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February 13, 2002 - Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No. 203

February 13, 2002MEMORANDUM

To:       All Regents, Faculty, Staff, and Students

From:     Interim President

Subject:  Update from the President's Office-No.203

National Campus.Former President Susan Moses, who is now a Professor of Education in Education Division, expressed her word of gratitude to all COM-FSM Board of Regents, faculty, staff, and students for last Tuesday's tribute dinner. It is self-explanatory as attached.

Yap Trip Report. In my capacity as College of Micronesia-FSM Interim President, I was invited to the FSM Association of Chief State School Officers (FACSSO) meeting held in Yap on January 28-30, 2002. Present at the meeting were: Deputy Secretary of Health Education and Social Affairs (HESA), Midion Neth; Deputy Assistant Secretary, Weldis Welley; Yap State Director of Education Henry Falan; Chuuk State Director of Education, Kangichy Welle; Pohnpei State Director of Education, Casiano Shoniber; Kosrae State Acting Director of Education, Wilson Kephas; National Department of HESA staff, Mr. Jimmy Hicks, and myself. The FACSSO meeting started on Monday, January 28, 2002 at 9:00 a.m.with Mr. Weldis Welley, Assistant Deputy Secretary as chair. Major issues addressed by FACSSO included the review of the recent GAO report regarding federal programs, status of the Compact negotiations and their potential impact on education, and issues related to eligibility for U.S. Federal Education programs. The need for extension of telecommunications linkages to all schools in the FSM regardless of location, and the need to seek additional sources of education funding were also on the agenda.

On Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - members of FACSSO invited Dr. Richard Womack, Division Chair for Education at the COM-FSM to do a power point presentation on the Bachelors of Bilingual Education-National Teacher Corps, Laboratory School and Teacher Support System. After the presentation, members talked about the specifics of the program and generally supported it. We feel that the College should be involved in the discussions regarding the program with the FSM National Education personnel. Thank you, Dr. Womack!

I left Yap on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 and arrived Guam the same day. I stayed in Guam for the planning of the Special Education Program at University of Guam where I met UOG President Harold L. Allen. The meeting lasted a whole day in Guam on Thursday, and left Guam on Friday, February 1, 2002.

Again, I wish to thank the National Government for the inclusion of COM-FSM in these meetings and for providing for my airfare and per diem. It was a unique opportunity and a learning experience for me personally and professionally as the Interim President.

Pursuant to request from the FSM Government Chairman of the Executive Budget Review Committee (EBRC), the College appeared before the Committee on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the FY 2003 Budget proposal based on performance targets as instructed in the budget call. Representing the College were: Vice President for Instructional Affairs (Spensin James), Director of Research and Planning (Dr. Greg Myers), Comptroller (Danny Dumantay), Staff Senate President (Jonathan Gourlay), Acting Director of Pohnpei Campus (Jeff Arnold), Financial Aid Coordinator (Eddie Haleyalig), and Interim President (Ringlen Ringlen).

Pohnpei Campus. Director Penny Weilbacher has been on vacation since January 28, and will return on February 18, 2002. Assistant Director Jeff Arnold is acting in her stead.

The Title III task force has been meeting to gather ideas on what to include in the next grant application. Pohnpei Campus has been in support of designing and implementing health training programs that would include building a science lab on campus. Mr. Brent Villiers, Vocational Education Director has submitted a proposal that includes a distance education program for the Electronics program, which includes upgrading the vocational building.

The Health Assistant Training has started up with Dr. Yaingeluo teaching two classes on campus. The program has 14 participants. The starting date was delayed by one week in order to recruit more students. Dr. Yaingeluo and Acting Director Arnold will be working on updating the course outline and finalizing the program structure.

The Continuing Education Courses were planned and are being advertised. They will start during the third week of February. One new class being offered is Air Conditioning Repair. Two yoga classes began this month. The Beginners' class meets on Monday night, and Intermediate class meets on Wednesday night.

The Curriculum Committee approved the new course outline for Tropical Pacific Island Environment (SC 117). Pohnpei Campus may offer this four-credit lab course.

A Computer Training certificate award ceremony was held at Skylite Hotel on January 4, 2002. Thirty-five (35) Pohnpei State employees were awarded certificate of completion honors.

Apprenticeship Training - On Friday January 25, 2002, Campus Director and Apprenticeship Program Coordinator, Francisco Mendiola met with PUC General Manager regarding the on-going program with PUC. The Coordinator will prepare an amendment to the existing MOU to extend the program until the end of this budget year.

Pohnpei Campus Advisory Council met on January 17, 2002 to continue the discussions of the Strategic Plan. A sample strategic plan for health services was submitted at the meeting. The Council also formally adopted the mission statement, goals and priorities.

We wish to congratulate Pohnpei and National Campuses staff for their efficient handling of the Governor's Declaration to close down Pohnpei Campus temporarily due to the bombs found near the Campus. Classes were ready to be transferred to National Campus but fortunately; the Governor lifted the Declaration before classes were to begin.

Mr. Leonard Woods, President of TRIO, visited Pohnpei Campus and was accompanied by Director Heinrich Palik to the National Campus for a courtesy call on the Acting Interim President and members of the Cabinet.

Chuuk Campus. Ms. Norleen Oliver, Information Specialist, National Campus visited Chuuk Campus on January 10, 2002, to fix the database system before the spring semester registration. She also worked on some computers in the lab that needed attention. Acting Director expressed his appreciation to Ms. Oliver for her time at Chuuk Campus.

The Upward Bound Program has scheduled career field trips to different commercial businesses and government agencies to provide career opportunities to students and to increase their scope of knowledge. Three-career field trips have been completed with both the students and staff visiting the Chuuk Weather Service Station, the Bank of Guam, and the Truk Stop Hotel including its restaurant and other establishments. Among these students, twenty-three seniors from two target schools will graduate from the program at the end of the school year. Thirteen students have completed their college admission forms. Twenty-nine (29) students are using the program's database system as part of their career-learning program.

Chuuk Cultural & Education Science Program has been working on two videos. One is a substance abuse video educating 3rd to 8th graders and the other video is a training tape welcoming new Peace Corps Volunteers to Chuuk.

Mr. Kind Kanto, Science Instructor traveled to the islands in the Chuuk Lagoon to hold seminars on Science Diversity as member of the Science Diversity Task Force under the Department of Education. Its goal is to increase the general public's awareness on issues on environment and people.

Chuuk Campus - We received bad news from the FSM President's office saying that the $1.0 million appropriation for Phase I of the construction for COM-FSM campus in Chuuk was amended to be used for public projects in Chuuk State as follows; Election District 1 - $180,000; Election District 2 - $180,000; Election District 3 - $180,000; Election District 4 - $180,000; Houk airport - $180,000; and state-wide projects - $100,000. I have written the Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, and Social Affairs, the Honorable John Petewon to give the College an opportunity to discuss this matter and to present any information that the Committee feels is relevant. Of legitimate concern to the Committee is that there was pending a legal action in Chuuk over the land on which the campus was to be constructed. The parties have resolved this issue, and the pending lawsuit has been dismissed. A copy of the stipulated dismissal, filed on January 14, 2002 was forwarded to the Chairman. There should be no significant legal issues remaining. The current withdrawal of funding will seriously impair the College's ability to construct the new facility. We believe that COM-FSM, if allowed to present its case, will be able to show that the proposed facility in Chuuk will benefit the people and students alike.

FSM-FMI. Good news! The National Government has approved $943,105 for certain programs, which includes $213,000 for the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute in Yap.

The courses on upgrading the qualifications of FSM seafarers commenced on 10 January with the arrival of Captain Bruce Goodchild who conducted courses for ship's captains, FSMI Instructors, and deck officers. The following subjects were covered: Bridge Resource Management, Voyage Planning, International Ship Management System (ISM Code), Radar and Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA), Use of GPS/DGPS and ECDIS, and Ship Handling with the use of Simulators.

Bruce is from an Australian firm called Pivot. He was contracted by the Regional Maritime Program of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPS) to conduct the upgrading courses for the region.

The upgrading courses for engineers began on Monday, 14 January, with the arrival of Chief Engineers Graham Chapman and Moceiwai Akeai. Areas covered under the upgrading courses are as follows: slow speed engine, scavenge fires and crankcase explosions, economizer fires, dry-dock and repairs and steam and refrigeration, and motors.

The engineering group concluded their upgrading courses with the awarding of certificates on 31 January in the afternoon, which was followed by a barbecue for all the participants and instructors.

The next upgrading course for the deck officers will be on the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), which is the current system for locating and rescuing of persons at sea with the use of the satellite, doing away with the old Morse key system. Meanwhile, the engineers will start revalidation courses beginning with Basic Safety. As indicated, these upgrading and revalidation courses would run until March 8, 2002.

The Placement/Recruitment Officer has been quite busy. Besides arranging for sea time for off-island FMI students, he is now on travel status. He visited Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Guam in order to find placements for FMI students with the state-run ships and other ships run by private firms, and to recruit students. He was unable to go to Kosrae due to heavy rain there.

Mr. David John from Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. of Guam visited FMI Campus to talk about the retirement plan. The employees' overall impression was positive.

The roofing project is still ongoing. The classroom building is now completed with the final coating to be yet applied. The administration office, JICA office, the maintenance office, and the two staff housing remained to be done. The work on these buildings began the second week of February.

FSM Supreme Court. Mr. Dennis K. Yamase, Legal Information System Consultant, announced on February 6, 2002 that the Legal Information System (LIS) Project has established a LIS website containing thousands of pages of legal reference documents of the FSM. You can visit this website on the Internet at The LIS website has been established with basic legal reference documents of the FSM National Government and the four states. This LIS Project is available due to funding primarily provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with the FSM Supreme Court as the executing agency.

Personnel. The COM-FSM Board of Regents has concluded their meeting and selected Dr. Michael Tatum as the new President of the College of Micronesia-FSM. Dr. Tatum earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in Latin American Studies at Fresno State College, his Maters of Arts in Education from University of Redlands and his Doctorate in Education from Brigham Young University. Dr. Tatum currently holds the position of Chair of International Studies at Brigham Young University in Rexburg Idaho. He is also the CEO/President of Partners of the Americans, a humanitarian aid agency. Previously, he was the Department Chair/Coordinator of the Administration of Justice Program at Eastern Arizona College where he also worked extensively with the Micronesian Project.

More next time!!

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