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October - Palikir, Pohnpei

October 30, 2003

To: All Regents, Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni,Community Patrons, and our Valued College Friends & Supporters

From: Dr. Michael Tatum, President

Subject: Update from the Presidents Office  No. 224

In my last Update I began by describing the Perfect Storm that post-secondary education in the FSM is facing. I remain optimistic that we will navigate the storms of today and the future and keep our vessel, the College of Micronesia-FSM afloat and on a steady course. However, we must be ever prepared and proactive in order to avoid any crisis.�

Interestingly enough, I learned the other day that the Chinese word for crisis is written by combining the Chinese symbols for Danger and Opportunity together into one ideogram. Individually considered, the symbol of choice should be that of Opportunity, which like a ships compass, will direct us to the path that will lead the FSM to a productive future that fully supports education. The cornerstone of a successful and prosperous FSM will be an educated citizenry. There can be no other choice. However, if the FSM chooses to not fully support education the result will be the choice of Danger and eventual crisis.  The example provided by the College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) is sufficiently graphic. CMI has not been sufficiently supported by their government and according to press releases could face closing if it doesnt receive the financial support that it needs. Here in the FSM, we can only hope that our government leaders will choose Opportunity, giving post-secondary education in the FSM the support that it needs to succeed . . . the education that the people of the FSM need in order to have successful futures. Danger or Opportunity are the choices. We must at all costs avoid a crisis like the one CMI is experiencing. There are no half-way measures. We can only hope that our FSM Leaders will choose Opportunity and avoid a crisis.

  Good education is the essential foundation of a strong democracy.

     -Barbara Bush

The following information will help our supporters to know how well our College is doing in staying true to its charted course.

Accreditation  Our Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO), Dana Leeling continues to help steer us towards a successful accreditation. Self-Study drafts have now been submitted for reading and analysis. We are staying fairly close to our set schedule of deadlines and are moving ahead. ALO Leeling, Vice President Spensin James, Dr. Richard Womack, Howard Rice, and myself met with Dr. Barbara Beno, Executive Director of the ACCJC  WASC recently in an accreditation workshop. The meeting was positive. In some areas, such as Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) our College is ahead. We left the meeting with the feeling that we will be ready for our March, 2004 accreditation visit.  Of course, between now and then there is still much to accomplish. Please contact your Standard Chair to see how you can continue to contribute and help.

  Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.  Claude McDonald

Performance Based Budget (PBB)  The finance committee has continued to meet regularly in dealing with the challenges of College finances, and even though the new budget year has begun, we remain hopeful that the FSM government will come to our rescue and restore the $1 Million cut that our FY 04 Budget sustained. Under the new Compact, funding is tight, even with emphasis being placed on the education sectors. We hope to see true evidence of this emphasis by having our budget supplemented in the near future. In the meanwhile, our Comptroller Danny Dumantay and the Finance Committee are already working on the FY 05 Budget.

Staff Senate  A recent message from the Staff Senate announced a reorganization and a new slate of elected officers. The new officers are as follows:

President  Morehna Santos Vice President  Eric Mecklenburg
Secretary/Treasurer  Jean Thoulag
Faculty Representatives  Susan Moses and Richard Womack (National Campus) Frances Chaine (Pohnpei Campus)
Staff Representatives  Francisco Mendiola (National Campus) Patterson Shed (Pohnpei Campus)

Congratulations to these campus leaders who are willing to serve and help guide us into the future!

Small Business Development  Pohnpei Campus Director Penny Weilbacher continues to move ahead on helping to develop a Small Business Development Center. This project has involved representatives of the Asian Development Bank, the Pohnpei Governors Office and other interested parties who support establishing such a center in Pohnpei. For more information contact Penny at the Pohnpei Campus.

Pohnpei Campus News - Counselor Maria Dison has taken on the task of Instructional Coordinator and hasnt slowed down since. Her activities have included coordinating various workshops and faculty training. This has included a lot of emphasis on Student Learning Outcomes and getting everyone trained on instructional software. Maria is one very busy person these days! However, Maria isnt alone. Assistant Professor Howard Rice has been wearing his share of hats, which include serving as a Standard Chair for our Accreditation Self-Study and continuing to Chair the Hospitality & Tourism Program.  On other fronts at the Pohnpei Campus, the Intensive English Program ((IEP) has enrolled 70 students and is under the able leadership of Assistant Professor Dale Griffith. The program got off to a good start this semester with the help of two new ESL instructors: Rebecca Holt and Amy Cameron. New math instructor Augustine Loyola has been equally busy adding his expertise to teaching at the Pohnpei Campus.

The Blue Plate Caf has recently announced a new schedule and menu. The Caf is now open three mornings a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A delicious breakfast menu is offered at very affordable prices. Drop by and check it out. The Blue Plate Caf will also be featuring international cuisine and dining on featured evenings. Check with the Pohnpei Campus and / or Howard Rice for more details.  Special Note: Adaltrick Isiel, a graduate of the HRM program has been hired the manager of the Blue Plate Caf. Also, within a short period of time the HRM Division will begin training shipboard cooks and coxswains for the FSM Maritime Wing. Capacity Building in Action!

Technology and Trade is another area where Capacity Building is taking place. At the Pohnpei Campus Division Chair Jeff Steel is leading the charge with a current enrollment of 103 students who are enrolled in a variety of certificate and AAS degree programs, one of which is the new NIDA program, which is now also in successful in operation on the Yap and Kosrae Campuses.  In Chuuk, Steve Richmonds Carpentry program is producing some really first-rate furniture and cabinets, while on the Pohnpei Campus Salba Silbanuz is going for similar positive results.  You have to love the Capacity Building programs that we have at our State Campuses!

Staff Development news that was overlooked in the last Update includes Vice President Ringlen P. Ringlens attendance, participation, and graduation from Harvard Universitys Institute for Education and Management (IEM) during the summer. Congratulations to Ringlen! Quiz: What does the initial P stand for in Ringlens middle name. The first one to my office with the answer Wins a Prize! Note: This year our Staff Development funds have helped five of our faculty work on completing Masters Degree Programs, and has sponsored attendance at various conferences and workshops for twelve faculty and staff members.

Land Grant has been busy since the last Update. Dr. Flor Javier hosted and collaborated with Dr. Scot Nelson from the University of Hawaii-Hilo on a survey of plant diseases in the FSM. While in the FSM Dr. Nelson conducted a seminar on the topic of Noni Production. The seminar was well-attended and very informative, providing much of the necessary information for the possibility of beginning commercial production in the FSM.  In Yap there has been a collaborative effort led by Raul Javier in the use of biological controls for dealing with invasive varieties of weeds. Dr. Muru Murukesan has been involved in a Yam research project aimed at improving Yam production. A greenhouse is also under construction at the Yap site. - Nutrition has been a focus at each of our Land Grant campuses. EFNEP training, along with cooking demonstrations have been successfully conducted by our nutritionists at all sites. In Pohnpei a series of Radio Announcements promoting healthy lifestyles and nutrition have been developed and aired on station V6AH (1450 AM) and been very popular. The nutritionists have also been busy analyzing and making recommendations for improving local school menus.  Other Land Grant activities have included sakau cultivation training, continued research trials on banana diseases, assisting farmers in swine production, home gardening consultations, and diabetes counseling.

The Attached Fun Run & Walk held on Saturday morning, September 27th was a huge success. The morning was overcast, with perfect conditions for the event. The Division of Math & Science was out in full-force, and handled all of the registration and paperwork  without their support we would have been in trouble. Castro Joab and his staff were in-charge of the overall coordination of the Run-Walk and did a superb job! Congratulations Castro and Team!  The Attached Winners Circle included: Dana Leeling for his attachment to his tennis balls as he joggled the course, Gary Bloom and his daughter (Gary carried her attached in his arms), and Dr. Anca Dema and her attached partner for being the oldest and best looking attached participants.

Information Technology Division has been ever busy. August and September were targeted for cleaning computers infected by viruses. Technicians were required to travel to the State Campuses to deal with the problem, cleaning computers and also securing the Network Servers. Work on the Database continues with current focus on establishing a new database for Financial Aid in order to better track PELL Grant Awards. On-going modifications continue to be made with the Admissions and Records Database in order to reflect changes in the Colleges General Catalog.

The Learning Resource Center reports a lot of activity. Collection development and acquisition continues at a brisk pace. Reference/Academic Librarian Anastasia Lynch has been involved in identifying and ordering books and materials to support Education Division courses. This effort has involved examining card catalogs of other US colleges and reviewing core collection lists of recommended materials.  The MITCs new ID system is up and running. The new ID cards are really great! Thanks to Joe Saimon and his staff for keeping us all identified during the school year! - This coming week LRC will be co-hosting with other Pohnpei libraries the 13th Pacific Association of Libraries, Archives, and Museums Annual Conference (November 3-8, 2003).

FSM Department of Foreign Affairs has announced that Alicia Ada of the Language / Literature Division has been appointed as the Philippines Honorary Consul to the State of Pohnpei. This status of EXEQUATUR will allow Alicia to officially exercise all of the functions of Honorary Consul in the FSM and in the State of Pohnpei as outlined in the Vienna Conventions on Consular Relations. Alicia, from now on how do we address you? Congratulations!

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation and PEACESAT funded and sponsored a workshop at the National Campus on September 22-24th. Bruce Best, Project Director from the University of Guam served as the facilitator. Various representatives from the community were in attendance. The theme of Bridging the Digital Divide served to guide the workshop as topics of Telemedicine, Photovoltaic Systems, Delivery Platforms, and System Trouble Shooting were discussed.

The University of Guam and the College of Micronesia-FSM entered into a Goodwill Cooperative Agreement on October 10th. The Declaration of Inter Institutional Cooperation was signed by the presidents of both institutions with the aim of establishing academic and cultural relations and to exchange knowledge and experience in various areas within the framework of education, planning and curriculum of both institutions and to prepare to carry out joint partnerships . . .

New Employees and Assignments include the following

Linter Kihleng, Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant Coordinator for Pohnpei Campus.

Mac Emwalu, Library Assistant III, Chuuk Campus.
Amzi Martirez, Vocational Instructor at Kosrae Campus.
Felix Nick, Maintenance Worker, National Campus.
Amerihter Thozes, Clerk Typist III, National Campus.
Sherry Rose Sandoval, Vocational Instructor, Pohnpei Campus.
Joseph Kasian, Teacher Quality Enhancement grant Coordinator, Chuuk Campus.
Amy Cameron, English Instructor, Pohnpei Campus.
Rebecca Holt, English Instructor, Pohnpei Campus.
Peter Pedrus, Information Specialist I, National Campus.
Karleen Manuel, Media Assistant I, National Campus.

 Employees saying Goodbye include:

   Paul Hadik, IEP Instructor, Kosrae Campus.
   Ben Jesse, Director of GEARUP Program, Kosrae Campus.


Dr. Scot Nelson, University of Hawaii-Hilo: Conducting research on plant diseases / seminar presentations.
Mr. Leonard Woods, Director of Upward Bound, University of Nevada-Reno: Consulting TRIO programs.
Ms. Tina Takashy, Chair, Pacific Islands Association of NGOS: Discussing College and NGO collaborations.
Ms. Janice R. McMichael, Analyst, Center for Disease Control (CDC): Conducting Bio-Terrorism Training.
Ms. Jerilyn Gilbert, Project Officer, US Dept. of Health and Human Services: Terrorism Preparedness.
Mrs. Lorraine P. Shin, State Director, US Dept.of Agriculture / Rural Development: Infrastructure Loans for Education.
Mr. Thao Khamoui, Program Director, US Dept.of Agriculture / Rural Development: Infrastructure Loans for Education.
Mr. Asai Gilman, Admissions Director, BYU-Hawaii: Recruitment visit. Discuss scholarships for transfer students.
Mr. David Lucero, Student Activities Director, BYU-Hawaii: Leadership Development and scholarships.
Mr. Matthew Able, Private Sector Development Project, FSM Dept. of Economic Affairs: Small Business Development Centers.
Dr. Singeru Singeo, Executive Director COM Land Grant: Discussing Land Grant organization and funding issues.
Mr. Engly Ioanis, Pohnpei Campus Land Grant: Courtesy Call and Visit about Land Grant issues.
Mr. Weldis Welley, Assistant Secretary for Education, FSM-HESA: Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant.
Mr. Cesar Hadley, Supervising Meteorologist, FSM National Weather Service: Hosting a Typhoon Awareness Seminar.
Mr. Larry Salmoney, Attorney/Legal Advisor to FSM Congress: College Funding and Chuuk Campus concerns.
Senator Dion Neth, FSM Congress: Consultation regarding Outstanding Student Balances / Scholarships.
Mr. Vic Hobson, US Embassy/Dept. of the Interior: Courtesy Call re: Possibility of Rural Development Loans.
Dr. Harold Allen, President  University of Guam: Working on Document for Institutional Cooperation.
Dr. Jeff Barsinas, Vice President for University Engagement, University of Guam: Program Articulation, Land Grant.
Mr. Peter Roy Martinez, Director of Alumni Affairs  University of Guam: Developing Alumni Outreach.
Mr. Yoichi Rengiil, TRIO Programs Director  University of Guam: Promotion of TRIO Cooperation between institutions.
Mr. Bruce Best, Director PEACESAT  University of Guam: Coordination of PEACESAT Programming.

Board of Regents News  The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Regents was held at the National Campus from October 7-10, 2003. The following Actions and Directives resulted from that meeting:

1.      The Board authorized the Administration to proceed with the Chuuk Star Hotel option for a permanent site for the Chuuk Campus.

2.      The Board approved a tuition increase of $10 per credit (from the current $75 to $85 per credit) for implementation effective Spring 2004.

3.      A revised COM-FSM FY 2004 operations budget was approved.

4.      The general guidelines were endorsed for the development of the FY 2005 Budget to include the following:

        FY 2005 Budget should be prepared and presented as a Performance Based Budget (PBB) format with a consolidated Line Item Budget.

       The PBB should demonstrate linkage to the Strategic Plan and the FY 2004 PBB.

      FY 2004 PBB should be used as a reference in the formulation of the FY 2005 PBB.

     Departments PBB should be in accordance with the mission of the College and in accordance with the system wide outcomes.

     Assignment of expenditure budgets to PBBs outcomes should be based on actual costs of the activities of the outcome.

    The Administration should seek an FSM appropriation of at least $4 Million.

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

    Capital Improvement budgets should be in compliance with the approved system-wide CIP plan.

     Human resource capacity building for students, staff, and faculty of COM-FSM should be included in the CIP Budget at an amount to be determined by the Administration.

5.      A Duplicate ID Card Fee of $5 to replace lost plastic ID cards was approved for implementation effective Spring 2004.

6.      A policy of Instructional Program Evaluation was approved for immediate implementation.

7.      Renewed Articulation Agreements with Chaminade University of Honolulu and the University of Guam were approved.

8.      The revised Extended Employment Benefit Policy, as amended by the Board, was approved for immediate implementation.

9.      The Board approved advertising the position of Director of Research and Planning at Step 3 of the appropriate level.

10.  Resolutions recognizing and commending Mr. Andrew Yatilman and Mrs. Gardenia Walter for their service to the College and the nation as Regents on the College of Micronesia-FSM Board of Regents was adopted.

11.  The Administration was tasked to draft the role of the State Campuses based on the discussions during the past two Board meetings for review and action at the next meeting.

12.  The Administration was tasked with gathering more information regarding the Small Business Development Centers.

13.  The minutes of the June 16-19, 2003 meeting in Pohnpei as amended and the July 3, 2003, teleconference meeting were adopted.

14.  The next meeting of the College of Micronesia-FSM Board of Regents will be held in Pohnpei the week of December 1, 2003.

Optimism has always been my strong suit. I began this Update talking about the crisis currently being faced by the College of the Marshall Islands and all of the challenges that are hammering post-secondary education in the FSM today. Yes, the Perfect Storm is still whirling around us, but I remain optimistic that it is a storm we will weather in due time. For example, the Storm of Accreditation is making us a stronger institution. It has brought us together and strengthened us in many ways. It has helped us to identify our true and skilled Sailors. And we have learned that there are no simple solutions, but solutions can be found if we work together in a team effort. I once read somewhere that Storms make trees take deeper roots. Just as deep roots make for stronger trees, our deep roots have caused our College, staff, and faculty to all grow stronger and more united, and in the process our programs and course offerings are growing stronger. We are getting better and better at what we do. We have been able to accomplish these things through hard work and by seeing Opportunities with each of the storms waves that have hit us, and we have chosen to work even harder and to seek Opportunities instead of abandoning ship when crisis has raised its ugly head.

 Education is more than a luxury; it is a responsibility that society owes to itself.

  Robin Cook (Coma)

I sincerely thank each of you for your hard work and dedication, and for all that you do each day to make the College of Micronesia-FSM such a great place. Thank you.

Appreciative regards,


Dr. Michael Tatum, President

College of Micronesia-FSM


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