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January 2003- Palikir, Pohnpei

Update from the President's Office - No.218

Happy New Year

January 2003

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. 218


I just took a minute to look out my office window in order to survey the campus.  It is an  inspiring sight to see our students as they are coming and going from their classes.  We are all so fortunate and blessed to be playing such a major role in the molding and making of the future leaders of the FSM.  Indeed, working here at the College provides us all with such great opportunities to contribute to the lives of so many.

“Nobody gets to live life backward.  Look ahead – that’s where your future lies.”

                                                                                                -Ann Landers

Traditionally, around the time of the New Year, it is a time of introspection and evaluation, and a time of planning, implementation, and goal setting.  At the beginning of this semester I had the opportunity to meet with the faculty and share with them some of my goals for 2003-2004 for the College of Micronesia-FSM.  They are as follows:

President’s Institutional Goals for 2003-2004

1.      Full / Continued Accreditation with the WASC.

·    Meeting all deadlines – taking us to June 2004.

·    Self-Study and All related reports and documentation completed.

·    Rectifying previous accreditation deficiencies.

·    B.Ed Degree and other Programs full operational.

2.      More Efficient Interfacing Between Offices and Campuses.

·      Review all campus processes to relieve paperwork loads and increase efficiency in all offices.

·      Improve communications between offices, programs, departments, divisions, and campuses.

·      Develop and implement efficient and effective organizational chart that reflects flow of information, communications, etc.

·      Improve efficiency of the Bookstore operation to save both time and money, and get books to campuses on time.

·      Acquire a corporate credit card in order to make On-Line purchases with the goal of saving time and money, especially in ordering textbooks and some types of supplies.

·      Monthly Financial Printouts to all Departments, Divisions, and Programs by the Finance Office.

·      Have in place an All Campus Calendar for Deadlines for Reporting to both the FSM National Government and U.S. Federal Agencies.  The motto I would like to follow: “We will meet all deadlines – On time will be considered to be late.”

·      The College will continue to be the FSM example for Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability.  In particular we will be the FSM example and leader in Performance Based Budgeting.

3.      Student Service Enhancements.

·        We will secure additional support for Student Services.

·        We will work to improve transportation between the National campus and Kolonia for both daytime and after hours considerations.

·        Place into operation and after-hours Snack Bar on Campus.

·        Explore and find alternatives to more student housing.

·        Improve campus and student security and safety.

·        Involve the Pohnpei State Government and FSM Government in helping us to deal effectively with the Alcohol Sales Problem across the street from the National Campus so that laws are enforced and our students are protected. 

·        Study Safety and Security needs of the College as related to both Students and facilities re: Drug, Alcohol, and Violence policies, and implement effective policies and procedures.

·        Install 24 Hour Head Residents at the Dorms – Available and On-Site.

·        Enhance the utilization of the FSM-China Friendship and Sports Center.  This will include development and implementation of an accurate Calendar of well-publicized events and activities (Movies, Dances, Talent Shows, Sporting Events, Guest Speakers, Intramurals, and Physical Education classes).

·        Improve the ventilation of the FSM-China Friendship and Sports Center.

·        Hire a Facility / Activities Director for the FSM-China Friendship and Sports Center for increased supervision, safety, and maintenance of the facility.

4.      Enhance Campus Communications and Distance Learning.

·      Encourage and support the continuation of Campus Newspaper(s).

·      Develop and implement Websites for all programs and faculty, which will include course outlines, syllabi, student – faculty communications, etc., which in turn will produce cost savings to the College in terms of both time and money.

·      Explore the possibilities of using available Cable TV Channels for Distance Learning in order to enhance Regular Course offerings, Adult Education Classes, Land Grant CES Classes, and for Recruitment purposes.

·      Finish development of our Base-Line Data System for streamlining collection, flow, and security of data and other salient information.

·      Work out the “Glitches / Bugs” in our phone system so that “No Call Goes Unanswered.”

·      More frequent communication with Board of Regents between scheduled Board meetings.

5.      Personnel Enhancements.

·        Speed-up the contract process for both efficiency and for better PR with employees.  This may necessitate establishing a Contract Review Committee that meets on a “needs” basis.

·        Improve, enhance, and speed-up the employee recruitment process.

·        Develop and implement a new employee evaluation tool (form and process).

·        Review the Personnel Policy Manual for possible up-dates and amending to allow it to be more employee friendly. We don’t wish to either “Use” or “Abuse” our employees.

·        Explore new employee housing options.

·        Examine absenteeism to determine if there is a problem or not.

·        Increase and emphasize Staff Development Opportunities.

6.      Revenues and Fund Raising.

·        Develop and implement a “Funding Formula” for the College that provides a closer matching a funds to current PELL funding.

·        Increase current levels of grant funding by a minimum of 50%.

·        Continue positive communications with the US Congress for the continuation of PELL Grants.

·        Establish a special committee of College, Community, and Business Persons for enhanced fund raising activities.

·        Seek and develop Industry alliances (Telecommunications, Health, Tourism, Building and Maintenance Trades, Computer Technology, etc.) for fund raising and program support.

7.      Recruitment and Continuing Education.

·        Develop a “static” (free-standing) display for recruitment purposes.

·        Conduct off-island / out of region recruiting as a source of potential and actual revenue.

·        Continue to recruit for those programs having low enrollments.

·        Expand current GED and College Preparation programs (Federal Funding) as recruitment tools and community “Out Reach” for the College.

·        Develop and implement “Continuing Education Credits” and classes which are designed to assist those public school teachers who have not yet passed the College Entrance Exam.

8.      Arrive at a Long-Term Solution for the Chuuk Campus and for Properly

Maintaining and Improving All Campus Sites.

·        Finish and submit application for U.S. Rural Development Grant.

·        Continue beautification, improvement, and maintenance of all campuses.

·        Obtain more trash containers for our campuses.

·        Promote involvement in community clean-up efforts – the College will Lead by Example.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

Faculty and Staff Senate Welcome the New Year

In keeping with the New Year, the Faculty and Staff Senate sponsored a New Years Party on the afternoon of January 10th in front of the College Library / LRC.  Staff Senate President Joe Saimon was the MC for the event.  He and his committee did an excellent job of providing a most sumptuous feast of superb gastronomical delights.  A good time was had by all.

Thanks to the Faculty and Staff Senate for taking the time to organize this event.  Hopefully, another such gathering will be planned for the new future!

 Personnel Updates for the New Year

Since the last Update there have been some changes in personnel.  It is with regret to announce the passing of one of our valued Chuuk Campus employees:

                                    Mr. Robert Farek

On December 15, 2002, Mr. Robert Farek died of cardiopulmonary arrest. 

He had worked at the Chuuk State Campus in the capacity of a Library Assistant since 1990.  Any student, faculty, or community patron visiting the Chuuk Campus Library was sure to be greeted by Robert, who was always there to lend a helping hand.  Robert will be missed by all.

“We all have enough strength to bear other peoples woes.” –La Rochefoucauld

The New Year also brings new faces to our campuses.  We wish to heartily welcome to the College of Micronesia-FSM family the following new employees:

·        Fe Singson has been hired to fill the Accountant IV position in the business office.

·        Sernida Eperiam is working as a Data Processing Assistant in OAR.

·        Betson Ifamilik has been hired as an Information Systems Specialist I at the Pohnpei Campus.

·        Serphin Ilesuyalo will serve as the Assistant Director of the FMI in Yap.

·        Leilamona Primo was hired for the Clerk Typist I position at the Pohnpei Campus.

·        Leopoldo Oducado is the new CIS Instructor at the National Campus.

·        Doug Kelly was hired to fill the English / Media Studies position at the National Campus.

The first week of the New Year also brought news that Lore Nena would be resigning her position as Director of Student Services so she can accompany her husband to his new job in Kosrae.  Lore has served long and well in Student Services and we will miss her always cheerful smile and ever helpful nature.  Our loss will surely be Kosrae’s gain.  Lore, best wishes to you and your family, and thank you!

The good news for the New Year at Land Grant is that VP Yasuo Yamada is back after undergoing quadruple bypass heart surgery in Hawaii.  We are thankful to have Yasuo back with us.  Special thanks goes out to Dr. Flor Javier for her time and dedication as the Acting VP while Yasuo was recuperating.

New Days – New Ways . . .  The Performance Based Budget

In one of my first Updates, I alluded to the concept of “New Days and New Ways.”  At that time I had no idea of the changes that would be occurring in the near future, the biggest of which would include renewed emphasis on Performance Based Budgeting.

On January 8th  through 10th, a major Performance Based Budgeting workshop was held at the Cliff Rainbow.  The College was well represented.  At the workshop we learned that under the new Compact that the demands of accurate reporting will be increasing dramatically and that each of our reports must be thorough and complete. 

More paperwork and increased demands on the College is not necessarily good news.  However, looking on the bright side, it appears that all of the work leading up to the workshop that we had been doing with regards to Performance Based Budgeting is going to pay us dividends.  At present we are right on track.  The Performance Based Budget for Fiscal Year 2004 that we submitted to President Falcam’s office was both comprehensive and complete.  Sincere thanks goes to the Office of Research and Planning and to all of you who took the time to meet the necessary deadlines and get the work done.

The New Year and the new Compact promise even more intensified reporting.  We need to be analyzing ways to cut down on our own paperwork loads so that we can better deal with the new reporting demands we will be facing from both the FSM and US governments.

December Graduation

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our December graduation.  On the 19th of December, the 36th Commencement Exercises of the College of Micronesia-FSM were conducted in the FSM-China Friendship Sports Center.  It was a momentous occasion where the packed auditorium witnessed more than 100 students received degrees and certificates. 

This is the second time we have utilized the FSM-China Friendship Sports Center for a graduation ceremony.  The Commencement Address was delivered by Senator Peter Christian of the FSM Congress who spoke on the importance of education and setting personal goals.  Mr. Boone Rain gave the Valedictorian address to his fellow graduating students and the attending audience of friends and relatives.  Sincere thanks goes out to both speakers for the time and preparation taken to prepare addresses that made the graduation a memorable event.

                        36th Commencement Exercises Numbers

·      16  BA Degrees in Elementary Education

·      4  Third Year Certificates in Elementary Education

·      18  AS Degrees in Computer Information Systems

·      2  AS Degrees in Marine Science

·      6  AA Degrees in Micronesian Studies

·      11  AS Degrees in Accounting

·      8  AS Degrees in Business Administration

·      8  AS Degrees in Hotel / Restaurant Management

·      17  AS Degrees in Liberal Arts

·      1  AA Degree in Liberal Arts – Health Careers

·      8  AS Degrees in Liberal Arts – Education

·      1  AA Degree in Liberal Arts – Media Studies

·      2  Certificates of Achievement in Cabinet/Furniture Making

·      1  Certificate of Achievement in Construction Electricity

·      1  Certificate of Achievement in Electronic Engineering

We are proud of our graduates and proud of our faculty and staff.  Thanks goes out to one and all for your dedication in making graduation a success.

A New Year and New Paint at the Pohnpei Campus

The next time you driving by the Pohnpei Campus, take a look at the upper campus and checkout all of the changes that are taking place.  Formerly the site of the old dorms, the campus is taking on a new look.  All of the buildings are getting a major cleaning and retrofitting, which includes a coat of new paint. 

Currently, the buildings on the upper campus include the TRIO Programs (Talent Search, Upward Bound, and Student Support Services), the Technology and Trades Programs, and Pohnpei Land Grant.

On the lower Pohnpei Campus there continues to be updates.  Howard Rice’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Program has moved the “Blue Plate Café” to new location next to the kitchen and more readily accessible.  If all goes well, a bakery might also be opening as part of the HRM Program.  Reward your taste buds and watch for the Grand Re-Opening of the “Blue Plate Café!”

Board of Regents News

The Board of Regents of the College of Micronesia-FSM recently approved the following actions and directives:

·        The General Education core requirements for AA / AS degree programs were amended to include one (1) credit of physical education.

·        The minimum General Education core requirements for the AAS degree programs were approved as follows:

English Communication Skills            3 credits

Mathematics                                     3 credits

Computer Applications                      3 credits

Another course from one of the          3 credits

  General Education areas

(The total may vary depending on which degree is being earned)

  • The Bachelor’s Degree Program in Elementary Education was approved.
  • Increases for Fall 2003 in room and board for the dorms were approved as follows:

Dormitory fee from $2.00 to $2.50 per day

Meal rates raised to $2.00 for breakfast, $3.00 for lunch, and

$3.00 for dinner

  • FY2004 Operations Budget / Capital Improvement Projects Budget / Fisheries and Maritime Budget / Board of Regents Budget were approved.
  • To cover increased the increased cost for film, the ID photo fee was approved to be increased from $3.00 to $4.00 per set.
  • The revisions to the Certificate of Achievement Programs in Vocational Education were approved to  reflect changes in course credits due to course modifications.
  • The revision of the Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual, Section VIII.5.a. Regular Full-Time 10-Month Faculty compensation Plan, Pay level Definitions to amend the Vocational Instructors Minimum Qualifications was approved for immediate implementation.
  • The Progress Report on the Third-Year Accounting and Business Administration Programs was endorsed for submission to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) as part of the accreditation process.
  • Board Officers for the College of Micronesia-FSM Board of Regents were elected as follows:

Chairman                        Podis Pedrus

Vice Chairman            Henry Robert

Secretary/Treasurer            Gardenia Walter

Land Grant News

Land Grant activity at each of our State Campuses has been steady.  In each State, various programs continue to be implemented.  Each of the programs share similar goals which include:

  • Achieving an Agricultural Production System that is Highly Competitive in the Global Economy (Integration of Small farming Production System).
  • Developing and Maintaining a Safe and secure Food and Fiber System.
  • Preventing Food-Borne Illnesses and Promotion of Sound Nutrition.
  • Developing and Maintaining a Healthy Well-Nourished Population.
  • Developing Greater Harmony between Agriculture and the Environment.

       (Sustainable Agriculture).

  • Enhancing Economic Opportunities and Overall Quality of Life.
  • On-going Research and Field Work.

Funding for Land Grant continues to be challenging.  The future suggests that we might be faced with doing more to maintain current programs, doing so with less funding.  The message is clear that Land Grant must use it’s resources both wisely and effectively.

Good News in the New Year from the Australian Embassy

            “A teacher affects eternity; they can never tell where their influence stops.”

                                                                                    -Henry Brooks Adams

The Australian Embassy recently announced that two of our students are recipients of Full Australian Development Scholarships.  The two students, Maria Falmad and Eileena Mangar are both from Yap.  Their scholarships will take them to Swineburne University of Technology where Maria will complete her Bachelor studies in Information Systems, while Eileena will complete her Bachelors degree in Media and Communications Studies.

A third FSM citizen, Perry Pedrus, was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Sydney where he will complete a Masters of Commerce (Economics).

We salute and thank each of these fine young people for representing the FSM, the College of Micronesia-FSM, and their families as they continue to fulfill their dreams by furthering their educations.

We also acknowledge and gratefully thank the Australian Embassy and the people of Australia for making such opportunities available to the young people of the FSM.

Staff Development Day 2003

            “Together everyone achieves more.” – Dr. Wayne Shute, Educator

Staff Development Day for 2003 will take place on February 21st.  This year the day will be facilitated in part by Colette Higgins from Kapi’olani Community College where she is an instructor of  Hawaiian History.  A recipient of the coveted Francis Davis Award for Undergraduate Teaching, Ms. Higgins teaches with a passion that is contagious.  Her ability to open channels of communication are unmatched and she is considered by her peers as being a Master Teacher.  She will present a workshop on “Methods of Engagement – Strategies for Helping Students Become More Effective Learners.”  Additionally, the Staff Development Committee is busily preparing other stimulating and thought provoking sessions that will be of interest to all staff.  Staff Development Day 2003 promises to be an instructive and beneficial day for us all!

A Closing Toast to One and All

In closing, I thank each of you for all of your contributions to our College.  The College of Micronesia-FSM is a great place because of what we all do to contribute to the future of the FSM and because of the people who choose to serve here.  Education is an anomaly in that the pay we receive isn’t manifest in dollars and cents, rather in the eyes, faces, and lives of the students we serve.  I salute each of you, concluding with an old Celtic Toast:

                                    “May you all live as long as you want to,

And may you want to as long as you live.”

Happy New Year!

Sincere regards,


Dr. Michael Tatum, President

College of Micronesia-FSM


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