|College of Micronesia-FSM
Federated States of Micronesia
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|December - Palikir, Pohnpei||
M E M O R A N D U M
To: All Regents, Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni,Community Patrons,
and our Valued College Friends & Supporters
From: Dr. Michael Tatum, President
Subject: Update from the President's Office - No. 225
'Tis the Night Before Christmas and Santa is lurking; wondering why I'm still here working? However, I would be seriously remiss if I let this evening and the Holiday Season pass without thanking each of you for your contributions to the College and thank you for your dedication to the future of the FSM.
This past semester and these past few months have been tough ones for us all. As mentioned in previous Updates, we have faced a number of "Storms" in the recent past. Yet, here we are with the semester and the year at an end, and we are able to stand tall as we look back at all of the accomplishments of the year . . . And these have been Your Accomplishments. And your accomplishments have been many, with The Number One Accomplishment being the completion of our Self Study in preparation for the ACCJC accreditation visit in March 2004. This monumental task couldn't have been completed without the contributions made by each of you. The endless and thankless hours that have gone into the Self Study prove beyond a doubt that our faculty and staff are the best that can be found anywhere or on any campus. It has been said that the best gift that anyone can give, is the "Gift of Giving of One's Self." This certainly serves to epitomize our faculty and staff. The College of Micronesia-FSM is indeed blessed to have a faculty and staff of your caliber who give freely of time and efforts to make the College and the FSM a better place.
Merry Christmas to each of You! And Thank You!
Accreditation As the New Year begins, we will begin preparing for our Accreditation Visit in March 2004. Initial contact with the Visitation Team has been made via Team Chair, Dr. Marie Smith, President of American River College in Sacramento, California. The other members of the team include:
The Visitation Team will visit each of our campuses with their visit culminating with a visit and exit meeting at the National Campus. We expect the visit to be a positive one. We fully expect to learn from our visitors how we can continue to build on our strengths and improve in areas we may be weak in. However, the true quest for improvement and excellence rests with each of us. To quote Dr. Barbara Beno, Executive Director of the ACCJC, "Professional self-regulation is the most effective means of assuring integrity, effectiveness and quality." The future of our College is truly in our hands.
Dr. Smith and the Visitation Team will provide us with an Opportunity to Learn and Grow from their collective guidance and experience. It is my hope that statements similar to the following will result from the visit:
Compact of Free Association This past week President Bush signed the new Compact of Free Association. This is good news for the FSM. The impact on post-secondary education is significant. In a recent meeting with FSM Ambassador to the United States Jesse Marehalau, and Mr. Jim Stoval. Chief Legal Counsel for the JCN, the particulars of the new Compact that relate to education were explained. In short, the College of Micronesia-FSM will continue to receive PELL Grants and will remain eligible for US Department of Education Supplemental Education Grant (Competitive Grants). Land Grant will continue to be funded. However, SEOG and Work Study will be no longer be directly funded. Students currently participating in these programs will be phased out over the next four years. New students will funded through "Cash-Out" funds which will come yearly for assistance in funding those programs which will no longer receive direct funding from US agencies. The overall news is good. However, there will still remain challenges for adequately funding post-secondary education. As the only institution of higher learning in the FSM, the College of Micronesia-FSM will need consistent and reliable funding to remain viable. President Urusemal has pledged his support. Senator Resio Moses and the HESA Committee have also been exponents for the cause of the College. We are appreciative of all those who have shared this advocacy.
Board of Regents News The College Board of Regents met in Pohnpei at the National Campus on December 15th-18th. As part of its agenda, the following Regents were elected as officers:
Board President/Chairman - Podis Pedrus, Pohnpei State
Vice President/Vice Chairman - Joseph Habuchmai, Yap State
Secretary/Treasurer - Tiser Lippwe, Chuuk State
The Board of Regents took the following actions:
The Board of Regents meeting was very productive. The next Board meeting will be held in Kosrae in March 2004 after the accreditation visit takes place.
2003 Goodwill Games On October 31st the Goodwill Games were "kicked off" at the National Campus. Men's and Women's basketball and volleyball teams from the Kosrae, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and National campuses competed in these friendly and spirited games. This was the first time in the history of the College that competitive sporting events of this nature have been held between campuses. The games were successful because they were played in a spirit of Win/Win. Yes, there was competition, but each game was centered on building bridges of cooperation between each of our campuses, and each game played placed emphasis on good sportsmanship. A Big Thanks goes out to Campus Directors Jojo Peter, Penny Weilbacher, and Kalwin Kephas, and Vice President Ringlen Ringlen for all of their hard work in putting this event together. The Goodwill Games were sanctioned as a fundraising activity by the College Board of Regents and wouldn't have been possible without their support. The next Goodwill Games are scheduled for Spring 2005.
GIS and Remote Sensing was the focus of a recent meeting held by the Administration and Mr. Les Allinson of the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC). The purpose of the meeting was to begin preparation of an initial inventory of data and resources for a future proposed project. The College will play a key role as the project is further developed. Funding for participation will come through the European Union (EU). The project will include involvement and cooperation from nearly all agencies in the FSM.
Visitors from New Zealand Representing the Pacific Islands Forum and New Zealand, His Excellency John Goodman, New Zealand Ambassador to the FSM, and Mr. Bob Cotton, who is a member of the Eminent Persons Group of the Pacific Island Forum, visited the National Campus on a fact finding visit relating to post-secondary education. Of specific interest was the success and completion rates for students from the FSM who receive scholarships to universities in New Zealand. It appears that COM-FSM transfer students do better than students who go directly from high school to New Zealand.
News from the United States Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs Mr. David B. Cohen, Deputy Assistant Secretary, has announced that the Pohnpei Campus of the College of Micronesia-FSM has received a $100,000 grant under the Operations and Maintenance Improvement Program (OMIP), to help in the further development of the plumbing, air conditioning, small engine repair, and auto mechanics vocational programs, and the apprenticeship program. Once again, we are very grateful to the Office of Insular Affairs and to Deputy Assistant Secretary Cohen for sharing our vision of what the future can be through means of an educated and skilled workforce.
Personnel News Since the last Update the following persons have joined the COM-FSM family of employees:
Resignations since the last Update include:
We welcome these new employees and at the same time thank those who are leaving for the great service they have rendered to the College and to the FSM.
And now it is time for me to point myself in the direction of home. It is time to hang the Christmas stockings and spend time with the family. It is my prayer that each of you will have a great Christmas and Holiday break. Please accept my thanks for all that each of you do to make our College such a great place!
Merry Christmas to All and to All a Goodnight!
Dr. Michael Tatum, President
College of Micronesia-FSM