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May 04, 2005

To: All Concerned

From: President, COM-FSM

Subject: Update from the President's Office - No. 250


The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) to which the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) belongs is one of six regional accrediting associations that accredit educational institutions in the USA. These accredited institutions are required by the Federal Government to meet certain requirements to be eligible for federal programs.

Federal regulations state that when an accredited institution is sanctioned by an accrediting commission, it has a maximum of two years to remove itself from the sanction. For example, ACCJC placed the College of Micronesia-FSM on “warning” following a review visit from the commission in March 2004 to consider reaffirmation of our accreditation. This means the College only has two years to address the concerns that placed the College on warning status. If not addressed to the satisfaction of the commission, the College could lose its accreditation in June 2006.

The College has submitted two separate Progress Reports that addressed the recommendations that the commission felt were not in compliance with their standards. A team from ACCJC visited the College April 11-15, 2005, to validate the two reports. In its exit interview with faculty, staff, and students at the National Campus, the visiting team reported that good signs of progress have been made in five of the recommendations and part of recommendation six. However, the recommendation that relates to immediately addressing the learning environment at Chuuk Campus is still not in compliance and that things have gotten worse. The College now has about a year to implement corrective measures at Chuuk Campus in order not to jeopardize the College’s accreditation status.

The administration of the College is considering to recommend to the Board at its May 23-26, 2005, meeting in Pohnpei that all instructional programs at Chuuk Campus be suspended during Summer Session and possibly Fall semester too. This will allow the College to work on improving facilities at Chuuk Campus during Summer Session 2005.

The ACCJC/WASC standards require that all faculty and staff have degrees from legitimate US accredited institutions. Faculty and staff that are graduates of unaccredited institutions must have their transcripts evaluated by a recognized organization in US that evaluates transcripts from unaccredited institutions. The College has been doing this for faculty members only and will start requiring staff from unaccredited colleges to have their transcripts evaluated commencing Summer Session 2005.

Board of Regents:

The Board of Regents meeting scheduled for the week of May 16-20, 2005, has been postponed to the week of May 23-26, 2005. The venue for the meeting will be at the National Campus in Pohnpei.

Four of the five COM-FSM Regents attended a three day training for presidents and trustees in Guam on April 29- May 1, 2005. The training was focused on the roles of the trustees and presidents and how they can work as a team to accomplish the mission and goals of the Colleges in the region. Participants for the training included presidents and trustees from American Samoa Community College, Guam Community College, College of Marshall Islands, College of Micronesia-FSM, Palau Community College, Northern Marianas College, and University of Guam. It was interesting to learn more about the governance for other institutions in the region. The Pacific Post Secondary Education Council (PPEC) will cover expenses for the training.

Budget Hearing:

The College has been asked to appear before the FSM National Government Budget Review Committee to go over the FY 2006 recommended budget that has been submitted to FSM Congress for review and approval. The FSM National Government Budget Review Committee is recommending a total budget of $6,470,268 for the College System in FY 2006. The breakdown of this amount is: $600,000 for FSM-FMI, $3.8 million for the College operation, $888,000 for Kosrae Campus facilities construction, $612, 000 for Chuuk Campus facilities construction, $300,000 for students’ assistance, and $270,268 from SEG for Work Study and FSEOG Programs. The money earmarked for College operation is $56,067 less than the amounts that the College requested in FY 2006 budget.

Implementation of the Organizational Chart:

A working group on implementation of the organizational chart has been working on issues relating to personnel, finance and budget, sponsored programs, instructional and student services issues. The group will come up with recommended guidelines on these issues and distribute these to all campuses for faculty and staff to review. Inputs will also be accepted from anyone at the College.

The final versions of these issues will then be distributed to key staff for their uses when the College set up the implementation dates for the organizational chart.

Guidelines and Procedures for FY 07 Budget Development:

The Planning Council and Finance Committee will be meeting jointly on Thursday, May 5, 2005, to discuss guidelines and procedures for developing FY 2007 guidelines and procedures. These guidelines and procedures will be sent to the Board of Regents (BOR) in September for their approval.

Words of Appreciation and Thanks:

I would like to express the administration’s appreciation and thanks to thefollowing staff and people for their hard work on making arrangements for transporting the remains of the late David Megaw to Guam and then to England:

Mrs. Linda Maradol Mrs. Jean Thoulag Mr. Ringlen Ringlen
Ms. Felicia Hunt Mr. Tim Franklin Mr. Eugene Edmund
Mr. Dana Lee Ling Mr. Charles Musana Mrs. Alicia Ada
Miss Jazmine Gonzales Mr. Cavanaugh Eperiam Mr. Lihno Panuelo
Dr. Richard Womack Staff Senate Officers Ms. Rencelly Nelson
Mr. Francisco Mendiola Dr. James Yaingeluo Ms. Merlein Johnny
Mr. Len Mayer of Guam Memorial Funeral Home, Inc.    

Reinstatement of Work-Study and FSEOG Eligibility:

I attended the Freely Associated Chief of Schools System Organization (FACSSO) on April 18-22, 2005, in Chuuk. The Directors of Education, President of the College, and Secretary for Department of Health, Education and Social Affairs adopted a resolution to work with the FSM and State Leaderships and US Congress on reinstating the eligibility for FSM Students in the Work Study and FSEOG Programs.

Program Review and Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes:

The College of Micronesia-FSM Board of Regents approved the Instructional Program Evaluation Policy that also incorporated the student learning assessment in it. The new accreditation standards require that programs be reviewed and evaluated for student learning outcome assessments annually or based on an established schedule. The policy is attached for your information. It is important for the division chairs as well as activity heads to read the policy and understand it.

Thank you.