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July 30, 2001 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 190

July 30, 2001


To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     President

Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.190

OMIP grant award.    Word has been received from Nikolao I. Pula, Acting Director of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of Interior, that the College has been awarded a buddy system grant award under the Operations and Maintenance Improvement Program (OMIP) in the amount of $20,000. The funds provided through this grant will be used to bring the State Campus Directors to Pohnpei for a meeting in late August and to support the participation of Director of Vocational Education Brent Villiers at the OMIP conference to be held in Kona, Hawaii in September. Matching funds provided through the OMIP program have supported the implementation of the College's vocational education programs at the State Campuses. In the award letter, Acting Director Pula stated, "I applaud your efforts to provide the opportunity for the citizens of Micronesia to learn valuable technical skills, and wish you continued success in all of your programs!"

Chuuk Campus bid announcement.   The Chuuk State Commission on Improvement Projects together with the College of Micronesia-FSM is inviting interested contractors to submit sealed bid proposals for the construction of COM-FSM Chuuk Campus Access Road/Utilities and other factors as indicated on the Project Plans. Sealed bids will be received at either the Office of the Director of Maintenance at the National Campus or at the COM-FSM Campus/Chuuk Director's Office on or before Monday, August 27, 2001, at 1:00 p.m. A pre-bid conference is scheduled to be held on Monday, August 13, 2001, at 1:00 p.m. at the Chuuk Star Conference Room in Weno, Chuuk. According to the proposed schedule, it is anticipated that a notice of award can be made by September 7, 2001, and a contract signed by September 14, 2001. Groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for the first week in October.

Coca-Cola scholarship winner.    In a July 10, 2001, letter from J. Mark Davis, President, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the College was notified that Sistine Lokopwe has been selected as an awardee under the Coca-Cola Two-Year Colleges Scholarship Program. Sistine will receive an award in the amount of $1000. She is among 400 recipients nationwide who are being recognized for their academics and record of community service. Congratulations, Sistine!

Purchase order cut-off date for FY 2001    In a July 23, 2001, memorandum, Acting Comptroller Pelma Palik informed all concerned that properly approved purchase orders from the National and Pohnpei Campuses must be received in the Business Office no later than the close of business on September 14, 2001. The deadline for purchase orders for all other campuses and Land Grant is August 31, 2001. Pelma also urged that purchase orders for off-island purchases be processed as soon as possible to allow time for shipment and receipt of the items prior to the end of the fiscal year. Items received after September 30, 2001, will be charged to FY 2002. The Business Office will begin to process purchase orders for FY 2002 on October 15, 2001. Everyone is asked to comply with these deadlines.

Open enrollment for the FSM National Government Employee's Health Insurance Plan.    Director of Personnel Linda Maradol has advised all COM-FSM faculty and staff that the month of August is open enrollment for the FSM National Government Employee's Health Insurance Plan. During this period, employees are allowed to join if not currently on the Plan or change options, cancel enrollment and/or modify enrollment arrangements if currently enrolled. All applications are due on August 31, 2001, and changes will become effective October 1, 2001. Employees can address questions to Linda or to the respective State Campus Directors.

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.

Trip report.    I traveled to Guam on July 22, 2001, (one day late due to a 24-hour delay by the airline) to attend a meeting of the PREL Board of Directors. Shortly after arriving on Guam, I attended a reception to honor the teachers of the year from each participating entity that was held at the Hyatt Regency Guam. The PREL Board of Directors meeting began at 9:00 a.m. the following morning with summaries of the following PREL programs: Pacific Assessment Systems & Services, Freely Associated States Grant Program, Project DELTA, PRELStar, NEARStar, Pacific Regional Technology in Education Consortium, and Regional Educational Laboratory. Following a break, reports were provided on the following topics: Pacific Educator in Residence Program, program projects and activities update, 18th annual conference update, Pathways to College Network initiative, and Department of Labor grants. The theme for the 19th annual conference, which is to be held in American Samoa in July of next year, is "Our Pacific Community: Fostering Educational Access Through Technology." After a lunch break, the Board worked on the PREL strategic plan, discussed the CEO's 2001 performance review process, reviewed the meeting schedule, considered an invitation to meet with the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council (PPEC) to discuss enhanced collaboration, and considered a letter from the Deputy Secretary of the FSM Department of Health, Education, and Social Affairs requesting membership on the PREL Board. The request from the Deputy Secretary will be reviewed by the four State Directors of Education from the FSM who will provide a recommendation at the November meeting. The next meeting of the PREL Board of Directors is scheduled to be held November 10-11, 2001, at the Kilauea Military Camp on the island of Hawaii.

In the morning of July 24th I attended the opening ceremonies for the 18th Annual Pacific Education Conference which was held at the UOG Fieldhouse. Following these ceremonies I prepared to chair a 1:30 p.m. meeting of the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council (PPEC) which was held at Guam Community College July 24-25, 2001. PPEC members attending this meeting included: Joaquin Sablan, President, Northern Marianas College; Roy Tsuda, Acting President, University of Guam; Michael Rota, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UH Community Colleges; Marie Nelson, Chairperson, UOG Board of Regents; Patrick Tellei, President, Palau Community College; Herminiano delos Santos, President, Guam Community College; Antonio Jesus, member, GCC Board of Trustees; Podis Pedrus, Chairperson, COM-FSM Board of Regents, and myself. Guests included Failautusi Avegalio, Jr. of the Pacific Business Center Program and John Carroll of Hawaii Community College. Agenda items included the following reports: PREL update; update from each institution; accreditation update provided by John Cruz; Community College Leadership Development Initiative (CCLDI) update provided by President delos Santos and myself; status of the Regional Sea Grant Consortium and MAREPAC provided by President Tellei; developments in the area of telecommunications and distance education, a summary of the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training (PCATT), and a presentation by the Director of the Pacific Business Center Program. Other items discussed include the following: the development of BA/BS in Technology; direction and support for the Chief Academic Officers for their meeting in Hilo in August; support for re-energizing the organization of Chief Business Officers; establishment of a PPEC dues structure; and a request for a meeting with the Executive Committee of the PREL Board of Directors in November. The PPEC members supported my continued membership on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges for a full three-year term. The new PPEC officers are as follows: NMC President Sablan, Chairperson; GCC President delos Santos, Vice Chairperson; CMI President Alfred Capelle, Secretary; and PCC President Patrick Tellei. I will continue to serve as a member of PPEC until December 23, 2001. Although PPEC voted that the new chairperson should serve as the region's representative to the CCLDI Board of Directors (at my suggestion), later communication received from ACCJC Executive Director David Wolf indicates that, according to CCLDI by-laws, I should remain as a member of the CCLDI Board unless I choose to resign from that organization. I will be in touch with the PPEC Chairperson to determine appropriate action to be taken.

On Thursday, July 26, 2001, I attended several sessions at the conference including the following: "Learn Kosraean Through Teaching, Implementing the Kosraean Reading Program, Year 1"; "Autism Spectrum Disorder"; and "Distance Learning Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Learning." I returned to Pohnpei on Friday, July 27, 2001. My expenses for this trip were covered by PREL.

Personnel.    A warm welcome is extended to Steven Young-Uhk who has been hired as the Aquaculture Extension Agent at Yap Campus. He will begin working on August 1st. We are also pleased to welcome Roland George who has joined the Kosrae Land Grant program as a full-time Research Aide. Roland began working on July 29th. We are glad to have both of you with us!

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