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    August - Palikir, Pohnpei


August 23 , 2006

To:           All Concerned 

From:       President, COM-FSM 

Subject: Update #281


The Accreditation Working Group met on Thursday, 8/17/06, and established a timeline for the writing of the Mid-Term Report to be submitted to Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) on March 15, 2007. The group also agreed upon a matrix that will be used on reviewing the status of the planning agenda the College recommended in the 2004 Self-Study Report. The group also established meeting dates as well as the date for completing the report.

Board of Regents:

The Board of Regents will be meeting in Yap during the week of September 4-6, 2006. The agenda items for the BOR meeting are attached for your information.

COM-FSM System Wide Enrollment for Fall Semester 2006:

The College of Micronesia-FSM system wide enrollment for Fall Semester 2006 is at 2399 students. The following are the breakdown of Fall Semester enrollment per campus:

Chuuk Campus 519 students
FSM-FMI 33 “
Kosrae Campus 244 “
National Campus 844 “
Pohnpei Campus 572
Yap Campus 187
Total------------- 2399 students


Summary of the Developmental Courses Completion Rate:

During Fall Semester 2004 and Spring Semester 2005 a total of 7115 students registered into 150 sections of developmental courses system wide. A total of 5245 (74%) students passed their courses and 1870 (26%) failed their courses.

Updates from Kosrae Campus:

An updated Fall Semester 2006 course schedule was sent to office of the Vice President for Instructional Affairs for her review and approval. A total of 41 courses/sections will be offered to 244 students that will be taught by 8 full-time and 5 part-time instructors. Instructors are currently working on their course syllabi that will be sent to VPIA Office during the later part of August.

Instructor Coordinator, Mr. Willer Benjamin, met with Kosrae Assistant Attorney General Cindy Haro on August 1, 2006 and discussed the possibility of reactivation of the Trial Counselor Program at Kosrae Campus. Mr. Benjamin shared with the Assistant AG the need to identify a full-time coordinator to coordinate the program system wide. Ms. Cindy Haro identified some lawyers from Kosrae and Pohnpei that could be considered as coordinator for the Trial Counselor Program. An agreement between the AG’s Office and Kosrae Campus has been made to re-start the Trial Counselor Program at Kosrae Campus during Spring Semester 2007.

Ten ladies from Kosrae State completed a sewing training workshop provided by Extension Agent for the COM-FSM Land Grant Program at Kosrae Campus. These participants learned how to draft, cut, and sew different patterns of dresses. The participants displayed their finished products at the end of the workshop. The participants expressed their appreciations and thanks to the Extension Agents and COM-FSM Land Grant Program at Kosrae Campus.

Updates from Chuuk Campus:

Per Board of Regents directive of its May 2006 meeting in Pohnpei the Administration of the College worked with Chuuk Campus faculty and staff on developing the Scale Up Plan to scale up operation at Chuuk Campus during Fall Semester 2006. The plan limits the total enrollment at Chuuk Campus during Fall Semester 2006 at 620 students. The Fall Semester 2006 registration showed an enrollment of 519 students at Chuuk Campus which is about 100 students short of the maximum of 620 students.

The dedication of the new buildings will take place on September 8, 2006 after the Board of Regents meeting in Yap. Some of the administrators from the College as well as Chairman of the BOR will be attending the dedication.

Office of the Vice President for Administration

Campus Visit to - Yap:

The VPA traveled to Yap on July 29, 2006 to conduct a site visit of the Yap Campus and the FSM FMI to familiarize himself with the two campuses. While there, he conducted a comprehensive facilities tour and held sessions with each of the directors of the two campuses and most of their staff. Discussions covered increased communication within and among campuses, recording and keeping data and establishing a “culture of evidence”, the FY2008 budget – including priorities and formats, etc… The VPA also paid a courtesy call on Lt. Governor and COM-FSM Regent Joe Habuchmai with whom he discussed matters affecting COM-FSM. The Lt. Governor pledged his full support for the plans and activities of the College. The VPA met with a small group of COM-FSM alumni whose contact information he later conveyed to the IRPO for their alumni records.

Campus Visit - Kosrae:

The VPA visited Kosrae Campus from August 14-17, 2006. He was given a comprehensive tour of the campus facilities by the Director including the piggery and farm for the Agriculture program and the Land Grant facility. He held meetings with the Director and with the Instructional and Student Services Coordinators in which they discussed facilities, human resources, instructional affirs, IT, and budget and planning issues. They also discussed the FY08 budget, especially the justifications and budget allocation among the college’s nine objectives. The VPA also paid a courtesy call on Lt. Governor Gershon Jackson and on DOE Director and COM-FSM Regent Henry Robert.

Planned Activities:

Plans and activities for the office of the VPA for the next 3-4 months include, among others, facilitating the:

  1. procurement of textbooks for Spring 07 semester
  2. FY08 budget preparation and submission
  3. completion of the assessment plan
  4. implementation of the communications policy
  5. implementation of the strategic plan
  6. formulation of the facilities master plan (and other facilities issues)
  7. formulation of the development plan and community relations strategy
  8. implementation of an integrated database system/other IT strategies
  9. completion of accreditation reports
  10. other activities as may be assigned by the President

Student Essay Contest:

An announcement of a student essay contest sponsored by APAFS-PRIC was recently distributed to all campuses.  Instructors are specifically encouraged to use the contest as part of their classes (if relevant).  Please note that the deadline for essay submission is September 20 th 2006.  The essays from National Campus will be submitted to Norma Edwin, Assistant to the President, and those from State Campuses to the Campus Directors. Faculty and staff are urged to encourage the students to participate; one student will earn a trip to Manila in November where he/she will get to present his/her essay.

Development and Community Relations:

The Director of Development and Community Relations position has been filled. Mr. Joseph Saimon (formerly Coordinator of the College’s MITC) is expected to assume his new role on August 28, 2006.

Update from Marine Science Program/Math/Science Division:

UMEB Program in Hawaii: COM-FSM sent 4 students and one instructor to the University of Hawaii this past summer. Of the 4, two (2) (Peltin Pelep and Bond Segal) have stayed on to pursue BS Degrees at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Menoleen Jacob and Jorg Anson have returned to COM-FSM National Campus to finish their degree programs.

Mr. Brian Lynch worked in a molecular genetics lab over the summer, practicing advance molecular techniques. He also attended the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored workshop in Palau. At the workshop, Mr. Lynch was trained in the use of an YSI long-term deployment probe for measuring water quality parameters. The equipment used at the NSF Sponsored Workshop was donated to COM-FSM Marine Science Program.

Alaska Internship: Alfonso Alexander spent the past summer working in Alaska with Ray and Yenti Verg-in. Alfonso worked as part of a fishing crew, pursuing halibut by long line and salmon by gill-netting. In addition to fishing operations, Mr. Alexander also learned to dissect various marine organisms and to identify the different species of salmon, sea birds, and wildlife of the region.

When asked “what was the most memorable part of his Alaskan experience,” he said, “the long hours of day light.”

Micronesian Conservation Internship Program (MCIP): COM-FSM recruited four students to participate in summer internships here in Pohnpei. The interns participated in the ongoing Fish Market Surveys initiated by Dr. Kevin Rhodes. Interns worked mornings from 7-11 a.m. at the local fish markets, collecting fisheries data on catches brought to the markets. In the afternoons, the interns spend time learning about the conservation roles and activities of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and Pohnpei Marine Resources Division. The two agencies hosted the interns and exposed them to ongoing conservation work. In addition to the research and work experiences, the interns received a $750 stipend provided by MCIP and earned COM-FSM Credit. Participating interns were Rocky Salvador, Jean Marie Nanpei, Pertin Paul, and Molino Saimon. Clement Wichelmel, a graduate of COM-FSM Marine Science Program serves as a teaching assistant under faculty member Brian Lynch. Mr. Wichelmel, trained and supervised the interns for the Fish Market Survey project and to facilitate their afternoon internship activities.

Updates from other Instructional Department’s Divisions:

During the past summer, Exercise and Sport Science faculty member, Rachel Hollingsworth earn a 200 hour registered yoga teacher standard through Yoga Alliance.

Mr. Daniel Meyer, music instructor at National Campus has had his Christmas anthem “Listen to the Holy Voices” favorably reviewed in the latest issue of Choral Journal, the official publication of the Coral Directors.

Dr. Don Buden has gotten back reviews of his proposed article on the herpetology of the Mortlock Islands and the reviews have been extremely positive. The reviewers noted that Dr. Buden’s work would provide baseline data for determining the trajectory of species loss in low-lying atolls over the coming decades as sea level rise, global warming occurs, and other factors impact habitats. Dr. Buden’s work in the Mortlocks is the first work in those islands, his work laid the foundational work that all others will turn to and cite in future years.

News on Infrastructure Development Project (IDP) Funds for COM-FSM:

Mr. Francisco Mendiola, Director of Facilities, is attending the Infrastructure Planning and Implementation at FSM Central Facilities this week. Mr. Mendiola informed the President’s Office that PMU reported that IDP funds earmarked for the College in the fiscal years 2004-2006 have been given to the FSM States.

The news is new to the administration of the College and President of the College will work with National Government on this matter. More information on this matter will be included in President’s Update #282.

Thank you.

Draft Agenda