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January 30, 2002 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 202

January 30, 2002MEMORANDUM

To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     Interim President

Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.202

Trip Report. Interim President Ringlen Ringlen and Vice President for Instructional Affairs, Spensin James, accompanied the body of the late Shrew Sigrah back to Kosrae. After checking in they went to Tafunsak to pay respects and to convey, on behalf of the College, our sympathy and condolences to the parents of Shrew Sigrah, his family, and community leaders there. Governor Rensly Sigrah, Lt. Governor Gerson Jackson, and Director of Education/Vice Chair for COM-FSM Board of Regents, Henry Robert, were also present. Interim President Ringlen reassured them of the safety of the students on campus and asked for their help in talking with their sons and daughters about the consequences of alcohol use and abuse. A family representative and Governor Sigrah also spoke and expressed appreciation to them for personally coming to Kosrae and for the assistance in returning the body. IP Ringlen and VP James attended the funeral activities that evening and the wake and burial service the next morning. VP James spoke on behalf of the College at the service.

Later that morning, IP Ringlen and VP James met with the Kosrae State Leadership, which included the Governor, Lt. Governor, Cabinet members, Vice Speaker for Kosrae State Legislature, Mayors of all the Municipalities, and Kosrae Campus Director Kephas to discuss the incident and the earlier death of a student who had been ill and to restore their confidence in the College. Circumstances surrounding the deaths and measures the College is implementing to prevent similar occurrence were presented. IP Ringlen and VP James requested their help since it is a task which the College cannot do alone and needs their assistance. They also asked for comments and suggestions. The dialogue was positive. Comments about the security of students on campus will be seriously considered and implemented if legally and financially possible. The Interim President informed them that he will be writing the Governor of Pohnpei about enforcing the law that prohibits sale of alcohol within 100 feet of any school.

IP Ringlen returned to Pohnpei on Tuesday to attend a family funeral. Vice President James stayed behind and met with parents of all Kosraean students attending the College to reassure them that the safety of their children is a priority of the College and to listen to their concerns.

VP James and IP Ringlen wish to express their gratitude to the Kosrae Leadership and parents and family of Shrew Sigrah for being gracious and kind. Appreciation is extended to Director Kalwin Kephas and his staff for their wonderful hospitality.

FSM-FMI. According to the December 2001 monthly report, all FSM FMI faculty members, along with members of the resident JICA team, Mr. Taro Kawamoto and Mr. Teruo Mita, visited the Nautical Training Center for the Marshall Islands, and the Maritime Training Center and Fisheries Training Center for Kiribati. The overall goal for the missions was to seek ways that could be adopted to improve or enhance the training activities at FSM FMI.

The water pipe that will eventually connect FSM FMI to the Gagil-Tomil Water Authority's main water source is scheduled for completion by the end of the month. Only the final connections to the FSM FMI water lines remain to be done before the testing of the new waterline system.

Work on the fire fighting school is progressing according to schedule. The sidewalls and partitions within it have been erected and preparations have been made for the rooftop to be poured next month.

Director Mathias Ewarmai reported that the roof is progressing fairly well. The laborers working on it are at present scaling the old roofing materials off the western end of the classroom building and are about 100 feet from the end thereof. It would appear that about 300 feet of the whole rooftop is still left to be scaled and redone with the new roofing material at this time.

Land Grant.Mr. Ahser Edward attended the US Coral Reef Task Force meeting in Honolulu from December 10-15. The purpose of his trip was to serve as an observer at the meeting since FSM is now a non-voting member of the Task Force. The trip was paid by the US Department of Interior.

The Micronesia Plant Propagation Research Center is running three major projects: (1) banana project; (2) citrus project; and (3) taro project.

The banana project objectives are establishing high efficiency miropropagation, field performance evaluation and distribution of elite seedlings of commercial and vitamin A rich bananas to farmers. Micropropagation procedure is already standardized. Field performance evaluation is underway. About 4300 elite seedlings were distributed this quarter.

The citrus project is a long-term project aiming to develop cell lines of citrus varieties on Kosrae (oranges, tangerines and lime) that are resistant to citrus canker disease, develop a suitable procedure for micropropagating these citrus varieties and conduct field performance evaluation of these clones.

The taro project objectives include developing a suitable micropropagation procedure for four important taro cultivars on Kosrae and bringing in a few taro varieties resistant to taro blight from abroad, micropropagating them and conducting a field trial.

The Pohnpei CES staffs are assisting in the implementation of the Lewetik Swine Project, which was funded by Pohnpei State Legislature in the amount of $20,000.

Enrollment. Unofficial enrollment figures for Spring 2002 were reported as follows:

                      National Campus 798
Chuuk Campus 720
Pohnpei Campus 290
Kosrae Campus 206
Yap Campus 91

All Campuses reported higher than projected enrollment.

PersonnelMs. Mermina Mongkeya, Administrative Assistant for the Kosrae Gear Up Program, has tendered her resignation. I thank you for your service and wish you the best in your new job.

A warm welcome is extended to the following newly hired employees: Merins Race, Administrative Specialist in the Personnel Office; and Serlihna L. Ladore, clerk-typist at Pohnpei Campus Upward Bound Program.

More next time!!

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