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November 04, 2002- Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No.216

November 04, 2002 MEMORANDUM

To: All Regents, Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, Community Patrons, and Our Valued College Friends

From: Dr. Michael Tatum, President

Subject: Update from the President’s Office – No. 216


 Happy FSM Independence Day!  Indeed the day has been most memorable.  The day began this morning at the FSM Capitol with a signing ceremony of some very important parts of the new Compact of Free Association, which included a statement of inclusion and support for post-secondary education.  This is significant because prior to today, post-secondary education had not been clearly identified as a component of the Compact.  So indeed, for the College of Micronesia-FSM and for us all, this is a Happy Day!

 With reference to the Compact and the inclusion of post-secondary education, thanks goes out to everyone who contacted their senators and other representatives and pushed and pulled, cheered and encouraged those who made the final decision.  I especially want to thank the following persons who took the time to listen as myself and all of the others who presented the case over and over and over to them in an effort to promote inclusion of post-secondary education in the Compact.  I hope that I wasn’t too obnoxiously zealous as I lobbied for your support of our wonderful college. 

Senator Peter Christian, Chief Negotiator, FSM

Mr. David B. Cohen, Deputy Assistant Secretary, for Insular Affairs,
U.S. Department of the Interior

Ambassador Larry Dinger M. Dinger, United States Embassy, FSM

U.S. Representative Dianne E. Watson (D-California),
Former U.S. Ambassador to the FSM

Mr. Michael Spangler, Deputy Director,U.S. Office of Compact Negotiations

Colonel Neil P. Krukar, Defense Representative,U.S. Office of Compact Negotiations

Mr. Gordon C. Benjamin, FSM/American Samoa Desk Officer,
Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior

 And thanks to the many others who took the time speak up in support of FSM post-secondary education inclusion in the Compact. Helen Keller once said:

                        “The only thing worse than being blind is being born without Vision.”

 Sincere thank to each of you for your Vision of the importance of education in the future of the FSM, for only through education can true Independence ever be achieved.  Once again Happy FSM Independence Day!

 The College of Micronesia-FSM Endowment Fund

College of Micronesia-FSM note:  December and the Christmas Season will soon be upon us.  A contribution to the Endowment Fund in your own name or in the name of a loved one would make a very special Christmas gift.  Please consider supporting the Endowment Fund.  Thanks!

Good News and Good Things Happening All Around

Dateline Chuuk:  Deliver Salle, Director of the Chuuk Upward Bound Program, advises that his program and the Upward Bound Program at Chico State University have worked together to have two large containers of useable high school textbooks shipped from the United States to Chuuk High School.  Kudos to the Chuuk Upward Bound staff!

Jimmy Hicks from the National Department of Education has informed us that the Gates Foundation funded a computer that will host our Digital Library.  This computer is to be housed in the National Campus Library and will be used to serve public libraries across the FSM.

Jean Thoulag has been ever busy!  She recently attended the IAMSLIC Conference where she made a presentation entitled “Resource Sharing Island Style,” which highlighted her work on the FSM Digital Library.  We thank Jean for all that she does and for the professional way she represents us.

Black Coral Island was the recent destination for over 150 of our students.  The Saturday trip was packed with a day of swimming, eating, volleyball, more eating, and fun.  A few faculty were also observed having a nice day, including Eric Mecklenburg, Paul Ridding, and Mike Reda.   Hmmm . . . I think that a Faculty / Staff  Retreat to either Black Coral or Ant Island would be a good idea.  What do you think?

Dr. Rich Womack, Chair of our Education Division, advises that the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant that he and Glen Snider worked on with appreciated cooperation from the National Department of Education has been awarded.  Dr. Womack advises that this grant will provide much needed support for the B.Ed Degree Program that he and his department having been gearing up for.  Thanks to Midion Neth, Weldis Welley, and Jimmy Hicks for their help in guiding the process  Congratulations to Rich and All!  But Rich, seriously, do you ever rest?  I think that we all need a bottle of your vitamins.

Another grant has also been awarded to the college.  Mr. Nikolao Pula, Office of Insular Affairs, Department of the Interior, has contacted us to advise that a Technical Assistance Grant has been awarded for the “COM-FSM Distance Education System.”  Our longtime friend from the Department of the Interior, Mr. James Johnson, will be working with us on this grant.

"Some people dream of worthy accomplishments,

 while others stay awake and do them.” –Unknown.

I am sure that this was written by someone who has seen our faculty and staff at work.  All that each of you do is truly inspiring!  Thank you for your examples!

Drug & Alcohol Awareness Week   

October 28th to November 1st was Drug & Alcohol Awareness Week.  The Theme of the week was “Don’t Do Drugs, Do Sports.”  At the National Campus the Honorable McGarry Miguel spoke to students, faculty, and staff at the FSM-China Friendship Sports Center.  His riveting talk covered the problems that drug and alcohol abuse cause in people’s lives.  He identified the principle substances most abused here in the FSM, including: Tobacco, Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, Marijuana, Sakau, and Beetle Nut.  He then explained to the audience the negative affects of these substances in the health and lives of our people. 

Vice President Ringlen P. Ringlen helped to coordinate the week, which included educational movies and videos.  Special thanks goes the Committee and the Teamwork that helped to make everything possible:  Benina Llon, Morehna Santos, Nancy Lipwe, Eddie Haleyalig, Luciano Mathias, Patricio Ramirez, Henry Wilson, Nancy Simor, Rensely Nelson, Lucy Donre, Cindy Lekka, the Student Council, the staff of the FSM-China Friendship Sports Center, and our wonderful students.  Thanks to all for making this event a Big Success!

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.  The ability

            to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives.  It is the

            fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Dr. Ivan Muse

 We Are Honored to Have Them in our Midst

This coming Monday, November 11th is Veterans Day.  A special ceremony will be held at the United States Embassy  at 9:00 a.m.  The U.S. Embassy and the FSM Veterans Association has invited Harvey Segal to be the featured speaker.  Harvey is the only World War II Veteran on Pohnpei.

Through the years, hundreds of Micronesian citizens have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  This is a special day to Honor and Thank all veterans for their service and sacrifices.  To quote a letter from Timothy D. McVey, Acting Commander of the Pohnpei Veterans Association, and U.S. Ambassador to the FSM, His Excellency Larry M. Dinger, “The College of Micronesia and the people of Micronesia should be very proud of their men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  They serve both the United States of America and the Federated States of Micronesia.  Thus, Veterans Day truly honors both FSM veterans and U.S. Veterans.”

In attempting to come up with a list of Veterans here at our college, we were able to come up with the following names: Gene Ashby, Michael Reda, Harbert Tom, Alfred Olter, Dannis Lorrin, and Lerihna Lebehn.  And I am sure there are more.  Please accept my apologies if your name was not mentioned this time. 

“It is easy to make a buck.  It is a lot tougher to make a difference.”

                                                                                    -Tom Brokaw                                                           

To Harvey and All of Our Veterans:  We Honor You on this Special Day. Thank You.

Diplomatic Visitors

Since the last Update we have had a host of visitors at the National Campus from the the European diplomatic community.

· Ambassador Herbert D. Hess of the Federal Republic of Germany was here for a short, yet timely visit.

Fresh on the heels of  Ambassador Hess, a delegation from the European Union  (based in Brussels) arrived which included the following dignitaries:

·  The Honorable Poul Neilson, European Commissioner

·  H.E. Marinus Frans Baan, European Ambassador to  the FSM

·  Mrs. Karen Johansson, European Commission Cabinet Member

· Mr. Michael Curtis, Spokesperson for Commissioner Neilson

· Mr. George Gwyer, Head of the Pacific Unit of the Commission

· Mr. Mikel Barford, Europe Aid Representative


With each of these visits, talks were conducted regarding the possible ways that the European Union can possibly work with the College of Micronesia-FSM in the future in collaborations for promoting and supporting educational endeavors in the FSM.

Special Thanks goes out to Herman Semes, Jr., who coordinated these visits as the FSM Representative of the Foreign Affairs Office.  Thanks Herman, you do a great job!

Personnel Notes

Linda Maradol, our Director of Personnel advises that the following people have been hired:

· Betty Park was hired as the Clerk III for the Chuuk Campus.

· Lenise Nicholson is now at the National Campus as a new counselor.

· Tommy Yug was hired as the Student Services Assistant I at FMI.

We welcome each of you to the College of Micronesia-FSM.  Thank you for bringing your skills, talents, and desire to serve to the college.

Saying their good-byes to the college after working and serving at the college are:


· Madison Nena, Student Services Specialist at the Kosrae Campus.

· Miyuki Pangelinan, Data Processing at the National Campus.

·  Cynthia Welles, Clerk Typist at the Pohnpei Campus.

· Ideth Malakai, Student Services Specialist at the National Campus.

We thank each of you.  We wish you well in your various pursuits.

News to make your Mouth Water

Looking for excellent cuisine at a budget price?  Howard Rice of the Pohnpei Campus recommends the newest restaurant on Pohnpei,  The Blue Plate Café.  Recently opened as part of the Hotel/Restaurant Management curriculum at the Pohnpei Campus, the restaurant is run and managed by the HRM students.  The lunches range in price from about $2.50 to $3.00 and are gastronomical delights that rival the best restaurants anywhere.  Everything is made from scratch using “secret” recipes and made only from the finest ingredients.  And if that isn’t enough, the Desserts will make you think you have died and gone to Dessert Heaven!  The Galloping Gourmet would give The Blue Plate Café a 10+ on a scale of 10.  Believe me when I say it rates higher.  Plus, consider the added Bonus:  If your meal is served on a Blue Plate, your meal is Free!  Kudos to Howard, his staff, and students for this innovative addition to the Pohnpei Campus and community.

And Hot Off the Press!

Have you seen the new College of Micronesia-FSM 2002 Yearbook?  It is a must!  The first picture on the inside first page is a little scary, but once you get past that you’ll be impressed.  Joe Saimon has done an excellent job of design, layout, editing, consultation, and graphics.  The project was managed by Patricio Ramirez and Engelbert Danis, with the assistance of the following work study students:  Burt Esau, Jennifer Killion, Sitas Muritok, Tanya Mori, and Raleig Welly.  You all did a great job.  Thanks!

Board of Regents News – A Short Summary of Major Items Recently Considered

At this time of year, budgets get much of our attention. As an update, the revised operation budget for FY 2003 for $3.220 million from the FSM National Government was approved for implementation.  A Supplemental Budget for an additional $213,684 has been submitted to FSM President Leo A. Falcam and the FSM Congress and we are awaiting approval.

General Guidelines from the Board for the development of the FY 2004 Budget are:


· Administration is authorized to seek an FSM appropriation not to exceed $4 million.

· Any new positions should be kept to a minimum and based on justified needs, enrollment trends, and the cost and effect of the position.

· There must be a demonstrated linkage between the Performance Based Budget and the Goals and Objectives of the Strategic Plan.

· Actual expenditures over the past 2-3 years must be considered in determining line item figures.

· The budget should include prioritized system-wide capital requests, i.e., facilities, and construction needs which are in addition to the $4 million budget for operations.

· A capital request in the amount of $470,000 for student assistance and $5,000 for Micronesian Studies be included in the request submission.

· Accreditation related activities and costs (to be determined) be included as part of the budget.

The policy on reprogramming was revised and now reads:  “The College’s reprogramming rate is 25% of the total budget.  The Budget can be reprogrammed from one budget to another budget category at the maximum limit of 25% of the total budget of the Campus/Division/Office/Program.


The policy on overhead/indirect revenue was revised to read: “All grants and contracts that provide for overhead and are conducted on the National Campus will divide the overhead in the following manner:

            Office of the President (Personnel / Research and Planning)    25%

            VP for Student Affairs or VP for Instructional Affairs              50%

            Business Office                                                                      25%

“All grants and contracts that provide for overhead and are conducted at the State Campuses and the accounting, financial reporting and expenditures are the responsibility of the National Campus Business Office will share overhead in the following manner:

            Office of the President (Personnel / Research and Planning)                  25%

            State Campus                                                                                      50%

            Business Office                                                                                    25%

“Indirect cost revenue not expended during a particular grant period of fiscal year shall be recorded in the fund balance.  Thus, use of the unexpended indirect cost revenue shall be processed in accordance with the guidelines for using the fund balance.  Charges of indirect cost to the grant at the maximum of 8% of the modified total direct cost base must be in compliance with Education Department General Administration Regulations (EDGAR) 75.562.”

In other Board actions, the following received approval:


· Modifications to Certificate of Achievement Program in Agriculture and Food Technology, and in the Associate of Arts Degree Program in Liberal Arts/Media Studies were approved.

·  A new Associate of Science Degree Program in Business Administration was approved to replace the current Associate of Science Degree Program in Business Administration and in Accounting.

· Associate of Applied Science Degree Programs in Telecommunications and in Electronic Technology were approved.

·  With the closing of the Bank of Hawaii, the Board approved the transfer of accounts to the Bank of the FSM and to the Bank of Guam (See Board Minutes for details).

· A Petty Cash Fund of $1,000 was established for the Micronesia Plant Propagation Research Center. 

· Articulation agreements have been approved with the University of Phoenix – Online Campus, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and National University.

· Rates for the use of facility and equipment rental for the FSM-China Friendship Sports Center (See minutes for actual rates).

· To continue research of Chuuk Campus options in order to find the best cost effective, long-term solution to the facility dilemma there.

Well, this brings me to the end of yet another Update.  William Shakespeare said it well in Sonnet LX:

  “Like as the waves make towards the shore,

so do our minutes hasten to their end.”

And as this Update hastens to an end, I wish each of you well as we enter the beginnings of the holiday season.  With Thanksgiving soon upon us, I am Thankful for each of you for all that you do.  We are in the best place in the entire world.  I feel honored, blessed, and especially thankful to be able to serve at this place and at this time with each of you.




Dr. Michael Tatum



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