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September 27, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 168

Board of Regents Meeting.   A special meeting of the COM-FSM Board of Regents was held September 20-21, 2000, in the State of Chuuk at the Blue Lagoon Resort.  All of the Regents were in attendance.  A copy of the Action and Directives from this meeting is attached.  The Board and Chuuk Campus co-hosted a reception on Wednesday, September 20th for Chuuk Campus faculty and staff and the Chuuk leadership, and the Board was hosted to a dinner by Chuuk Governor Ansito Walter on Thursday, September 21st.  On this occasion Governor Walter assured the Regents of his support for the College.   The Regents also toured Chuuk Campus and visited several classes on the 21st.  Endowment consultant Daniel Roland presented a summary of the status of the College’s Endowment Fund, which is currently at approximately $1.8 million, and Stephen Finnen from Saimon & Associates met with the Board in executive session to discuss several pending legal matters.  In addition to the Regents, the meeting was also attended by the State Campus Directors from Chuuk and Kosrae Campuses, the Assistant Director from Chuuk Campus, the Comptroller, the Executive Assistant to the President who serves as recorder for the Board meetings, Education Division Chairperson Dr. Richard Womack, and the President.  Dr. Womack attended the meeting to specifically address the need for an increase in tuition as related to the impact on the College’s programs. Prior to departure on Friday morning, the Chairman and the President were interviewed by Education and Culture Specialist Joakim Peter for an article on the meeting for the Chuuk Campus newspaper.

Kosrae Campus Update.   According to a report submitted to the Board by Kosrae Campus Director Kalwin Kephas, a total of 92 students were enrolled in the Kosrae Campus summer session, 13 of whom were enrolled in the newly implemented Certificate of Achievement Program in Agriculture and Food Technology.  Courses in carpentry and construction were also part of the summer session offerings.  Although no in-service teachers are registered for classes this fall, Director Kephas is hopeful that some of the teachers will register in the Master’s program to be offered by San Diego State University via distance education this fall.

Fall semester enrollment is 154 students distributed as follows:  carpentry – 15; education 81; bookkeeping – 7; agriculture –11; and general studies/others – 40.  Of the 154 students, 42 are new students, 6 are returning students and 106 are continuing students.  Kosrae Campus has requested that the work-study program be once again extended for this fall.

Award notification for the Kosrae GEAR UP program in the amount of $328,045 for FY 2001 was received in August.  The 2001 school year tutorial program began on September 4, 2000, with 12 additional tutors and mentors in all six centers.

A supplementary proposal for over $80,000 was submitted for the Upward Bound Program which will allow the program to serve an additional 10 students and create a new career counseling program.  Tutorial sessions for the new school year began on September 12, 2000.

Kosrae Campus has selected six of seven members of its Advisory Council including the following:  Lydia Timothy – Department of Education/Kosrae Women; Singkitchy George – Commerce and Industry; Nena Nena – Agriculture and Preservation; Nena Tolenoa – Community Affairs; Tadasy Sigrah – Legislature Education Committee; and Raimond Tulensru – Business Community.  All of the selected members have indicated their willingness to serve.

Yap Campus Update.   Yap Campus Director Lourdes Roboman reported that during the summer, System Network Specialist Ken Girrard visited Yap Campus to work with Information Specialist Pius Mirey on networking the campus.  She indicated that the campus is now ready for networking as soon as FSM Telecom in Yap is ready to hook up the campus.

Lourdes further reported that as the Treasurer/Secretary for the Yap Private Industry Council, she was invited to attend the JTPA/WIA conference held in Guam during the latter part of June.  Effective July 1, 2000, JTPA became WIA (Workforce Investment Act), and Lourdes was also elected Treasurer/Secretary for the WIA Board.

Dr. Sandy Dawson and other staff from PREL visited Yap Campus to discuss Project DELTA.  During this visit, the Upward Bound Site Coordinator in Woleai was approved to become part of the Yap Team.  He, along with David Reiss of Yap Campus, attended the Project DELTA meeting in Guam.  Through Project DELTA Yap DOE and Yap Campus staff are working together to improve math skills and knowledge of students in the middle grades.

Yap Campus Upward Bound Director Jovita Masiwemai, traveled to San Diego the latter part of July to attend a TRIO national directors conference.  Last week Jovita traveled to Washington, DC to attend another TRIO conference.

Director Roboman attended the Education Summit held in Pohnpei September 5-8, 2000, as part of the Yap delegation with all expenses covered by the FSM Office of Education.

Personnel.  Yap Campus remains without a full-time English instructor after having two qualified applicants decline after they had been approved.  It is hoped that this position will be filled by early January, 2001.

David Reiss will be leaving Yap Campus upon the expiration of his contract in January, 2001.  His position is currently being announced with the hope that it will be filled by the time David leaves.

Rieko Hirai, JOCV and HRM instructor for Yap Campus departed Yap last July after her term expired.  According to the JOCV Office in Pohnpei, her replacement will become available in early December, 2000.  Director Roboman said that she is anxious to have Rieko’s replacement on board soon so that the Certificate of Achievement in HRM program, developed by Yap Campus, can be implemented.

Allison Figi, a Peace Corps Volunteer, has been assigned to Yap Campus to work half time in setting up the Campus library.  She is dividing her time between Yap Campus and Yap State Public Library.

It is hoped that the position of Construction Electricity Instructor, funded through OMIP and Yap State matching funds, will be filled by early January, 2001.  An application for an Australian Volunteer has been submitted in the hopes of locating an appropriate person for this position.  Once this instructor is on board, Yap Campus will start its vocational education program.

Upward Bound.  Although the Yap Campus Upward Bound Program had a late beginning, before the end of the school year 50 students (30 from Yap High School, 10 from Ulitihi High School, and 10 from Woleai High School) had been selected to participate in the program.  The program held its first six-week Summer Institute whereby all UB students traveled to Yap Proper for classroom instruction, tutoring, and counseling services.

Summer/Fall Semesters.  Although Yap Campus had planned and scheduled classes for Yap Head Start teachers for the summer, the memorandum of agreement between the College and Yap Head Start/Yap DOE was not approved by the DOE and, as a result, summer session was canceled.

This fall semester a total of 84 students have officially enrolled for classes.

Facilities.  Public bidding for the research lab, which is being funded by the Land Grant program, was completed with Waab Construction Company winning the bid.  It is anticipated that construction of this building, which is to be equipped with two laboratories for aquaculture and agriculture, will be completed by the end of March, 2001.

Yap Campus was awarded approximately $42,000 by FEMA for construction of a classroom as a result of damage suffered during a typhoon a couple of years ago.  Yap Campus was fortunate that Yap State Governor Vincent Figir approved its request to waive public bidding for this project.  It is planned that this classroom will be part of a larger complex to be constructed once additional funds have been obtained.

Learning Resources.  Director Roboman reported that Yap Campus is slowly but surely setting up the library for use by students, staff, and faculty.  Reference materials have been ordered as well as computer systems which will provide Internet access.  Until such time as the library is set up, the facility is being used as a study hall.

Workshops/Customized Training.  This summer Yap Campus provided training in Table Setting and Table Service for hospitality workers, a Pre-employment & Work Maturity Workshop for JTPA (WIA) clients, and a Tour Guide training program which is still on-going.

SDSU Master’s Program.  Like the other State Campuses, Yap Campus is currently announcing the availability of on-line courses from San Diego State University for those interesting in pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership.  Courses are scheduled to begin in October.  Yap Campus staff will serve as facilitators for this program.

Trip Report.  During the week of September 11-17, 2000, I traveled to Honolulu to attend several meetings.  (Expenses for this trip were covered by PREL.)  On Monday, September 11th I met with UH Chancellor for Community Colleges Joyce Tsunoda, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michael Rota, Kapiolani CC Provost John Morton, Maui CC Provost Clyde Sakamoto, and Kauai CC Provost Peggy Cha regarding the establishment of a nursing education program.  Although Dr. Terry Rogers, former Dean of the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, was scheduled to join the meeting, he was unable to do so due to ill health.  During this meeting I learned that each of the community colleges in the UH system offers nursing education courses and that UH is most willing to share curricula and provide assistance in meeting the needs of the FSM in this area.  Further meetings will be needed to follow up on some of their recommendations.

On September 12th I was to meet with a subcommittee of the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council (PPEC) to review PPEC bylaws.  For various reasons, only Dr. Rota and I were able to meet.  We spent the morning reviewing the history of PPEC and the Articles of Incorporation which were filed in Guam in 1981 and decided to review some of the larger issues with PPEC members later in the week.

From September 13-15 I attended an IHE networking meeting sponsored by Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) held at the PREL Office. The following institutions represented at this meeting:  University of Hawaii at Hilo, University of Hawaii at Manoa (College of Education), Palau Community College, Northern Marianas College, COM-FSM, College of the Marshall Islands, and American Samoa Community College.  Although a draft agenda of topics was presented, discussion at the meeting focused primarily on how PREL and the IHE’s can more effectively collaborate and cooperate on teacher education projects and initiatives.  Considerable discussion was held on the Basic Teaching Credential being proposed by PREL and the role of the IHE’s in the work of the Regional Educational Lab (REL).  Mechanisms for enhancing a tripartite cooperative effort among the IHE’s, PREL, and the local departments of education were also discussed.  Representatives of the IHE’s felt strongly the need to be more fully represented on the PREL Board and signed a joint letter of request to PREL Board Chairperson Henry Falan in this regard.

An informal meeting of the PPEC was during lunch on September 14th during which several issues related to the bylaws were discussed.

I returned to Pohnpei on the late flight Sunday, September 17, 2000.

Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace and College Premises Policy.  In a September 21, 2000, memorandum, Personnel Officer Linda Maradol urged all employees to sign the Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace and College Premises policy form and submit it to her before October 1, 2000.   I urge all employees to comply with this request as compliance with this policy is an audit requirement.  Thank you for your help with this.

Personnel.  A warm welcome is extended to the following persons who have recently joined the College:

                   Rhoda Velasquez, Math/Computer Instructor, Kosrae Campus
                   Florante Ygana, Carpentry Instructor, Chuuk Campus
                   Alex Raiuklur, Marine Engineer Instructor, FSM FMI
                   Mayliza Ariote, Library Assistant, National Campus

Welcome to COM-FSM!  We are glad to have you with us.

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