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April 11, 2001 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 182

April 11, 2001


To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     President

Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.182

Founding Day.    The Founding Day activities were a big success this year thanks to the efforts of the Founding Day Organizing Committee and other staff. A big "Thank You" to Heinrich Palik for serving as a stellar MC for the day. Please remember Heinrich's advice: "Ke dehr karuwaru!" Also, appreciation is expressed to Morehna Santos who served as co-MC for the program. Patricio Ramirez deserves special recognition for his dedication and commitment to ensuring the games were well-organized and handled with fairness. Others who contributed their talents to the success of the events include: Robert Andreas, Leslie Ashby, Salter Borong, Lucia Donre, Eugene Edmund, Churchill Edward, Norma Edwin, Senry Eldridge, Joe Felix, Jr., Nelsiro George, Jonathan Gourlay, Sylvia Henry, Benina Ilon, Castro Joab, Diaz Joseph, Lerihna Lebehn, Miller Lemuel, Luciano Mathias, Francisco Mendiola, Martin Mingii, Rose Nakasone, Lore Nena, Alfred Olter, Pelma Palik, Merins Race, Bastora Raymond, Fermin Remengesau, Joseph Saimon, Hadleen Satele, Loatis Seneres, Patterson Shed, Francisco Simram, Arinda Swingly, and Henry Wilson. Special thanks is extended to the security staff, SBA Officers and State Representatives, the cafeteria staff, and Talent Search and Upward Bound staff for their assistance.

And, most of all, congratulations and thanks to all of the teams who played in the ball games as well as the track and field events. Like I said in my remarks during the opening ceremony, "YOU ARE ALL WINNERS!"

College Bowl.    Appreciation is also expressed to Jonathan Gourlay for organizing this year's very successful College Bowl which was held on March 28th. According to an e-mail message from Jonathan, "College Bowl is a group effort and could not be done without the kind support of the faculty, staff, and students." Special thanks go to: Eric Mecklenburg - scorekeeper; Mary Snaden - timer; Robert Armstrong and Patterson Shed - judges; and Patricio Ramirez, maintenance staff, and MITC staff for providing the venue and setting up for the event. Also, appreciation goes to the following persons who submitted questions: Alicia Ada, Gene Ashby, Christina Baker, Mariana Ben, Nina Blair, Don Buden, Anca Dema, Catherine Good, Jazmin Gonzales, Brian Lynch, Eric Mecklenburg, Charles Musana, Patty Pedrus, Morehna Santos, Mary Snaden, Mary Sween, Ray Verg-in and Yenti Verg-in.

College Bowl 2001 winners were: Green - 1st; Red - 2nd; Brown - 3rd; and White, Blue, Purple - Runners-up. Congratulations to all of you!

Cultural Day.    Due to the flu, unfortunately I was unable to attend the Cultural Day activities held at the National Campus on March 29th. However, I have received word from those in attendance that it was an enjoyable event. Special thanks go to the SBA and the State Reps for the major role they played in organizing this event and to all of the students who participated. Appreciation is also extended to Patricio Ramirez and the Recreation staff and Francisco Mendiola and the Maintenance staff for their help. A "thank you" is also extended to Lore Nena, Dakio Syne, and Senator Nancy Solomon for their participation in the opening ceremony. Gertrude Marangwen and Atarino Eliesar provided invaluable assistance to the Yapese and Chuukese dancing groups respectively. Thank you all for a job well done!

Board of Regents Teleconference meeting.    A meeting of the Board of Regents was held via teleconference on March 28, 2001. Chairman Pedrus conducted the meeting from the President's Conference Room at the National Campus with the other Regents calling in from their respective locations. Unfortunately, Regent Robert got disconnected once the meeting got underway and we were unable to reconnect him to participate in the meeting although numerous tries were made. At this meeting the Board approved the request to use additional revenue generated above budgeted revenue (National Campus) for system network and database implementation up to a maximum of $40,000. However, the proposed revised AA Degree in Micronesian Studies program was deferred until the May meeting. The Board expressed some concern regarding the proposed deletion of the language and culture requirements and made some additional suggestions for the Division to consider. Division of Social Science staff have been apprised of the Board's action and are taking steps to address the issues.

The next meeting of the Board of Regents is scheduled to be held the week of May 21-25, 2001, in Pohnpei.

GAO visit.    A team from the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) visited the College on two occasions this past week. According to a letter to the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs from the US Embassy here, the objectives of the GAO visit were to provide information on (1) the impact, accountability, and cost of program assistance; (2) assistance strategies used by donors with other Pacific island nations; and (3) immigration issues associated with the Compact and its follow-on negotiations. The team's primary focus here at the College was the administration of the Pell Grant program and its impact on the economy of the FSM. A variety of documents and reports with respect to the administration of the Pell Grant program and information on the College as a whole were provided to the team. After meeting with the Comptroller Bob Epstein, Director of Student Services Lore Nena, Financial Aid Coordinator Eddie Haleyalig, and myself, visiting classes, and touring the library, Mr. George (the team member assigned to review this program) seemed satisfied that the Pell Grant program is being handled within the US Department of Education guidelines and regulations and that it is indeed having a positive impact in the FSM through our students and graduates. The visit also provided an opportunity for the College to clear up some misunderstandings regarding several issues.

Chairman Pedrus.    It was learned early last week that COM-FSM Board of Regents Chairman Podis Pedrus had suffered a stroke and was leaving for the Philippines to undergo further medical evaluation there. I would like to ask everyone to please include Chairman Pedrus in your thoughts and prayers.

Personnel.    The College is pleased to welcome Yosko Kim who began work on April 2nd as a Administrative Assistant I with the Chuuk Land Grant program. Welcome, Yosko!

A warm welcome is also extended to Faustino Yarofaisug who began work on March 26th as the Work Study Coordinator in the Financial Aid Office at the National Campus. We are pleased to have you with us.

More Next Time!
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