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November 7, 2000 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 171

FSM Congress. According to information received from the Chief Clerk of the FSM Congress, the College's request to have FY 2001 budget legislation amended to modify the use of the $236,600 appropriated for a baseball field was passed on second reading by Congress on October 28, 2000. These funds are now earmarked for construction of additional faculty office space at the National Campus. Once this measure has been signed by the FSM President, work can begin on this facility.

Acting COM-FSM President Ringlen Ringlen and Director of Research and Planning Greg Myers attended a hearing with the Committee on Health, Education and Social Affairs (HESA) on October 27, 2000, during which the following issues were discussed: COM-FSM President's full membership on the FSM Association of Chief State School Officers (FACSSO), the Strategic Plan for Improvement of Education in the FSM, the FSM Language Policy, and the nomination of Yap State Director of Education Henry Falan to the COM-FSM Board of Regents. It is hoped that other College-related issues including the establishment of the Language and Culture Institute, the $67,000 outstanding FY 97 Board funds, and funding for facilities at the State Campuses will receive attention during the special session to be held in early December.

After consultation with COM-FSM Board Chairman Podis Pedrus, on October 20, 2000, a letter officially requesting a total of $1.35 million in supplemental funding for construction of classrooms, faculty offices, and vocational facilities at Yap, Kosrae, and Pohnpei Campuses was sent to the FSM President. It is not yet clear whether the President will include this request in his supplemental request for consideration of Congress at the December special session.

Accreditation Update. The College's Focused Midterm Report has been submitted to the Executive Director of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). This report summarizes actions taken by the College with regards to the recommendations made by the last Evaluation Team in March 1998, recommendations made in the 1997 Self Study, and most particularly three focused recommendations in the Commission's June 1998 action letter in the following areas: financial stability in light of the Compact re-negotiations; quality of student life and concerns regarding dormitory management; and the need for an updated personnel manual of policies and procedures. Former Guam Community College President John Cruz will be conducting the follow-up visit on behalf of the Commission during the week of December 11th. The primary purpose of this visit will be to validate the Midterm Report. Special thanks to Greg for the many hours he spent in completing this report. Anyone wishing to see a copy of the report should contact Greg.

Arrangements are also being made for a representative from the Accrediting Commission to visit the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute (FSM FMI) to follow up on the Substantive Change Report which was accepted by the Commission at its June 2000 meeting. Although such a visit typically occurs within six months of Commission action on a report, a request has been made to postpone the visit until the early part of 2001 in light of some difficulties encountered by FMI in the completion of the facilities renovation work. A formal response has not yet been received from the ACCJC Executive Director.

Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week. Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week was held at the National Campus from October 30 - November 2, 2000. The theme for this year was: "What is My Role in the Fight Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse?" Activities included a general assembly, video showings, and poster, essay, poem, and skit contests. Special appreciation is expressed to Morehna Santos, Benina Ilon, and Henry Wilson for spearheading this year's observance. Also, thanks go to Vice President for Support and Student Affairs, Director of Student Services, Student Services staff, members of the Student Services Committee and the Student Body Association, maintenance staff, cafeteria staff, and AV staff for your assistance. Also a word of appreciation is expressed to staff who served as judges for the various events who include: Eric Mecklenburg (2 events), Jonathan Gourlay, Patricia Pedrus, Patterson Shed, Ideia Sackryas, Joe Saimon, and Harvey Segal.

Winners in the various categories include: Posters -- Sidney Lebehn (1st), Gloreen Malakai (2nd), LJ Rayphand (3rd), Neylon Elieizer (4th), and Sophia Joel (5th); Essay - Rachel Salomon (1st), Stephanie Rettin (2nd), Glen Danis (3rd), Dakuma Lucios (4th), and John Paul Ori (appreciation); Poems - Tania Jim (1st), Lore Reuney (2nd), John Paul Ori (3rd), Fruston Likiaksa (appreciation), McEnroe Ardos (appreciation), and Jonathan Mathau (appreciation); Skits/Songs -- Dormitory Prayer Group (1st), Yap Student Association (2nd), Chu-Chok Chuuk Association (3rd), Beyond Boundaries (HCOP) (4th), and Kosrae Student Association (5th). Congratultions to everyone who participated. As Jonathan Mathau said during the closing ceremonies, you are all winners!

Tuition Increase Public Forums. A series of public forums is being held to gather input on the proposed tuition increase. The schedule of these forums is as follows: October 26 - National Campus; October 26 - TSP students and parents, evening; October 27 - Chuuk; October 27 - Pohnpei Upward Bound students and parents, evening; October 30 - Yap; November 2 - Pohnpei Campus; November 4-5 - Pingelap; November 9 or 10 - Kosrae.

Committees. While I was away last week, Executive Assistant to the President Norma Edwin distributed memos assigning faculty and staff to various committees. An attempt was made to honor preferences as indicated on the survey conducted earlier. Also, Division Chairs were consulted to determine appropriate representation of the respective divisions on committees. I encourage everyone to please take the work of these committees seriously by attending meetings on a regular basis, providing input from the office or division that you represent, and reporting back to your office or division on the results of committee discussions. Thank you for your support.

Personnel. News in this area will be included in the next Update.

More Next Time!
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