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July- Palikir, Pohnpei


July 27, 2005

To: All Concerned

From: President, COM-FSM

Subject: Update from the President's Office - No. 255

Accreditation Reaffirmed for COM-FSM

At its June 8-10, 2005, meeting, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, reviewed the Progress Report submitted by the College of Micronesia-FSM and the report by the evaluation team which visited the College on April 11-15, 2005. The reports were accepted; warning was removed; and accreditation reaffirmed. In her letter to President Spensin James, Dr. Barbara Beno, Executive Director of the Commission wrote, “The visiting team noted and the Commission commends the College for its efforts in addressing the recommendations of the Commission. Although considerable work remains to be completed, extensive progress has been made, and the college community appears poised to continue its efforts.”

Another Progress Report is due on March 15, 2006, on the College’s progress in addressing the original six recommendations, which are: 1) to develop and implement a collaborative process for communicating system-wide; 2) to develop, document, and implement an organization of administrative responsibilities across the six sites that ensures continuity in student support and instruction and gives a clear, consistent line of administrative authority; 3) to periodically and systematically evaluate recommendations #1 and #2 to facilitate a cycle of continued improvement after recommendations #1 and #2 are developed, documented, and implemented; 4) to develop and implement college-wide integrated planning; 5) to develop and implement student learning outcomes across the six sites in order to determine the effectiveness of college programs and services on student learning outcomes, and 6) to standardize instruction, student services learning environments, and quality of instruction across the six sites. Specific areas identified as requiring greater continuity are a written policy manual for the Board of Regents; full and part-time faculty hiring procedures, assignments appropriate to qualifications, and performance evaluations; delivery of comprehensive and consistent student services at all sites; and adequate facilities for instruction at all sites with Chuuk Campus cited as needing immediate attention. This report will be followed by another team visit from the Accrediting Commission.

While elated with the reaffirmation of accreditation, President James cautioned the college community that much work remains to fully address the concerns of the Accrediting Commission and requested the same spirit of cooperation and teamwork that got the College off warning for the work ahead.

Next Board of Regents Meeting

The College of Micronesia-FSM Board of Regents’ next meeting has been tentatively scheduled for the week of September 12 th, 2005, in Weno, Chuuk. One of the pressing agenda items for this meeting is for the Regents to identify and secure a permanent site for COM-FSM Chuuk Campus. Regents will also be monitoring the construction of two buildings underway at the current site and future renovation being planned for facilities at the current site. Since the two of the main buildings that house the classrooms and offices are going to be demolished and re-built in order to meet accreditation standards, Chuuk Campus will continue the teach out of current students. No new students will be admitted at Chuuk Campus during Fall Semester 2005. The teach out will continue there until the construction of facilities at the current site are completed and inspected for the purpose of complying with accreditation standards.

Strategic Plan for the College

The College of Micronesia-FSM is in the process of revising its current Five Year Strategic Plan. The College community has been asked to review the current mission statements for the College and submit their revised mission statements to the President and the Director of Research and Planning Office. A Strategic Planning retreat has been scheduled for August 1-2, 2005. Representatives from the six campuses will be joining the planning council members at this retreat to map out the strategies for the tasks needed to complete the strategic plan. The tentative agenda for the retreat will include the following: Mission statement revision, beneficiaries and collaboration, environmental scan, goals, strategies and action plans, plan creation, outcomes and achievements, and follow-up assignments.

Land Grant Program at the College of Micronesia-FSM for the first time is also developing a Strategic Plan for its programs. The Vice President for CRE, Mr. Jim Currie and Mr. Jim Hollyer, Consultant from Agricultural Development in the American Pacific Land Grant Program, have traveled to most of the State Campuses and nearly completed the Strategic Plan for each campus.

Grant Notification Awards

The President’s Office recently received grant notification for the following grant/programs:

1. Pohnpei Vocational Programs

$100,000 from OMIP (this needs to be matched by Pohnpei State Campus on a 50% matching)

2. Peer Counseling Programs 86,000
3. Nursing Program Development 37,000

Bookstores at State Campuses

The College of Micronesia-FSM is constructing bookstores at all State Campus so they can sell textbooks to students. Currently it has been difficult to get textbooks on time to the State Campuses for students to purchase for their classes. The new bookstore policy is to establish bookstores at all campuses. Pohnpei State and Chuuk State Campuses recently completed the renovations of their bookstores and will be stocking these stores with textbooks and other supplies that students need for their classes. Construction of book stores at other campuses will start as soon as possible.

Constructions at State Campuses

Pohnpei State Campus continues to renovate facilities for classes and offices. The two buildings (computer labs and LRC) under construction at Chuuk Campus will be ready for use by the first week of August 2005. Yap State Campus completed the paving of the road leading to the main campus and their parking lot.

TRIO Programs

News from Washington, D.C. indicated that both U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have approved the re-instatement of ALL Trio Programs in the FY 2006 budgets. This is good news for the College’s Trio Programs. Because of this good news the State Campuses in Kosrae and Yap are planning to develop and submit project proposals for the Talent Search Program in October 2005 for possible funding. We would like to thank all the Trio Program Coordinators for their lobbying efforts with their colleagues in the U.S especially the Region IX people in restoring the funding for all Trio Programs.

Summer Session 2005

Summer Session 2005 at most of the Campuses concluded during the week of July 19-23, 2005. Yap State Campuses started late and its Summer Session will be concluded during the week of July 26-29, 2005.

General Catalog for School Year 2005-2007

Kudos to Mrs. Jean Thoulag, Vice President for Instructional Affairs, Mrs. Quly Alex, Executive Secretary for Vice President for Instructional Affairs, Mr. Joseph Saimon, Director of MITC, and Mrs. Norma Edwin, Executive Assistant to the President, for their efforts and hard work in completing the revision of the College General Catalog for School Year 2005-2007 in time so it can be printed in Guam and ready for distribution before the start of Fall Semester 2005. Thanks also go to faculty and staff who assisted in proof-reading the catalog. Efforts and services by these staff make this College a better place to work. The President really appreciates their efforts and services.

Networking Conference in Okinawa , Japan

Presidents of the Pacific Post Secondary Education (PPEC) institutions have been invited by the Sasakawa Foundation of Japan to attend a Networking Conference in Okinawa, Japan during the week of September 1-3, 2005. The Presidents from the PPEC institutions will participate in a panel discussion relative to future networking with institutions in Japan. Each of the presidents will be presenting an overview of programs and services at their institution during the conference. All expenses for the trip will be paid by the Sasakawa Foundation of Japan.

President James’ State Visit to Kosrae State

President James visited Kosrae State during the week of July 20-26, 2005. The purpose of the visit was to meet with the leadership of Kosrae State and update them on the accreditation matters, to ask for their assistance on funding for construction of facilities at Kosrae Campus, and to get their inputs on what they think the College should be doing for their Kosrae State. Inputs from the leadership of Kosrae included requests for the College to expand agriculture programs at Kosrae Campus, to develop and implement a nursing program at the College as soon as possible, to continue to offer trial counselor program courses in Kosrae and to work on articulation of program courses with colleges and universities abroad. President James met with Governor Rensely Sigrah, Regent Henry Robert, Speaker Lyndon Jackson, Vice Speaker Albert Salik, and Associate Judge Aliksa Aliksa as the Chief Justice Yosiwo George was off island. The leaders of Kosrae State appreciated the visit and welcomed future visits to the state by the President so they can be updated on matters relating to the College and congratulated the College for getting off the warning and reaffirming the accreditation of the College. They also appreciated the availability of President’s Updates to their offices.

President James conducted a meeting with the faculty and staff at the Kosrae Campus and discussed with them the status of the accreditation and improving communication between campuses. The President also discussed with the staff the need to open up the communication channels within the campuses. He explained to them that there are two ways of channeling their concerns to appropriate authority. One is through the regular protocol of administrative structure and the other is through standing committees available at the College. The faculty and staff present at the meeting appreciated the discussion with the President.

The second purpose of the President’s trip to Kosrae State was to attend the 10 th Annual Upward Bound Program Award Banquet as one of the guest speakers.

President James learned from the June monthly report that the Director of Kosrae Campus had made commitments at the PIBBA conference in June 2005 in Saipan to host the 2007 PIBBA Conference. This will be a big responsibility for Kosrae Campus to undertake. President James hopes they have the capacity and resources to assist them in hosting the conference. The next state visit will be to Yap.

Preparation for Fall Semester 2005

The last day to submit a letter of intent to attend National Campus by incoming freshmen is June 30, 2005. As of June 10, 2005, 279 incoming freshmen have submitted their letter of intents to attend the National Campus.

The Fall Semester 2005 begins on August 8, 2005. All faculty members should be at their work stations on August 8, 2005. Faculty members who are not at their work stations will be on leave without pay. Orientations for freshmen begin during the week of August 8-12, 2005. Faculty workshops also will be conducted during the same days. Registration begins on August 16, 2005, at all campuses and the first day of instruction is on August 22, 2005. The calendar for Fall Semester 2005 is given below for your information:

August 8 Fall Semester Begins
August 8-12 Faculty Workshops
August 8-12 Freshmen Orientation
August 15 Freshmen Course Selection
August 16-19 Registration
August 19 Faculty Meeting
August 22 Holiday-Kosrae Gospel Day (observed at Kosrae Campus)
August 22-26 Late Registration
August 26 Last Day to Add/Drop courses
August 29 Class Lists Due from Instructors
September 5 Deadline for Applications for Mid-Year Graduation
September 8 Holiday– Kosrae Liberation Day
September 12 Holiday – Pohnpei Liberation Day
September 19 Early Warning Deficiency Reports Due from Instructors
September 30 Holiday – Chuuk Constitution Day
October 10-11 Mid-term Evaluation
October 14 Mid-term Deficiency Notices Due from Instructors
October 24 Holiday- United Nations Day (observe system-wide)
October 28 Last Day to Withdraw with “W”
November 3 Holiday – FSM Independence Day (observed system-wide)
November 8 Holiday – Pohnpei Constitution Day
November 11 Holiday- Veterans Day
November 14-18 Course Selection for Continuing Students
November 14-25 Entrance Testing at the State Campuses
November 24 Holiday – Thanksgiving Day for Chuuk Campus
December 13 Last Day of Instruction
December 14-16 Final Exams
December 19 Deadline for Final Grades from Instructors
December 23 Mid-Year Graduation/Fall Semester Ends

Personnel Benefits for Faculty and Staff

The faculty and staff at the College of Micronesia-FSM are entitled to enroll in two COM-FSM courses per semester as part of the staff development initiatives at the College. The faculty and staff are required to pay for registration and technology fees only and tuition will be waived by the College. I would like to encourage those that have not received their AS/AA/AAS degree to take the advantage of this benefit. Faculty and staff that need computer and other courses to increase productivity of their jobs should also look into this benefit. You must secure the approval of your supervisor before you can enroll in any courses. Contact the Acting Director of Human Resources at the National Campus if you have further questions on this benefit.


Thank you.