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July 18, 2001 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 189

July 18, 2001


To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     President

Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.189

Board teleconference meeting.    A meeting of the COM-FSM Board of Regents was held via teleconference on July 3, 2001. A copy of the draft Actions and Directives is attached. The next regular meeting of the Board is scheduled to be held the week of September 17, 2001, in Kosrae.

FSM Congress/EPIC.   FSM Congress convened on July 10th primarily to review and approve the FY 2002 budget. I attended the opening session at which I arranged for a meeting with Senator John Petewon, Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, and Social Affairs, to discuss recommendations regarding the College's FY 2002 request. A meeting was held at 3:00 p.m. that afternoon with the following Senators: Chairman Petewon; Senator Resio Moses, Vice Chairman; Senator Manny Mori, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means; Senator Joseph Urusemal, Floor Leader; and Senator Henry Asugar. Concerns regarding the outstanding FY 97 Board of Regents funds, the level of proposed appropriation for FY 2002, and support for faculty development were discussed. The status of plans for construction of the Chuuk Campus was also discussed. The meeting had a positive tone, and I sensed support for the College. At the same time, I was apprised that the level of revenue of the FY 2002 FSM National Government budget was being re-calculated to show a $2 million reduction from what was previously expected. As a result, members of the various committees are proceeding with caution when reviewing budget requests. The outcomes of our various requests will be included in the next Update.

On Friday, July 13, 2001, at 2:00 p.m. I attended (as an observer) a meeting of the Economic Policy Implementation Council (EPIC) which is comprised of the leadership of the FSM from both the State and National levels. The following topics were discussed: Setting Aside 2002/03 Compact "Bump-Up" Funds to a Stability Trust Fund; Distribution Formula for Division of Compact Funds; Status of Basic Social Services (BSS) and Private Sector Development (PSD) Loan Programs; and Future of Civic Action Teams in FSM. The FSM National Government and Yap State have agreed to set aside 100% of the Bump-Up funds to be placed in the Stability Trust Fund, while Pohnpei State has agreed to set aside 60%. Chuuk and Kosrae States have each agreed to set aside 50%. The distribution formula for division of Compact funds will remain the same. There is still a level of concern regarding the BSS and PSD loans and, as a result, further review of these programs has been delayed until the October session of the FSM Congress. It appears that there has been a decision to no longer send CAT Teams to the FSM. Instead, the US military will be responding to requests for humanitarian assistance. There was some discussion as to whether or not this change is consistent with the provision in the Compact.

Community College Leadership Development Initiative (CCLDI).    As reported in Update 188 I traveled to Oakland, California to attend a July 6 meeting of the CCLDI Board of Directors on which I represent the Western Pacific institutions. At this meeting the Board focused on the various efforts that have been made to establish the Community College Leadership Institute (CCLI) at Claremont Graduate University which include hiring of the Director, Dr. Martha Romero, and requesting for funding from the California State Legislature. Reports from Hawaii and the Western Pacific were also presented. The CCLDI Board was also privileged to meet with Dr. Richard Atkinson, President of the University of California System, regarding establishment or re-establishment of doctoral level programs in the area of community college leadership. All expenses for my attendance at this meeting are to be reimbursed by CCLDI.

Staff Senate Officers for SY 2001- 2002.    According to a July 6, 2001, message received from Staff Senate President Jonathan Gourlay, the Staff Senate officers for School Year 2001-2002 are as follows: President - Jonathan Gourlay; Vice President - Jean Thoulag; Secretary -- Mariana Ben; Treasurer - Benson Moses; Faculty Rep - Dr. Richard Womack; and Staff Rep - Joseph Saimon. Congratulations to all of you!

Chuuk Campus Update.    According to Chairperson, Danilo Mamangon, the Math and Science Department at Chuuk Campus is offering six (6) courses this summer which falls far short of meeting student demand. Due to lack of qualified instructors, they were forced to cancel MS 065 and unable to offer MS 100, MS 110, SC 101, and SC 110. In anticipation of an increase in the fall enrollment, the Department is looking for prospective local instructors to be certified in math and/or science courses. The Department is also providing tutoring services to Chuuk Campus students as well as students in the Upward Bound Program.

A workshop is planned to be held in Chuuk from August 13-17, 2001, which is part of an agreement between the FSM Division of Education and the College for implementation of the College Success Program which focuses on improving the teaching skills of high school teachers. Danilo has also been participating in Project Delta under PREL and has been named a member of the PCIC which oversees the implementation of PREL's activities in the various entities.

The Chuuk Campus Business Department reported that 8 out of 18 computers at the Computer Lab have been hooked up to the College's network. In addition, 7 computers were networked to enable them to print documents. At the end of spring semester, the Computer Lab was open from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. twice a week to provide students with additional computer time.

The Education Department is offering 7 courses this summer with a total enrollment of 113 students. Two of these courses are bilingual courses which are being offered in collaboration with the Chuuk Career Ladder Program. Students in ED 210 and ED 212 did on-site teaching observation at Berea Christian School. These students are also involved with a Letter Exchange Program between Chuuk Campus and the education students at the State University of New York.

The English Department is providing 15 classes for 307 students with 5 full-time instructors and 2 part-time instructors. Due to a combination of circumstances, it is anticipated that the English Department will be very short-handed for the fall semester.

Under the Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) component of the Land Grant Program, an Extension Assistant taught 8 lessons on agriculture in Patta Municipality to 20 participants. Five of these participants graduated from the program. A total of 21 Extension Agents and Assistants were trained in the areas of banana tissue culturing, taught by Dr. Josecutty from the Kosrae Land Grant Program, and integrated pest management, taught by Dr. Flordeliza and Raul Javier. Under this component, a demonstration garden and nursery are being maintained with newly planted vegetables, while the greenhouse is filled with a variety of plants, including ornamentals.

Under the Community Resource and Development component (CRD), 30 participants completed training in sewing in Patta Municipality. CRD staff also coordinated technical assistance with the Small Business Association, taught social science to students in the Youth-at-Risk program, and provided sewing samples for the In-school Summer Program.

In-service training was provided for 4 Extension Assistants in the areas of recipe formulation, cooking demonstration, and curriculum development for in-school youth.

The Youth Development Program will begin a two-month training program for 30 students who have dropped out of school. Academic courses will be the focus of the first month, while the second month will focus on lessons in self-development and motivation, including lessons on social, cultural, and spiritual values.

Chuuk Campus fielded 2 teams in the Basketball Friendship League in Chuuk. Both teams reached the play-offs and won second- and third-place trophies.

A total of 371 students registered for classes at Chuuk Campus this summer, which is an increase of 15 over last summer's enrollment.

Pohnpei Campus Update.     According to the June monthly report from Pohnpei Campus, Director Penny Weilbacher traveled to Guam to attend the quarterly meeting of the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA). Penny and Nercy Simina also attended the FSM Librarian Training Institute held at the College's National Campus LRC. During the month Penny also attended a budget hearing at the Pohnpei State Legislature relative to Pohnpei State's share of the OMIP matching funds. Phyllis Silbanuz and Gardner Edgar have been contracted to survey job employers in Pohnpei and create a database.

The second level of the Career Counseling Training program began on June 11, 2001. A total of 22 participants, the same group that completed level I last summer, have enrolled in courses that meet 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 4 weeks. The participants will earn a total of 12 credits for the program.

The Pohnpei Campus Advisory Council held its monthly meeting on June 21, 2001, and reviewed the priorities of the Campus with the focus on Adult Education.

A total of 118 people were assisted by the Cooperative Extension Services component of the Land Grant Program during the month of June. Programs were provided in the areas of Crop Production and Marketing Information, Swine Improvement, False Sakau Eradication, Home Gardening, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), Lowland Sakau, Black Pepper, and Banana Production, Marketing, and Utilization.

Two Extension Agents and the Assistant Director attended a seminar on banana tissue culturing conducted by Dr. Josecutty at the National Campus. Also, two Extension Agents traveled to Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi to set up taro trials. The EFNEP Extension Agent is currently working with the Kolonia Dispensary to set up a clinic on malnutrition.

Summer school for the Upward Bound Program is scheduled to run from July 2nd through August 10th with a staff of 11 part-time instructors. Courses being offered include physics, chemistry, biology, physical science, pre-algebra, geometry, algebra I, trigonometry & algebra II, advanced reading, advanced composition, composition, reading, computer applications, basic computing, and study skills. The staff is also making preparations for the first on-line Annual Performance Report which is due in November of this year. This report will include the first 2 years of services.

The Upward Bound Seniors are now enrolled at COM-FSM for their summer bridge program where they are taking 3 hours of computer classes.

All 69 of the seniors in the Talent Search Program graduated from high school this year. The salutatory address was given by TSP graduate Jason Sam at Bailey Olter High School, while most of the elementary schools had TSP participants as valedictorians and salutatorians. Five (5) TSP students traveled abroad to participate in the science and math program including: Roselle Bardellas (University of Hawaii at Hilo); Calvin Sam (Honolulu); Adser Edward and Serline Soukon (San Diego State University); and Jennifer Saimon (Monterey College). TSP Director Heinrich Palik reported that over 95% of the 2001 high school seniors are enrolling at COM-FSM come fall semester.

PREL Board of Directors, PPEC, and FACSSO meetings.   . I will leave this Saturday, July 21, 2001, to travel to Guam to attend meetings of the FSM Association of Chief State School Officers (FACSSO) to be held Sunday morning, the PREL Board of Directors to be held Sunday afternoon and all day Monday, and the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council (PPEC) which is scheduled to be held July 24-25, 2001, at Guam Community College. Vice President for Support and Student Affairs Ringlen Ringlen will act on my behalf during my absence. I am scheduled to return on Friday, July 27, 2001. The greater part of my travel expenses is being covered by PREL.

Personnel.   Resignation notices have been received from the following teaching staff effective the end of the summer semester: Flocerfida Cualing (Chuuk Campus); Alvios William (Chuuk Campus); and Brian Lynch (National Campus). We thank all of you for your service to the College and wish you the very best in the future.

In his June 8, 2001, letter to Dana Lee-Ling, Chairperson of the Division of Math and Science, Brian Lynch wrote:

"I can honestly say that teaching at the College of Micronesia for the past three years has been one of the best experiences of my life. It is my intention to return to the college with the conclusion of my studies if I am fortunate enough to be given a second opportunity to do so."

A warm welcome is extended to Madison Nena, who has joined the Kosrae Upward Bound Program as the Career Counselor, and Judith Night who has joined the National Campus Division of Languages and Literature. We are glad to have you with us!

Congratulations are in order for Belinda Suzuki of the Business Administration Division and her husband Johnny Hadley, Junior. Belinda gave birth to a 7 lb. 5 oz. boy whom they named Jonathan Hadley. Jonathan holds the traditional title of "Ounpohnken."

More Next Time!
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