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August 24, 2005

To: All Concerned

From: President, COM-FSM

Subject: Update from the President's Office - No. 257


The Accreditation Working Group continues to meet to identify major tasks as well to establish timeline for completing the tasks for the next progress report which will be submitted to the Accrediting Commission on March 15, 2006. The next progress report will report on what has been accomplished and what needs to be accomplished and when these will be accomplished. The documentations to support the accomplished and pending recommendations from the Accrediting Commission will be identified, collected, and stored in an evidence file for the next accreditation team visit in April 2006.

Audit for Fiscal Year 2004:

President and Comptroller attended the Finance and Budget Officers Conference at the Sea Breeze Hotel on August 17-18, 2005, and learned that 90% of the Fiscal Year 2004 Audit for the College has been completed. The President of the College also called the Deloitte and Touche representative in Pohnpei and asked that a draft copy of the audit report be provided for the Board of Regents to review at its September 2005, meeting in Chuuk and the response from Deloitte reps was “yes”.

The new timeline for the FY 2005 Audit will be different from what has been used in the past. For example, the new timeline requires the governments and the component units to submit their financial statement reports to the FSM Public Auditor Office by December 2005. This will allow the audit for FY 2005 to begin in January 2006.

Immigration Policies:

Due to heightened security throughout the FSM as well as other part of the world, the FSM Immigration Division is required to monitor the movement of foreigners in the FSM. Therefore, the College is required by FSM Laws and Regulations to inform the FSM Immigration Division of movement of its staff among its campuses. The College has sent a blanket request to the FSM Immigration Division to allow the faculty and staff of the College to travel to other campuses within the College for the purposes of assisting the other campuses on accreditation issues. The approval of the request has been granted. The president of the college would like to thank the Administrator for the FSM Immigration Division for his assistance and cooperation on this important matter.

COM-FSM Retirement Plan Meeting:

Messrs David John and Dan Roland conducted a Retirement Plan presentation for the National and Pohnpei Campuses faculty and staff on Monday, August 15, 2006, at 11 - 12 noon at the Practice Gym. The new developments/initiatives they have implemented for those currently enrolled in the program included a website ( developed by ASC of the Smith Barney Citigroup which allows the faculty and staff to check on their retirement investment and allow them to modify their plan. The enrollment date for the retirement plan has now been extended to September 30, 2005. Regular faculty and staff that have met the one year enrollment requirement may enroll at this time. To participate, a contribution of at least 3% is required. Currently the employer provides fifty cents for every dollar an employee contributes to his/her retirement plan. Employees now have the option of contributing up to 100% of their salary to their retirement plan. Before, an employee can only contribute up to 20% of their salary but now there is no limit. For more information on the retirement plan, please contact Rencelly Nelson.

Endowment Fund Update:

The College’s objective for its Endowment fund is to get an annual return rate of 10% annually for its Endowment Fund. Representatives of the College had a breakfast meeting on Tuesday, 8/16/05, at South Park Hotel with Mr. Dan Roland, COM-FSM Investment Advisor and Money Manger for Endowment. Mr. Roland reported that funds are doing well. For example, the rate of return this year is running around 18% and total rate of return for the College investment is at 8%, this is considering negative returns in FY 2001-2002. Mr. Roland will provide Fund Managers’ performance update to the Board of Regents at their meeting in Chuuk during the week of September 12, 2005.

JEMCO Meeting:

The venue for the JEMCO meeting which was held during the week of August 15-16, 2005, was COM-FSM National Campus. The meeting was attended by key JEMCO representatives from USA and FSM as well as their staff and interested officials from the FSM and USA. The College show cased its advanced technology by connecting a JEMCO representative from the USA that could not make the trip to the meeting here in Pohnpei. Through the College PEACESAT and teleconference equipments, the member in Washington, D.C was able to participate in the discussions. JEMCO Chairman David Cohen thanked the College for providing the venue for the meeting.

Kudos to Upward Bound Programs at Kosrae State and Pohnpei State Campuses:

The COM-FSM Upward Bound Programs at Kosrae State and Pohnpei State Campuses hosted a variety show at the Moses Mackwelung Gym in the State of Kosrae on the night of August 6, 2005, as part of their cultural week activities. The variety show raised $1000 that has been donated to the College’s Endowment Funds. The names of these two programs will be included to the donor’s wall at the National Campus in Palikir. Kudos to the students and staff of these two Upward Bound Programs.

COM-FSM Infrastructure Projects:

Mr. Francisco Mendiola, Director of Facilities and Maintenance had a meeting with the Project Management Staff on August 18, 2005, at Cliff Rainbow Hotel. The PMU Staff were not in favor of supporting the development or upgrading the facilities at the current site. The reason being that the fifteen years lease is too short to invest compact II funds on. The PMU recommended that the College look at 30 years cost benefit and this is what they will be looking at when they review the College’s projects that will be using compact II funds. The PMU is also recommending that the cost per square foot of classrooms be $180, the rate used at the National Campus facilities was at $65 per square foot. The National Campus rate is the rate that has been used in estimating the cost of facilities to be constructed at the COM-FSM Campuses in Chuuk, Kosrae, and Yap. Due to differences in PMU and the National Campus rates per square foot, it is a must that the College reworks its approved long range master plan for facilities. The following are the projects the College will be working on in the near future:

  • Chuuk Campus cost analysis for short and long term plan.
  • Kosrae Vocational Education and Classroom projects.
  • Yap Campus FEMA and classroom projects.

The FY 04 and 05 IDP funds have been extended to January 2006.

Fall Semester 2005 Registration:

As of Thursday, 8/18/05, the unofficial enrollments at three of the COM-FSM campuses are as follow:

Chuuk Campus 300 students (Teach Out)
National Campus 794 “
Pohnpei Campus 400 plus students

Kosrae and Yap Campuses have not reported the results of their Fall Semester 2005 registration yet. Official results from all campuses will be reported in the next update.

The COM Land Grant Board of Regents has adopted a directive that authorizes the Executive Director of Land Grant Programs to explore with the College of Micronesia-FSM the possibility of having the Central Office Land Grant staff to join the COM-FSM Retirement Plan. The final decision on this directive will be made by the COM-FSM Regents.

Standing Committees:

Currently the College of Micronesia-FSM has 15 Standing Committees that have been given responsibilities of working with the College Community on certain areas of the College’s organization programs and services. For example the Curriculum Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the President and the Board of Regents on academic programs. These Standing Committees are part of the decision making bodies at the College.

Majority of these Standing Committees need to be reorganized as some of the members have departed the College and some are inactive. The Administration has communicated to the members of the College Community to submit their names to the President’s office regarding committees they are interested to serve on. The last day for faculty and staff to submit their names is August 26, 2005.

Update from the Human Resources Department:

New staff. The College welcomes the following new staff: Bertoldo Esteban, Vocational Instructor at Pohnpei Campus; Allan Alosima, Vocational Instructor also at Pohnpei Campus.

Resignation. A letter of resignation has been received from Maria Donre, an instructor of our Social Science Division. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors and thank her for her service to the College.

Celebration Party:

The President’s Cabinet approved $5000 to be used on a system wide celebration party to celebrate the efforts and hard work of the faculty, staff, and students in getting the College removed from the warning status in June 2005 by the Accreditation Commission.

The College went through a period of uncertainty when its accreditation was in jeopardy. However, due to the hard work and spirit of cooperation shown by the College Community members, a celebration party is needed. The College also produced so many reports (compact II annual reports, quarterly budget reports, progress reports, etc.) during the same year and had an unqualified opinion from the auditors on its audit report for Fiscal Year 2003.


Thank you.