Update from the President's Office - No.
October 10, 2001
To: All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students
Subject: Update from the President's Office-No.195
FACSSO/JCN meeting. A joint meeting of the FSM
Association of Chief State School Officers (FACSSO) and the Working
Committee of the Joint Committee on Compact Negotiations was held on
Chuuk from September 24-26, 2001, to discuss policies relating to the
Education Sector grant. By FSM law the COM-FSM President is a member
of FACSSO. The following persons were in attendance: Senator Joseph
Urusemal, Senator Jacob Nena, Dr. Olter Paul, JCN Executive Director
Asterio Takesy, JCN staff member Bill Nall, FSM Deputy Secretary of
Health, Education, and Social Affairs Midion Neth, Yap Director of Education
Henry Falan, Kosrae Director of Education Henry Robert, Pohnpei Director
of Education Casiano Shoniber, Chuuk Director of Education Kangichy
Welle, FSM Assistant Secretary for Education Weldis Welley, Jimmy Hicks
of the FSM HESA Department, support staff, and myself. Agenda items
included the following: report on progress of negotiations; reviewing
and approving sectoral objectives; illustrative listing of activities
and objectives to be supported with US grant and program assistance;
agreeing on an approach for future meetings with the US technical agencies;
and summary of decisions. Of particular concern to COM-FSM is the language
of the current US counterproposal which would prohibit funds designated
for the Education Sector to be used for postsecondary education.
The following paragraphs are contained in the recommended policy positions
presented by FACSSO to JCN:
FACSSO fully understands the JCN position that while the US counterproposal
is good for education and health, it does not provide the necessary
funding for continuing the current overall government and private
sector reform efforts. Quality education and health systems cannot
be developed and maintained in a vacuum. However, FACSSO does request
that an approach be used to seek additional funding for other government
operations and continued development of the private sector while maintaining
the levels of funding recommended by the US for elementary and secondary
education. The same recommendations applies to federal programs. FACSSO
recommends preserving existing education and training programs (including
Pell Grant, Head Start, WIA, Land Grant, etc.) while seeking continued
eligibility for programs such as FEMA. FACSSO recommends that provisions
of the Compact be negotiated to allow seeking of additional federal
programs (such as E-rate) that fit the needs of the education system
in the FSM.
Additional funding should be sought for postsecondary education.
It is unlikely the FSM can develop and maintain a good education system
without strong postsecondary support for inservice training, teacher
development and technical assistance. A strong COM-FSM system is a
vital part of the overall education system recommended by the Education
Summit that encompasses education from early childhood to adult education
and life long learning.For FY 2002 approximately $4 million is provided
to COM-FSM from Compact sources and $1from local revenue. Also there
is a need for Compact funding to support scholarships and loan programs
for FSM citizens. Very few students will be able to complete their
studieswithout assistance beyond Pell Grant and work-study.
It was further recommended that one or more representatives of FACSSO
provide assistance at technical meetings between the US and FSM and
that regular meetings between FACSSO and JCN be held to discuss the
status of negotiations for the Education Sector.
The meetings with FACSSO and JCN concluded on Tuesday, September 26th,
with a luncheon hosted by the Chuuk State Schools System. Following
this luncheon I paid a visit to Chuuk Campus. On Wednesday morning I
had a breakfast meeting with Chuuk Regent/First Lady Gardenia Walter
to bring her up to date on the most recent Board of Regents meeting
in Kosrae which she was unable to attend. I returned to Pohnpei on Wednesday's
Accreditation visit to FSM FMI. Accrediting Commission
for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Executive Director Barbara
Beno and Associate Director Gari Browning conducted a follow up visit
on October 5, 2001, to validate a substantive change report on the FSM
Fisheries and Maritime Institute that had been approved by the Commission
at its June 2000 meeting. Although their report is still in the draft
stage, in their exit interview with me they reported that, in their
view, FSM FMI has met the requirements of the substantive change and
the accreditation standards and is in "very good shape." Congratulations
are in order to FSM FMI Director Matthias Ewarmai and his staff for
a well-organized and successful visit. Improvements expected on the
next visit include completion of the roof repair and associated renovations,
enhanced student placement for shipboard training, and installation/establishment
of the library and computer lab.
While on Yap, Dr. Beno and Dr. Browning also conducted workshops on
the new proposed accreditation standards with staff at both FMI and
Yap Campus to gather input before the standards are finalized. At the
same time COM-FSM Director of Personnel Linda Maradol conducted workshops
for staff at FMI and Yap Campus on the newly updated personnel manual.
I returned to Pohnpei at approximately 2:00 a.m. on Monday, October
8th, while Linda traveled on to Chuuk to conduct workshops on the manual
with the staff at Chuuk Campus.
A special word of thanks to the staff at both FSM FMI and Yap Campus
for the wonderful hospitality provided to all of us during our stay
Chuuk Campus update. Chuuk Campus staff held a surprise farewell
dinner at the RS Plaza Hotel for former Director Graceful Enlet on September
6, 2001. The following farewell message from the staff was read on this
We shall miss you, Mr. Graceful Enlet, but your legacy will remain
steadfast. It is like the unique Chinese bamboo called "moso."
As a young bamboo shoot, just sprouting from the ground, it grows
slowly - very slowly. In fact, for many years, it appears to be
growing most humbly only a few inches a year. During all those years,
our bamboo was busy growing roots, reaching deep and spreading wide,
ensuring a foundation that no other bamboo species has - a foundation
so strong that it will last several hundred years. When that foundation
is set, then the "moso" grows rapidly above ground and
soon towers over its lesser relatives. What looked like a slow start
was more - fundamental preparation - deeply rooted so as to stand
prime and resolute. We have that foundation - our campus today and
tomorrow - and all we can do is to look upon your legacy - our humble
"moso" and humbly thank you. You leave us at that prime
and resolute moment, and we promise to continue that legacy. Thank
you Graceful, thank you very much. Now, go forth and lay foundations
elsewhere. Best wishes, from all of us. And may our Heavenly
Father bless you in your future endeavor, and your family."
All of us from throughout the COM-FSM system join Chuuk Campus in wishing
Graceful and his family the very best.
Three instructors in the English Department volunteered to cover classes
for instructors who were delayed for fall semester due to problems with
flights and/or immigration. Special thanks go to Karen Simion, Richardson
Chiwi, and Margarita Cholymay for their willingness to help out.
The Math/Science Department is offering a total of 18 classes to 496
students. In addition, tutorial services and study periods are provided
to students who need help.
The Business Department is offering 20 classes with 3 full-time and
3 part-time instructors this fall. Of these students, 24% have enrolled
in the bookkeeping certificate program. Due to the increase in enrollment,
the Computer Lab is open more hours for student use.
Under the Agriculture and Natural Resources program under Land Grant,
the planting phase of a project entitled, "Enhancing Subsistence
Crop Production in the Northwest Region," has been completed for
the municipalities of Onoun, Tamatam, and Houk. This phase involved
the planting of 24 varieties of taro plants and 19 varieties of pelle.
Additional activities included the maintenance of the demonstration
garden and the ornamental plants.
Food handlers' training was conducted from September 24-28, 2001, at
the Land Grant facility. A total of 32 food handlers from department
stores, bakeries, cake shops, take out facilities, and restaurants attended
this training. Training was also provided to a total of 150 Chuuk Organization
Community Action and Head Start staff on proper food choices and nutrition
A total of 180 out-of-school youths applied for a 3-month course at
Land Grant. After screening, 63 were chosen to participate in this program
which began in September. Two parent meetings were held in conjunction
with this program to brief parents on their roles in promoting and supporting
Staff of the Community Resource Development program conducted community
education to 35 youths from Pollap Community residing in Iras Village
on the importance of education, including prevention of child abuse.
During September, the sewing instructor continued to assist former students
in garment pattern design and shape cutting to increase their capacity
to produce garments for sale.
The Career Ladder Program enrolled 80 participants for the pre-service
and in-service training programs at Chuuk Campus during the summer session.
Instructors were contracted to teach 3 of the required courses for the
Bilingual Elementary Teacher Education Program and other courses required
for teacher certification. Another 30 teachers are enrolled under this
program this fall. Six (6) desktop computers have been received and
will be installed at their designated locations under this project.
The Executive Director of the Chuuk State School System has approved
the 5 elementary schools located on Weno to serve as the Professional
Pohnpei Campus update.  According to the September
update report from Pohnpei Campus, after 4 weeks of instruction, 140
out of 325 students have been identified by instructors as students
who may be listed on the deficiency list at midterm. "Early warning"
lists were forwarded to the Counselor so that appropriate tutorial services
and other support can be provided. The Student Support Services (SSS)
program will be a primary source of support. Also, library and computer
lab hours have been extended and the study hall will be opened during
non-working hours when tutors are available. A room has been identified
and renovated to serve as the SSS office. Pohnpei Campus should be congratulated
for addressing the needs of students needing additional encouragement
and help in a timely manner.
The following students have been elected as Student Body Association
(SBA) officers for this school year: President - Bemore Penias; Vice
President - Tasichy Reim; Secretary - Cathleen Altern; and Treasurer
- Adaltrick Isiel. On September 21, 2001, Acting President Ringlen Ringlen
administered the oath of office to these new officers. The SBA hosted
a luncheon following the ceremony. Congratulations to all of the officers!
Computer training for Pohnpei State Government employees began on September
24th. It is anticipated that more than 140 employees will benefit from
this training. Classes in Pohnpeian language and dance have been advertised
and courses in woodwork and repair of air conditioners are being developed.
The Pohnpei State Legislature, through the sponsorship of Senator Fernando
Scaliem, passed a $50,000 appropriation for completion of the Pohnpei
Campus gymnasium. Although this measure was vetoed by Governor David,
earlier today it was learned that the Legislature voted to override
this veto. I understand that students were helpful in communicating
the need for completion of this facility.
Under the Cooperative Extension Services (CES) program of Land Grant,
a total of 106 farmers, homemakers and high school students and teachers
were served during the month of September. Forty (40) farmers/homemakers
in 3 different villages were provided instruction on site selection,
soil fertility and management, soil drainage, and the preparation and
planting of corms under the banana project. Thirty-eight (38) hog farmers
were assisted in various ways. Twenty-three (23) farmers/homemakers
were provided instruction on preparing beds/boxes for sowing vegetable
seeds, how to transfer seedlings to individual cups, how to prepare
beds for transplanting, and how to prepare and use compost and animal
manure. These same individuals were also taught how to prepare a nursery
for black pepper plants.
Forty (40) homemakers from Ipwitek, Kepin Awak, and Enipein Pah were
given cooking demonstrations including recipes for chicken salad, kangkong
tops with fish, sardines with chili pepper leaves, chicken with kangkong,
breadfruit salad, and mackerel with kangkong and wild fern tips. A nutrition
course was also provided for the Special Education Transition Group
at PICS High School with 19 students and 2 teachers in attendance.
FSM Congress. I attended the opening of the second regular
session of the 12th Congress at 10:00 a.m. on October 9, 2001. Of special
concern for the College during this session is the supplemental request
for funding for the FSM FMI to cover the second half of this fiscal
year. I expect to be called for hearings on this request sometime in
the next 2 weeks. Unfortunately, the College's request for funds for
the Trial Counselor's program cannot be accommodated at this time according
to a letter received from the FSM President.
Christmas card contest.A contest for the design of the College's
Christmas card for 2001 is now underway. This contest is open to all
full-time and part-time students at all of the College's campuses. The
following are the rules:
- The design should reflect the FSM, the College, and Christmas.
- All designs should be submitted on 8 ½ X11" paper.
Use of color is permitted.
Computer generated designs will be accepted.
- Identifying information (your full name) should be clearly written
on the back
only. Drawing with identifying information on the front will be disqualified.
- Each student may submit a maximum of 2 entries.
- All entries should be submitted to either Norma Edwin or Hadleen
Hadley in the
President's Office by November 2, 2001, at 5:00 p.m.
- All entries become the property of COM-FSM.
- Eligible entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges and prizes
will be awarded
as follows: First Prize -- $100; Second Prize -- $50; and Third Prize
-- $25. The
winning entry will be used as the official design of the College's
2001 Christmas card.
Good Luck to All!
PersonnelDirector of Personnel Linda Maradol is conducting workshops on the personnel manual with employees at Chuuk Campus and, as a result, an update on newly hired staff and those who are leaving the College will not be included in this update.
However, word has been received that a research project entitled, "Application of Biotechnology to Conserve Citrus Germplasm and Save the Citrus Industry in Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia," by Dr. P.C. Josekutty of the Kosrae Land Grant program has been approved by USDA. Congratulations on this achievement!
More Next Time!