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    June 14 - Palikir, Pohnpei


June 14 , 2006

To:           All Concerned 

From:       President, COM-FSM 

Subject: Update #276


The College of Micronesia-FSM will be hearing from the President of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in two weeks on whether the Commissioners accepted the College's Progress Report of March 15, 2006. The Commissioners met last week, June 8-10, 2006, to review the accreditation visiting team's report.

The College is required to submit a Mid-term report to the Accrediting Commission three (3) years after the Reaffirmation of Accreditation visit. The College was visited in March 2004 for reaffirmation of its accreditation. That means the College's Mid-Term Report is due to the Commissioners by March 2007.

Chuuk Scale UP Plan

The Scale Up Plan for Chuuk Campus has been completed and a check list on things that should be done before the actual scale up by Fall Semester 2006, is in place. The scale up of operation at Chuuk Campus will accommodate only 620 full-time continuing and new students.

Status of Construction of Facilities at Chuuk

The last building (building #4) at the current site at Chuuk Campus has been demolished. The construction of this building will be underway sometimes next week ( June 19, 2006). The Pacific Landscaping Construction Company was awarded the bid to construct this building, and the expected completion date of this contract is 150 days or about 5 months from start date.

Summer Session 2006 at National and Pohnpei Campuses

A total of 364 students have registered for Summer Session 2006 at the National Campus. Twenty four (24) instructors were contracted to teach 42 courses/sections/labs/ to these students. Pohnpei Campus also registered 157 students for its Summer Session 2006. Fourteen instructors were recruited to teach 19 courses/sections/labs to these students.

Supplemental Education Grant (SEG) Funds for COM-FSM

The President received an e-mail from JEMCO staff informing him that a draft grant award has been sent to Mr. Tom Bussanich in DC for his review and action. This grant award covers FY 2006 SEG funds for COM-FSM. The NDOE and FSM States will have to wait until JEMCO receives feedback from U.S. Department of Education and Department of Labor, whose comments are due on June 23, 2006.

Budget Consultation Meeting with JEMCO, OIA, and DOI Staff

Cabinet members will be meeting with the JEMCO, OIA, and DOI staff on Thursday, June 22, 2006, at 5:00 p.m. at MITC. One purpose of this meeting is to discuss the new budget performance reporting as it applies to FY 2007 Compact II funds. Other issues regarding Compact II funding may also be discussed at this consultation meeting.

Update from Pohnpei Campus

Pohnpei Campus held their Staff Incentive Awards Day on May 08, 2006. The recipients of this year's Staff Incentive Awards at Pohnpei Campus are as follows:

Professional Recognition   Good Health
Gardner Edgar   Rita Harris
Sherry Rose Sandoval   Romino Victor
Cirilo Recana    
Romino Victor    
Timothy Franklin   Staff of the Year
Betson Ifamilik   Maria Dison
    Dakuma Lucious
Recognition Award    
Edward Sione   Innovative Reward
    Penny Weilbacher
Community Service    
Penny Weilbacher    
Xavier Yarofmal   Teacher of the Year Award
    Dale Griffith
Student's Choice    
Debra Perman    

Updates from Institutional Research and Planning Office

The Planning Council is currently coordinating efforts to complete the Strategic Plan by June 10, 2006. Remaining are determination of indicators/measures and review/updating and editing of the plan. A driving force is the need to prepare and submit a 2007 performance plan with indicators/measures to the Office of Compact Management by June 19, 2006 and incorporate the strategic planning into the Fiscal Year 2008 budget development process. A series of planning council working sessions have been held in the past two weeks and are continuing into the current week.

A Title III grant application is being prepared by the College to meet a July 3, 2006 deadline for submission. The College's application is being directed at improvement of developmental programs from a system wide standpoint including Information Technology support and a focus on data and tracking system. Anyone interested in assisting with the Title III proposal development process should contact Dayle Dannis or Jimmy Hicks at the IRPO office.

Increase in Tuition for Pacific Islanders at University of Hawaii System

The Administration of the University of Hawaii is recommending to their Board of Regents to increase tuition for students from Pacific Islands by 150%. The President’s Office has been bombarded with numerous e-mails from students, faculty, staff, parents, friends, and concerned citizens of the FSM regarding this proposed tuition increase at the University of Hawaii system for Pacific Islanders. I have taken initiative of writing to the Chairperson of the UH BOR. The following is the content of my letter that has been faxed and e-mailed to the Chairperson of UH BOR:

“The recommendation before the University of Hawaii Board of Regents to increase the tuition rate for students from certain Pacific Islands jurisdictions to 150% of the resident rate prompts me to voice my concern for current and potential students from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

The proposed change will adversely impact the FSM, as the College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM), the only postsecondary institution in the Nation, is a non-baccalaureate granting institution. A good number of our students have transferred to the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Manoa in the past, and the trend will continue only if the tuition rate remains as is. The University of Hawaii has been and continues to be a favored choice for students from FSM to continue their education. The University of Hawaii has played and is playing a major role in local capacity building for our young Nation. Many of the leaders of the FSM - past presidents, vice presidents, speakers, governors, congressmen, senators, educators, doctors - are graduates of and/or have benefited from the University of Hawaii System. As a young and developing nation, the FSM has always looked up to your University for many of its workforce and leadership training and would like to continue doing so.

However, should the increase be approved, the door would close for many potential students. As it is, going to school abroad is a hardship for most students from the FSM. An increase in tuition at the University of Hawaii would be formidable for many. Students will be forced to choose more affordable education elsewhere and/or the number of scholarships available to students attending your University would be reduced to accommodate those awards.

The reduction in number of students would have a negative impact, however small, on the economy of Hawaii. Many students attending the University of Hawaii system live in rented apartments and thereby contributing to the economy of Hawaii.

Because of the Compact of Free Association these students are able to find jobs to supplement their Pell Grant and scholarships. These jobs are usually menial jobs at minimum wages which residents of Hawaii shun. FSM students were willing to take these menial jobs to augment their limited resources in order to complete their education at the UH System: this in turn contributes to the economy of Hawaii.

But of more importance would be the damage to the current relationship between our country and your University and the esteem in which we hold the University. There is a long history of the University assisting this region. COM-FSM has its beginning when the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands entered into a contract with the University of Hawaii to establish and run the Micronesian Teacher Education Center (MTEC). That spirit of cooperation has continued long after that contract ended. Raising the tuition for Pacific Island jurisdictions is an affront which speaks loudly about how the University views the rest of the Pacific Islands.

I humbly request that this letter be read out loud at your June 15-16 meeting. And I also humbly request he Board to give careful review of the recommended action and its impact on our region, including Hawaii.

I wish you a successful meeting and look forward to continuing the good relationship we currently have.”

Updates from Division of Human Resource

The College extends warm welcome and congratulations to the following new hires: Ms. Yoneko Kanichy who has started her new post as Student Services Specialist I at Pohnpei Campus effective June 12, 2006; Mr. Murphy Paulus who was reassigned as Account Clerk to Pohnpei Campus Bookstore effective June 1, 2006; Ms. Debra Laan who has accepted the post of Administrative Assistant I at Yap Campus effective June 26, 2006; and Ms. Tandy Marar who has accepted the post of Account Clerk at Chuuk Campus Bookstore effective May 29, 2006.

A general reminder from the Human Resources Office: June is open season for the Retirement Plan Program. Employees who are currently enrolled and wish to make changes in the contribution selection may do so at this time. Likewise, employees who are not enrolled in the Plan may enroll at this time provided they are full-time employees and have completed the first year of service. Please submit your forms to Human Resource Office by June 21, 2006. Payroll deductions will begin for the pay period that includes June 28, 2006.

Updates from Yap Campus

A concert was held at the Colonia Community Center with dances and live music. Raffle tickets were sold with cash prices. The fundraising activity raised about $1,500.00 for the COM-FSM Endowment. Thanks to all faculty and staff for making the event a successful one.

Three faculty/staff from Yap campus traveled to Pohnpei and attended staff development training programs during the month of May and June. The following are the faculty/staff that traveled to Pohnpei and attended staff development training:

Moses Faimau completed a one week motor and air condition training from May 21-31, 2006.

Eric De Guzman and Jerome Pong completed two weeks of training in electronics and fiber optics at Pohnpei campus during the week of May 28, 2006 to June 11, 2006.

Introduction of Info Tech Consultants from Carnegie Mellon University

This is to introduce to you Tracy and Patrick, two students from the Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, USA, who are here on a 10-week consultancy (9 wks remaining) with the COM-FSM Information Technology office.  Tracy and Patrick are graduate students in the Carnegie-Mellon master’s degree program in Computer Information Systems Management.  They are here to assist us in the information technology area (assessing our info tech systems, detecting efficiency gaps, diagnosing problems, suggesting solutions, etc…).   Some of you have already met and worked with them since their arrival a little over a week ago.  They are planning to visit most of the offices/departments to familiarize themselves with what’s going on and with each department’s needs.  If you have a need and they’ve not come to you yet, please email them or Gordon Segal.  It might not be feasible for them to visit all the state campuses given the geographical (and financial) constraints but we’ll see what is feasible!

The consultancy is part of the TechBridgeWorld Initiative, a "project developed at Carnegie Mellon University to collaboratively design and implement creative technological solutions to benefit developing communities around the world."  As students, Tracy and Patrick are operating under the "Technology Consulting in the Global Community" program which is part of the larger TechBridgeWorld Initiative.  The TCGC program “teaches students consulting skills while providing high quality, capacity-building assistance to leaders in non-profit organizations.  By working together, student consultants and their community partners identify, plan, and implement ways in which technology can help the non-profit fulfill its mission.”

For more information on the program(s), you may visit the website:  You may also e-mail Tracy at or Patrick at or IT Director Gordon Segal at

Let’s all welcome Tracy and Patrick to our College and serve them a big dish of Micronesian hospitality!

Thank you.

................................................More Next Time.....................................................................