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September 26, 2001 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 194

September 26, 2001


To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     President

Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.194

Board of Regents meeting:    A regular meeting of the COM-FSM Board of Regents was held from September 17-21, 2001, in Kosrae. In attendance at this meeting were BOR Chairman Podis Pedrus, Vice Chairman Henry Robert, Regent/Lt. Governor Andrew Yatilman, Regent/Dr. Bryan Isaac, Comptroller Danny Dumantay, Pohnpei Campus Director Penny Weilbacher, Chuuk Campus Acting Director Switer Eter, Kosrae Campus Director Kalwin Kephas, FSM FMI Director Matthias Ewarmai, Executive Assistant to the President/Recorder Norma Edwin, and myself. Regent/First Lady Gardenia Walter and Yap Campus Director Lourdes Roboman were unable to attend the meeting. On Tuesday morning, the Board met in a breakfast session to hear a report on the College's Endowment Fund investments delivered by Mr. Dan Roland. Courtesy visits were then paid to the Governor, Lt. Governor (in his capacity as JCN Chairman), and the Speaker and Education Committee Chairperson of the Kosrae State Legislature. The Regents also visited the Micronesia Plant Propogation Research Center - a Land Grant research project that involves culturing banana plants from tissue taken from the stalk. Monday evening the Board was treated to a dinner reception at the residence of Kosrae Regent/Director of Education Henry Robert, and on Tuesday evening the Board hosted a dinner reception at the Kosrae Village Resort for the Kosrae Campus staff and Kosrae State leadership. A copy of the Actions and Directives that resulted from this meeting is attached.

Norma and I remained in Kosrae until Saturday, September 22, 2001. During these two additional days, Norma met with Kosrae Campus staff in three different sessions to review the newly updated COM-FSM Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual, while I met with the Kosrae Department of Education Director and his staff regarding a request to assist Kosrae in the implementation of its Comprehensive System of Personnel Development, visited several Kosrae Campus classes, visited the GEAR UP and Upward Bound programs, met with FSM FMI Director Matthias Ewarmai, and sat in on portions of Norma's sessions with the staff.

I would like to express sincere appreciation to Regent Robert and Director Kephas and the Kosrae Campus staff for the wonderful hospitality enjoyed during the entire visit. The next meeting will be hosted by Pohnpei State/Campus in December.

Chuuk Campus update.   Upward Bound Director Deliver Salle and Counselor Virginia Mamangon attended FileMaker Pro training conducted in Pohnpei for TRIO program staff from August 13-18, 2001. This database program is used to enhance the Annual Performance Report for the Upward Bound Program which is to be submitted on an annual basis to the US Department of Education. Math/Science Department Chair Daniel Mamangon attended the third DELTA Institute in Kona, Hawaii during the latter part of June. New methods and approaches teaching and assessing mathematics performance were presented. Chuuk Culture and Education Studies Coordinator Joakim Peter participated on a panel of librarian and historians at the Pacific Science Congress held in Guam during the first week of the summer session. Joakim also joined the FSM Division of Health Services in Honolulu to report progress and preliminary findings of the two surveys conducted in Chuuk and Pohnpei sponsored by the Pacific Island Epidemiological and Psychological Monitoring Group at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The Chuuk Campus Vocational Education Department is offering 10 classes with a total of 135 students this fall. Vocational Education Department Chairperson Stephen Richmond was invited to meetings with the OMIP Hazard Mitigation Emergency Preparedness Assessment group in Chuuk.

The Chuuk Campus Social Science Department is offering 9 classes this fall, while the Business Department is offering 18 classes with an average student enrollment of 28. The Business Department received 8 new computers for the lab.

The English Department is teaching more courses than in the spring semester and yet many students had to be turned away. They reported that they had received all textbooks ordered for the fall semester except that a shortage was still realized due to the addition of two sections of ESL 071 and one Advanced Reading class needed by some students to graduate.

The Math/Science Department is offering 12 courses but still was unable to meet the demand. Also, staff were involved in conducting training for public elementary teachers in Weno from August 6-10, 2001, with 32 participants. This training is a collaborative effort between Chuuk Campus and the Chuuk State School System as part of Project DELTA of PREL.

Sixty-nine (69) students from the Chuuk Upward Bound Program participated in summer sessions. Sixty-six (66) students participated in regular academic and enrichment classes at the Upward Bound Center, while 3 students attended summer residential programs at institutions in California and Hawaii. Twenty-one (21) UB students attended the 7th Annual Student Forum at the 18th Annual Pacific Education Conference held July 22-29, 2001, in Guam. This academic year, the Chuuk Upward Bound program is enrolling a total of 80 students from four different high schools.

Under the Agriculture and Natural Resources component of the Land Grant program, services were provided to municipal governments, youth and church groups, and individuals. As part of the summer program, over 20 in-school youth completed agriculture training. A survey conducted on Houk and Tamatam in the Northwest Islands showed that 150 clients have adopted the integrated pest management system being implemented with assistance by Land Grant staff. Under the Community Resource Development Program component, education was provided to young mothers regarding breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding and local food vs. commercial baby food. The Small Business Association has developed a proposal for financial assistance from outside sources. The instructor in the Sewing Project participating in the In-school Youths Summer Training program.

A total of 25 students were graduated from the 4-H Youth-at-Risk Program in July. The In-school Youth Summer Training provided 80 participants with sessions on the social, physical, and spiritual aspects of youth development.

Yap Campus update. Yap Campus Director Lourdes Roboman has reported that there are 83 students enrolled at Yap Campus this fall - 67 full-time students and 16 part-time students. A general assembly was held during the first week of school to inform students of College policies with an emphasis on the drug-free policy and absenteeism. Submission of all required documents needed for financial aid in a timely manner was also stressed.

During the first week, students organized themselves and selected their officers for this year as follows: President-Shaun Roboman; Vice President - Petrus Ken; Treasurer - Amanda Gilmatam; and Secretary - Mary Mululuw. Their first project is helping to maintain campus grounds. The Yapese Student Organization at the National Campus has written to the Yap Campus SBA for assistance in fundraising for their group for Founding Day.

The new one-classroom building is now complete with outlets for computers and air conditioners installed. As soon as the computer desks are received, the computer lab will move to the new building which should house 30 computers. There is still a need to carpet the room and tint the windows once funds are available.

The small library on campus is slowly but surely developing to meet the needs of the students, both regular and Upward Bound students. The library now has 4 computers for students to use for research purposes. Yap Campus has been fortunate to receive donated books (9 pallets of books in all subject areas), 9 computers, and 2 printers from the Church of the Latter Day Saints Humanitarian Society. Lourdes reported that once the library is fully developed, Yap Campus anticipates having evening hours to accommodate needs of student and the community in general.

FSM FMI and Yap Campus are working together to establish an Advisory Council for the two campuses and to determine how the two campuses can cooperate in the development of vocational education programs.

The Yap Upward Bound Program held a 6-week summer institute. Unfortunately, due to problems in schedules with the Micro Spirit, 11 UB students from Woleai High School could not make it to Yap Proper in time for the institute. Instead the Woleai UB students had their own summer institute. It is hoped that next summer the schedules will work out better.

Yap Campus is currently working on a Talent Search grant application which will be due in mid-October. If funded, this program would complement the Upward Bound and Student Support Services programs.

Accreditation visit to FSM FMI.   Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Executive Director Barbara Beno and Associate Director Gari Browning will be visiting the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute from October 3-7, 2001, to follow up on a Substantive Change report submitted on behalf of the Institute. I will also travel to Yap to be part of this visit. Norma will accompany me to conduct workshops on the personnel manual with the staff of Yap Campus and FMI.

FACSSO to meet with JCN. The FSM Association of Chief State School Officers (FACSSO), of which I am a member, will be meeting with members of the JCN in Chuuk beginning Monday, September 24, 2001, to discuss policies regarding the Education Sector Grant as proposed under the Compact. I will be leaving Pohnpei at 1:25 a.m. on Monday and returning on Wednesday. Vice President for Support and Student Affairs Ringlen Ringlen will continue to act in my stead until my return.

Staff publications. I was pleased to note that several of our staff had articles published in the latest issue of Micronesica: A Journal of the University of Guam. Dr. Don Buden and Brian Lynch co-authored with R.E. Watson an article entitled, "The gobiid fishes (Teleostei:Gobioidei:Sicydiinae) of the headwater streams of Pohnpei Eastern Caroline Islands, FSM, while Dr. Buden and Ahser Edward co-authored another article entitled, "Abundance and utilization of sea turtles on Pohnpei, FSM: Islanders perceptions." Congratulations to all of you on this success. A copy of this publication has been forwarded to the LRC.

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