Kangichy Welle will replace Mike McCartney as a member of the PREL Board Executive Committee.  The next PREL Board meeting is scheduled to be held in Pohnpei in November.

During the evening of July 23rd I attended a reception hosted by Harcourt International Educational Group in honor of the Teachers of the Year from the various entities.  On July 24th, I attended a special showing of children’s art entitled, “My Island, My World,” at the Etpison Museum and Gallery after the PREL Board meeting on Monday and the Pacific Education Conference opening session shortly thereafter.

Pacific Postsecondary Education Council.  The following day I chaired a meeting of the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council (PPEC) which was held from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday in the Palau Community College (PCC) Board Conference Room.  The following members were in attendance:  Abelina Cing-Cabrera, member, Northern Marianas College (NMC) Board of Regents (proxy for NMC Chairman Villagomez); Joaquin Sablan, NMC President; Herminiano delos Santos, Guam Community College (GCC) President; Antonio Jesus, member, GCC Board of Trustees; Podis Pedrus, COM-FSM Board of Regents Chairman; Leo B. Teriong, PCC Acting Vice President and proxy for PCC President; Masa-Aki Emesiochl, PCC Board of Trustees Chairman; Sr. Lois Morisky, Chair, College of the Marshall Islands Department of Education and proxy for CMI President; and myself. Members from the University of Guam, University of Hawaii, and American Samoa Community College (ASCC) had sent their regrets.  According to the PPEC bylaws, a quorum was established.

The meeting began with approval of the minutes of the January 16 meeting which had been held in Guam in conjunction with a meeting of the Accrediting Commission.  Updates summarizing the status of each institution were then provided by the members.  PREL CEO John Kofel and members of his staff briefed PPEC members on PREL initiatives and discussed ways to foster collaboration between IHE’s and PREL. (Later in the meeting, PPEC members agreed to attend the PREL IHE Networking meeting to be held in Honolulu in September to strengthen ties and understanding between PPEC and PREL.  Expenses to attend this meeting will be covered by PREL.) I then provided information from the Community College Leadership Development Institute that I had attended in June in Claremont, California.

Copies of a letter form University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Tseng accepting PPEC’s invitation for membership, a letter from PPEC to the Mr. Danny Aranza of the US Department of Interior requesting that the Department consider providing funds that are currently supporting the Pacific Islands Training Initiative (PITI) program be to the regional IHE’s for program implementation, and a letter from Accrediting Commission Executive Director David Wolf thanking the members for the presentations that had been provided during the January 2000 meeting in Guam were shared with the members.

Key actions taken by PPEC include the following:  a resolution recognizing the contributions of former GCC President and PPEC Chairman John Cruz was adopted; I was nominated to replace John Cruz as PPEC’s representative to the Accrediting Commission; an ad hoc subcommittee comprised of  GCC President delos Santos, UH Community Colleges Vice Chancellor Mike Rota,  ASCC President Hunkin, and myself was established and will meet in Honolulu in September in conjunction with the PREL IHE meeting to review the PPEC bylaws and make recommendations; and UH-Hilo’s membership in PPEC was formally accepted.   Minutes of the most recent meeting of the PPEC Academic Officers Council, which was held in early June in Hilo, were reviewed and members were encouraged to support their respective participants in these meetings.

The PPEC meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26th, to allow members the opportunity to attend an IHE Networking session scheduled by PREL staff.  At this meeting it was decided to hold the next networking session September 13-15, 2000, in Honolulu.  PREL will be covering the expenses of one representative of each IHE at this meeting.  The date of the next PPEC meeting will also be determined at this meeting.

Pacific Educational Conference Closing Ceremony.  On Thursday, July 27th, I attended the closing ceremony for the Pacific Educational Conference which was held on Peleliu.

Pacific Teaching.  Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 28th through Sunday, July 30th at approximately 5:00 p.m. I attended a conference entitled, “Pacific Teaching: A collaborative workshop for regional community college instructors.”  Panel presentations and discussion sessions focused on the following topics:  Pacific Community Colleges – Education for Cultures on the Move; Student Characteristics, Student Needs;  Methods of Engagement – Strategies for Helping Students Become More Effective Learners; Community College Curriculum for the Changing Pacific; Enriching Existing Courses through Infusion; Enriching the Curriculum with New Courses; Working Together – Networks, Interactions and Exchanges; Using Technology to Make Connections – Information-sharing, Course-sharing, Websites and Discussion Boards; Exchange and Articulation Issues; and Plans for the Twenty-First Century.  COM-FSM Regents Professor John Haglelgam participated as a member of the panel on Education for Cultures on the Move, Chuuk Campus Culture Specialist Joakim Peter participated in the panel discussion on Student Characteristics, Student Needs and served as a discussion facilitator on Enriching the Curriculum with New Courses, and I served as a presenter on the panel that dealt with Working Together – Networks, Interactions and Exchanges.

Nursing Education Meeting/Distance Education Regional Policy Forum.  At approximately 1:45 a.m. on Monday, July 31, 2000, I departed Palau to Guam to attend the Distance Education Regional Policy Forum hosted by the University of Guam.

After resting Monday morning, Vice President for Instructional Affairs Spensin James, Kosrae Campus Director Kalwin Kephas and I met with UOG School of Nursing Dean Maureen Fochtman regarding possible ways UOG, COM-FSM and other regional institutions might collaborate to meet the professional development needs of FSM nurses.  Several possibilities were discussed at the meeting and it was agreed that both Dr. Fochtman and I would contact Catherine Dodd of Region IX to express the need for resources to bring key decision-makers together to develop a coordinated plan for nursing education in the FSM.  I have contacted Ms. Dodd and am currently awaiting a response.

On Tuesday, August 1st, VP James, Director Kephas and I attended the first day of the Distance Education Regional Policy Forum which was held at Ladera Tower.  The primary purpose of this meeting was to develop a broad based policy framework to serve as a common reference point for leaders and key stakeholders to formulate specific policies and performance criteria intended for use in determining how distance education is to be viewed and utilized in their respective jurisdictions.  Participants at the meeting represented Guam, Palau, FSM, and the Marshall Islands.  The opening address was given by Guam Delegate Robert Underwood via teleconference.  Presentations on “The Current Status in the FAS (region) – Learning at a Distance, Barriers and Opportunities in the Region”  were provided by representatives of each institution or entity.  Following these presentations, comments were provided by Ted Christensen of George Washington University on the policy implications to be drawn from the information presented.  In the afternoon Dr. Dirk Ballendorf of the Micronesian Area Research Center at the UOG presented on: “Distance Education in the Pacific – Where We’ve Been; Where We Are: and Where We’re Headed.”  Following Dr. Ballendorf’s presentation, the participants focused on distance education needs and goals that are common across the region for the remainder of the afternoon.  A welcoming reception was given for participants and guests at Ladera Tower Lanai.

I departed Guam for Pohnpei the following morning while VP James and Director Kephas continued to represent the College at the forum for the remaining two days.

FSM Budget Meeting.  On August 3, 2000, Comptroller Bob Epstein and I attended a meeting for all departments, offices and agencies of the FSM National Government called by the FSM Secretary of Finance and Administration with regards to the FY 2001 budget.  During this meeting provisions of the law regarding the FY 2001 budget were reviewed and parameters for development of the FY 2002 budget were discussed.  The need for periodic reports on the outputs included in the performance based budget was stressed.  Arrangements were made for a representative from the FSM Budget Office to meet with COM-FSM staff sometime this week to discuss FY 2002 budget requirements.

Purchase Orders – Cut-off for Fiscal Year 2000.   According to an August 9, 2000, memorandum from Comptroller Bob Epstein to All Concerned, Friday, September 15, 2000, at 5:00 p.m. is the cut-off for the Business Office to receive purchase orders for Fiscal Year 2000.  He further indicated that subsequent to the close of business on September 15 purchase orders submitted to the Business Office will be returned.  For further details please see a copy of this memorandum.

Purchasing Policies and Procedures.   In an attempt to ensure that all staff are aware of the College’s policies and procedures with respect to purchasing, the Comptroller distributed copies attached to an August 9th memorandum to All Concerned.  A copy of the policies and procedures is attached to this update in an attempt to make sure that everyone is aware of the requirements.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to discuss them with the Comptroller or the Business Office Manager.  Let’s all make a concerted effort to follow these guidelines.

Cabinet Actions. At its July 21, 2000, meeting, the Cabinet approved a policy with regards to “Salary Placement for Employees on Exempt Status Who are Hired for a Permanent Position.”  This policy will be included on the agenda for the September Board of Regents meeting and reads as follows:

           An employee on exempt status who is hired for a permanent position will be
            placed on the appropriate salary schedule according to the following guidelines.
            The Personnel Office will determine placement based on the employee’s credentials
            at the time the employee was hired for the exempt position.  The employee will
            then be credited for the years of service while in the exempt position by giving a
            step for each full year of service.  Salary negotiations are allowed within policy
            limitations as per Section VII.5.C.iv for placement purposes.

At the August 4, 2000, meeting the Cabinet approved the “External Funding Proposal Development and Reporting Policy,” which had been developed by the Sponsored Programs Committee after seeking input from all campuses. A copy of this policy, which became effective upon adoption by the Cabinet,  is attached.  If you need clarification regarding its contents, please see Director of Research and Planning Greg Myers.

At the July 28th and August 11th meetings of the Cabinet, a request from Kosrae Campus to use $7,436.77 of additional revenue generated by that campus in excess of the approved FY 2000 budget was approved to cover costs in the areas of supplies, communication, and printing.  The amount of $4,000 is set aside for installation of a chain link fence and for construction of a carport.  This request has been forwarded, via fax, to the Board of Regents for approval.

At the August 11th meeting, the Cabinet also approved, in principle, a policy proposed by the Curriculum Committee which would provide students the option of moving onto the newer degree programs in cases where the requirements have changed.  The primary purpose of this policy is to assist students in completing their programs in the shortest possible time.  Although approved in principle, the wording will be “polished” and the policy will be re-submitted at the August 18th meeting.
Personnel.  Late last week I received the news that Yvette Nall of our Business Administration Division had given birth to a baby boy, Alexis, on Monday, August 7, 2000, at the Pohnpei State Hospital.  Alexis weighed in at a little over 7 pounds and both mother and baby are doing fine.  Congratulations to Yvette and her family!!

The College is pleased to welcome Maria Donre to the Social Science Division, Herman Semes and Brian Brown to the Business Administration Division, and Mary Sween to the Languages and Literature Division at the National Campus.  Also joining us is Richard Bourner who departed Pohnpei for Yap to assume the position of Assistant Director at the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute.  Joining the staff at the Pohnpei Campus are Alan Hopkins in Carpentry and Robert Armstrong and David Schnarr who will both be teaching in the IEP program.  A warm welcome to all of you!

                                                   More Next Time!

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