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Federated States of Micronesia
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October 19, 2005


To:           All Concerned 

From:       President, COM-FSM 

Subject:     President’s Update #261


The Board of Regents directed the administration of the College to consult the President of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Dr. Barbara Beno, to find out if it would be possible to modify the Teach Out for the currently enrolled students at Chuuk Campus. The purpose of this modification would be to allow continuing students who discontinued their enrollments at Chuuk Campus one semester to one year before the implementation of the Teach Out during Summer Session 2005. Dr. Barbara Beno, President of Western Association of Schools and Colleges, responded to President James’ letter stating that, “this modification creates additional pressures and stresses for the College at a time when the College needs to focus its attention in producing a full and complete progress report by the date requested ( March 15, 2006). The Commission takes seriously the need for the College to respond fully to the issues cited in its June 28, 2005, letter. The Progress Report, due March 15, 2006, will be followed by a team visit. Let me caution COM-FSM that failure to submit a full and complete progress report by the date noted will impact the institution’s accreditation status”.

It is clear from Dr. Beno’s letter to President James that the College should concentrate on upgrading facilities at Chuuk Campus and to make sure that facilities there can support the instructional programs, student services, and Learning Resource Center rather than concentrating on modification of the current teach out at Chuuk campus.

The renovation and upgrading of facilities at the current site (Mori Site) is priority number one for the College. At the last Board of Regents’ meeting in the State of Chuuk during the week of September 12-15, 2005, the Board approved $500,000 for renovation/upgrading of facilities at the current site. However, the Board also instructed the administration of the College not to start the renovations of the facilities until it secures a lease of at least fifteen (15) years on the current site. A working group consisting of Mr. Stephen Finnen, Legal Counsel for the College, Mr. Francisco Mendiola, Director of Maintenance and Facilities, Mr. Danny Dumantay, Comptroller, and President James had a series of meetings with Mr. Roger Mori to finalize a MOU on the 15 years lease. On October 12, 2005, the College President and Mr. Roger Mori signed the MOU on the 15 years lease.

The signing of the 15 years MOU is really critical to the College’s accreditation as it allows the College to start renovating/upgrading the facilities that were cited as sub standards during the March 2004 accreditation team visit. The plans for the renovations can start as soon as possible.

Board of Regents

The Board of Regents will be having a teleconference on Wednesday, 10/19/05, at 10 a.m. Pohnpei time to deliberate on the permanent site for Chuuk Campus. The Board will be selecting a permanent site from the following sites: Chuuk High School, AWM site, and Kurassa Site. The briefing papers on each of the sites have been distributed to the Board members for their review and action at the teleconference. The acquisition of a permanent site is also important to the accreditation of the College.

The administration, faculty, staff, and students at the College and especially the faculty, staff, and students at Chuuk Campus hope that the decision on acquisition of a permanent site can be completed soon.

Budget Preparation for FY 2007

The budget preparation for the College’s Fiscal Year 2007 is underway. A workshop on the guidelines/procedures for preparation of the Fiscal Year 2007 budget took place on October 10, 2005 at the National Campus. Information that departments, divisions, campuses, and activity heads need to prepare their budgets were distributed and discussed during the workshop. The timeline for the preparation of the fiscal year 2007 budgets were distributed too. (see attached timeline)

Updates from the Information Technology (IT) Division

The FSM National Government has nominated Mr. Gordon Segal, Director of IT at the College to attend the Japan-Singapore Partnership Program for the 21 st Century (JSPP 21) in the field of “Information Communication for Technology Skills for the Pacific Region – Planning and Managing ICT Projects” to be held in Singapore during the week of November 16-29, 2005. Congratulations to Mr. Segal.

IT Specialist Mark DeOrio traveled to Chuuk on September 27, 2005, to assist new hire Amon Anek at our Chuuk Campus. Improvements to existing network infrastructure were implemented and an assessment of further networking needs with regard to new buildings and other changes was conducted.

Specialist Renton Isaac from our Kosrae Campus IT team is currently in Kyushu, Japan after being accepted to attend a JICA sponsored training in networks and server design.

Specialist Peter Pedrus from the National Campus IT team is currently enrolled in an online course in Information Technology.

Staff Development Opportunities for Faculty and Staff

The College of Micronesia-FSM has established articulation agreements and faculty exchanges with a number of institutions abroad. Some of these agreements have scholarships attached to them. For example, the Brigham Young University of Hawaii has an umbrella agreement with the College that will accept all credits for students that transfer there with an associate degree. The articulation agreement also has a transfer scholarship of $6,000 per year for students who have 3.5 grade point average. The College has also established articulation agreement/exchange agreements with the following institutions and each of these institutions attached scholarships with their agreements/exchange:

Idaho State University Out of state tuition waiver
National University $3700 scholarship (in residence only)
Hawaii Pacific University Transfer Scholarship
Waseda University ( Japan) Faculty Exchange(free housing and food)
Ryukyu University Same as Waseda University

San Diego State University Master Degree Program in Education Leadership

The San Diego State University is going to be offering its Master’s Degree in Education Leadership to a cohort in Pohnpei State. The San Diego State University has offered 4-5 slots for the College of Micronesia-FSM. Pohnpei State and National Campuses are asking interested faculty and staff to meet Vice President for Instructional Affairs for more information about the Program. Interested faculty and staff may apply for staff development program funds and also state scholarship.

The master degree program will be offered online and the last day to apply for admissions into the program is November 30, 2005.

SEG Work Study/FSEOG Programs:

The College of Micronesia-FSM Work Study and FSEOG Programs under the supplemental education grant did not receive its fiscal year 2005 funds in time to assist students who were eligible under that program during school years 2004-2005. The College started using its funds to assist students who need additional funds to cover their educational expenses with the hope that it will be reimbursed later. However, OIA and JEMCO learned of this and withheld the SEG work study and FSEOG funds for the College.

The OIA and JEMCO asked the College in September of 2005 to submit a plan or letter explaining what happened and how the funds were used. The College submitted a letter to Mr. Tom Busanich, OIA, detailing what happened and how the funds were used. President James received an e-mail on Saturday, October 15, 2005, from Ms. Joan Sebastian Morris, JEMCO Staff, informing the President that Mr. Busanich will release the reimbursement money for the College.

The students and the administration of the College would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to OIA and JEMCO for assisting the College with this matter. The administration of the College has assured OIA and JEMCO that similar incidences will not be repeated in the future.

Updates from Human Resources for the Month of October

The College is pleased to welcome the following new hires at the National Campus:

1. William Mailipiy – Research Specialist II, IRPO
2. Lucia Donre-Sam – Promotion to Student Services Specialist III
1. Jessica Stam – IRPO Director

The College wishes the very best for Jessica and her family in their future endeavors.

FSM Immigration Information

Beginning October 2005, entry permit applications and renewals are no longer free. Following are some of the fees applicable to us:

Employee fee -$ 5.00 Government Employee
Dependent fee - $10.00 Any person who is a dependent (spouse or child) of an employee holding a work permit
Student fee - $ 5.00 A full-time student in the FSM holding a student Permit
Violation Charge - $100.00 will be charged per day for overstay of entry permit prior to renewal
Change In Status - $1,000.00 is required for an issuance of a different type of entry permit
Entry Renewals - Individuals applying for entry permit renewals must personally present themselves at the nearest Immigration Division office with passports, current entry permit, and other required documents at least 30 days prior to expiration of current permits.

Please be advised that COM-FSM is responsible only for the first entry permit application fee. Any renewals will be the responsibility of the employee.

The document explaining these entry permit fees was distributed last week to campus directors and national campus supervisors.

For any COM-FSM employee on entry permit, please be sure to keep a copy of the letter from FSM Immigration authorizing work-related inter-FSM traveling.

Thank you

FY_07 Budget Timeline