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August 30, 2000- Palikir, Pohnpei
Update from the President's Office - No. 166

Chuuk Graduation/Chuuk Campus Visit. The 3rd Commencement Exercise for COM-FSM Chuuk State Campus was held on August 16, 2000, at the FSM Supreme Court building in Chuuk. After the singing of the national anthem by the graduates, the invocation was given by Fr. Lewis. Acting Chuuk Campus Director Switer Eter welcomed everyone to the ceremony, after which I provided opening remarks. Midae Elias delivered the valedictory speech followed by Chuuk State Governor Ansito Walter who provided the special address for the occasion. Chuuk Regent Gardenia Walter and Acting Chairperson of the Chuuk Board of Education Margarita Cholymay then presented the degrees and certificates.

A.S. Degrees in Elementary Teacher Education were awarded to the following students: Janalynn Aidel, Nincher Hainrick, Ivita Mariano, Barmy Misauo, Angkel Rapun, Josephat Robert, Merlynn Marcus, Asher Mull, Denita A. Beyond, Marvin Roby, Eddie Sak, Leon Yar, Mitae Elias, Simion Faungy, Rickson Sipia, Rinderin Pitiol, Falantin Konrad, and Elsa Rain. Students earning an A.A. Degre in Liberal Arts (finished up one or two courses at Chuuk Campus to graduate after attending National Campus) -- Bender Shomour and Douglas Mwangin. James Nimeisa was awarded a Certificate of Achievement in General Studies, while Rengwa Kanemoto, Adleen Sotam, and Nexina Alik were awarded a Certificate of Achievement in Bookkeeping.

Recipients of the Senator Mori Incentive Awards are as follows: Best Student of the Year – L. Likiche; 2nd Best Student of the Year – T. Nakayama; 3rd Best Student of the Year – M. Elias; Best Teacher of the Year – D. Mamangon; 2nd Best Teacher of the Year – A. William; Best Staff of the Year – M. Bisalen; 2nd Best Staff of the Year – K. Eria. Following the ceremony a luncheon in honor of the graduates was held at the Chuuk Star Restaurant. Congratulations to all graduates!!

In the afternoon, I met with the Acting Director and the Chuuk Campus Director of Vocational Education, Stephen Richmond, to tour the newly renovated vocational education facilities. Later in the afternoon the Acting Director and I met with Governor Walter on a number of issues including the status of the construction of the Chuuk Campus facilities. During that visit I also asked the Governor to share his vision for the College.

On Thursday, August 17th, the day began with a breakfast meeting with Chuuk Regent Gardenia Walter and the Acting Director during which we discussed the December Endowment Fund Raffle (Regent Walter is the Board’s representative on the Fundraising Steering Committee), the funds needed for construction of the Chuuk Campus facilities, the plans for the upcoming Board of Regents meeting in Chuuk, and concerns regarding the safety of the current Chuuk Campus facilities.

Following this meeting I met with the Acting Director of Health Services to seek input on the development of a nursing education program. I then attended a luncheon sponsored by the Chuuk Upward Bound Program at Truk Stop Hotel. From there I went back to the campus for a meeting with the entire Chuuk Land Grant staff during which several issues were brought to my attention including the need for matching funds from the Chuuk State Legislature for special projects.

Following the meeting with the Land Grant staff the Acting Director and I went to the Chuuk State Legislature where we met with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. During this meeting I provided information regarding the status of construction of the Chuuk State Campus facilities. The request for Land Grant matching funds was also discussed.

The Acting Director and I then went to the Department of Education to meet with Director Kangichy Welle regarding the Chuuk Career Ladder Proposal. A follow up meeting in that regard is being held at the National Campus this week. Details on this proposal will be shared in the next update.

In the evening I attended a dinner with Chuuk Campus faculty and staff held at the Korea House Restaurant. Appreciation is hereby expressed to all of the Chuuk Campus faculty and staff for the hospitality extended to me during this visit.

Appreciation Luncheon. On Thursday, August 10, 2000, a luncheon was held at PCR to express appreciation to volunteers who had taught one or more courses in the Trial Counselors and Business Administration programs and to business/agency managers and supervisors who had supervised the work of the College’s accounting interns during the past semester. Honorees, who received a certificate and a College umbrella, include:

Michael Sipos, Counsel, FSM Supreme Court; Mary Jane (MJ) Mace, FSM Assistant Attorney General; Thomas Beckman, Pohnpei State Legislative Legal Counsel; James Woodruff, former Pohnpei State Attorney General (currently with the FSM Development Bank); Tammy Davis, Clerk, FSM Supreme Court; Aren Palik, Vice President and Pohnpei Branch Manager, Bank of Hawaii; Alpino Kerman, Pohnpei State Auditor; James Blair, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Bank of the FSM; Fabian Nimea, Executive Vice President & Branch Administrator, Bank of the FSM; Seper Sohrab, Vice President & Data Processing Manager, Bank of the FSM; Finley Perman, Acting FSM Public Auditor; Kelly Keller, Comptroller, PUC; and Rose Nakanaga, FSM Assistant Secretary of Finance. Chief Justice Andon Amaraich was also recognized for the support he provided to the Trial Counselors Program.

Board of Regents Meeting. A special meeting of the COM-FSM Board of Regents has been scheduled for September 20-21, 2000, in Chuuk. A draft agenda will be included in the next Update.

Cabinet Actions. Since the last Update the Cabinet has approved several policies including the “Changes in Academic Program Requirements Policy” (attached), the Student Financial Aid Package for School Year 2000-2001, and a modification to the policy on “Salary Placement for Employees on Exempt Status Who are Hired for Permanent Position.” Both the Financial Aid Package and the “Salary Placement…” policy will be included on the agenda for the upcoming Board of Regents meeting. A modification of the “Salary Placement…” policy was needed to address those employees who had been employed by the College prior to assuming an exempt position to provide them credit for their past employment with the College. The Financial Aid Package is the same as last year’s with the exception of an increase in the Pell Grant available to students.

Enrollment. As of this writing the unofficial total number of students who have enrolled at the National Campus for the fall 2000 semester is 861 which is a record number. This figure includes students who enrolled in the UOG fourth-year program, the Related Services Assistants, and elementary and Head Start teachers in addition to our freshmen, sophomores, and third-year students. It has also been learned that the Pohnpei Campus projection of 280 students was nearly reached, and that Chuuk Campus has registered over 500 students for this semester. Figures are not yet available from theYap and Kosrae Campuses. Official enrollment figures will be provided in a later Update.

Personnel. A warm welcome is extended to Relinda Abellera who has assumed the position of Physical Science Instructor at the National Campus, and Belinda Suzuki who has begun teaching business and computer courses on a limited term contract also at the National Campus. Welcome to the COM-FSM family!

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