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    September - Palikir, Pohnpei


September 20, 2006

To:         All Concerned 

From:     President, COM-FSM 

Subject: Update #282


Dr. Barbara Beno, the President of the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges (ACJCC) for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), has been tentatively scheduled to visit the College of Micronesia-FSM during the week of October 2-6, 2006. This will be her first visit to the COM-FSM and she is interested in meeting with the leadership of the FSM and State Governments as well as the members of the college community. President James will be arranging meetings with the leadership of the FSM and State Governments. More information on Dr. Beno’s visit will be announced at a later date.

Board of Regents

The Board of Regents (BOR) member from Chuuk State resigned from the BOR right after the Board of Regents’ meeting in December 2005 and has not been replaced. There is an urgent need for the Chuuk State representative on the BOR to be confirmed by the FSM Congress as the College has been informed by the Accrediting Commission to secure the permanent site for Chuuk Campus soon and the assistance of the BOR member is needed.

The terms of the other BOR members will be expiring soon and the College will be working with the FSM President’s Office regarding appointments for the replacements.

The Board of Regents met in Yap State at the FSM-Fisheries and Maritime Academy during the week of September 4-6, 2006. The approved actions and directives resulting from this meeting are as follows.

  1. The College of Micronesia-FSM Strategic Plan 2006-2011, which will give strategic direction to college activities and decision making.
  2. A supplemental budget of up to $100,000 from fund balance was approved to fund the increasing cost of utilities at all campuses.
  3. The recommended revisions to the Electronic Technology Program were adopted.
  4. The Board tasked the administration to continue reviewing the matter of under prepared students and to address the situation by improving programs internally and working collaboratively with the national and state departments of education.
  5. The Board tasked the administration to revisit the policy on outstanding student accounts.
  6. The administration is to seek funding for the nursing program from the national and state governments and other agencies.
  7. The administration is to aggressively pursue funding for the infrastructure development projects that were appropriated for FY 2004, FY 2005, and FY 2006.
  8. The administration is to address the concerns raised by students during their meeting with the Board by the next Board meeting in December.
  9. The minutes of May 17-19, 2006, regular meeting were adopted.
  10. The next meeting is the regular organizational meeting which will be help in Pohnpei beginning the first Monday in December.

Talent Search Programs (TSP)

The College of Micronesia-FSM submitted three separate grant proposals, two new ones for Kosrae and Yap Campuses and another continuing grant proposal for the current Talent Search Program at Pohnpei Campus, to US Department of Education for funding on January 5, 2006. The College has received communications from US Department of Education during the latter part of August 2006 that Kosrae and Yap Campuses TSP Grant Proposals were not funded due to competitiveness of the grant proposals submitted. The Pohnpei Campus TSP Grant Proposal was approved for funding for four (4) more years. The level of funding for Pohnpei Campus TSP’s first year is at $254,408. Funding’s continuation, after the first year of the TSP Grant is contingent upon the Pohnpei Campus TSP demonstrating that the project has made substantial progress in meeting the approved goals and objectives.

Upward Bound Programs

The Upward Bound Programs at Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap Campuses are currently working on the draft of their grant proposals for the next funding cycle. The U.S. Department of Education is proposing four (4) Upward Bound Objectives for this year’s grant. The grant proposals from all institutions, organizations, and groups will be writing their grants on these 4 objectives. The objectives are listed below:

  • Academic Improvement: standardized test:

____% of 12 th grade project participants served during each period will have passed the state high school standardized tests in reading and math as approved under the No Child Left Behind Act.

  • Project Retention:

___of 9 th, 10 th, 11th grades project participants served each budget period will be retained in the Upward Bound Program from one budget period to the next budget period.

  • Postsecondary Enrollment:

___% of 9 th grade participants served during each budget period will enroll in a program of postsecondary education in the fall term immediately following the expected graduation date from high school.

  • Postsecondary Retention:

___% of participants enrolled in a program of postsecondary education will remain enrolled in the fall term of the second academic year.

Sponsored Program Workshop

The College of Micronesia-FSM conducted a training workshop for the Sponsored Programs during the week of August 21-25, 2006. The Institutional Research and Planning Office Director Jimmy Hicks facilitated the workshop. The workshop attendees included the following: Spensin James, President; Charles Musana, VPA, Ringlen Ringlen, VPSS; Penny Weilbacher, Pohnpei Campus Director; Maria Dison, Instructional Coordinator; Merins Race, Outreach Program Coordinator; Herman Semes, PBDC Coordinator; Churchill Edward, Pohnpei Campus Upward Bound Director; Richard Croft, Pohnpei Upward Bound Student Specialist/Instructor; Kalwin Kephas, Kosrae Campus Director; Morgan Jonas, Kosrae Campus Upward Bound Director, Palik Sigrah, Administrative Assistant Kosrae Upward Bound; Lourdes Roboman, Yap Campus Director; Teresa Filepin, Director of Yap Campus Upward Bound Program; Rosemary Mana, Yap Fiscal Officer, Eva Buthing, Yap Upward Bound Student Specialist; Deliver Salle, Chuuk Upward Bound Director; Virginia Mamagon, Chuuk Campus Upward Bound Student Specialist; Ermine Walliby, Peer Counseling Center Coordinator; Grilly Jack, Vocational Program Training Coordinator; Serphin Ilesiuyalo, FMI Assistant Director; William Edwin, IRPO Administrative Specialist; Dayle Dannis, Sponsored Program Coordinator.

The College also invited Mr. Welson Nedlic, Testing Specialist and Mr. Joe Villazon, Chief of Secondary Education, Pohnpei State Department of Education and Mr. Burnis Danis, FSM Testing Coordinator from the FSM Education Department.

The objectives of the Program included the following:

  1. To obtain feedback and comments from broad audience on the draft sponsored programs manual before submission to the Board of Regents for final approval.
  2. To collaborate on grant development with a focus on Upward Bound proposals under development at the college.
  3. To develop consensus on the role of sponsored programs in helping the college meet its mission and goals.
  4. To understand the college policies, processes, and procedures as they apply to sponsored programs communications.
  5. To improve on communicating and disseminating information on program status and impact.
  6. To discuss financial issues relating to Sponsored Programs.

Dedication of New Facilities at Chuuk Campus

Over 600 people that included FSM and Chuuk Government leaders, FSM Congressmen, Local Government leaders, Chuuk leaders, traditional leaders, leaders from private sectors in Chuuk, parents, friends, faculty, students, staff, BOR members, members of the COM-FSM cabinet, campus directors, and friends attended the dedication ceremony for the new buildings at Chuuk Campus. The Mayor of Weno presented the welcoming remarks followed by remarks from Vice President Redley Killion, Governor Wesley Simina, and Chairman of the Board of Regents, Mr. Podis Pedrus. President James presented the closing remarks and Bishop Samo blessed the buildings. The students at the Chuuk Campus entertained the crowd with cultural dances and songs and Chuuk Campus faculty, staff, and students prepared lots of food for the occassion.

On behalf of the Board of Regents, administration, and the rest of the college community I would like to express our appreciations, gratitude, and thanks to Director Joakim Peter, faculty, staff, and students for their hard work on sending out invitations to all guests, decorating the buildings and campus, and preparing the delicious food for the dedication ceremony. Kudos to all of you for your hard work and camaraderie.

Public Hearings on Increase in Tuition Rate

About $300,000 of the College’s FY 2007 budgets is on hold due to insufficient revenue. The Board of Regents approved the fiscal year 2007 budget in December 2005 pending the increase in tuition effective Spring Semester 2007. The campuses will be conducting the public hearing on the proposed increase in tuition of $10.00 with students and parents. This proposed increase in tuition will be taken to the Board in December 2006 for further review and action. The increase in tuition proposal will depend on the results of the hearing at all campuses except the FSM-FMI. The schedule of hearings at campuses will be publicly posted and announced at the radio and TV stations in all FSM States during the first week of October 2006.

The administration of the College is encouraging students and parents to attend these public hearings and to air your concerns.

FSM Public Sector Capacity Building Project

Two consultants, Mr. Toshiyasu Kato and Mr. Takumi Kawahara, from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that are working on the Public Sector Capacity Building Project for the FSM met with Mr. Charles Musana, Vice President for Administration; Mr. Jimmy Hicks, Institutional Research and Planning Officer; and Mr. Spensin James, President; and discussed the possible collaborations between the College and principles of this project. The two consultants from the ADB discussed with the College representatives training needs for the FSM Government employees and proposed the following areas of training that college may assists with: computer, government accounting, and statistics. The consultants also expressed the need for the college to assist in developing and conducting surveys for households, work, and businesses. The consultants planned to return for further consultation meetings with the College’s representatives at some later dates.

World Park Initiative

The College has been informed by some of the Governors of the FSM States that the National Government at the last Chief Executive Committee meeting in Pohnpei during Summer 2006, informed the FSM State Governors/Lt. Governors that it is no longer interested on collaborating with them on the World Park Initiatives.

Governor Johnny P. David, Pohnpei State wrote a letter to President James expressing Pohnpei State interest in collaborating with the College on moving ahead on the World Park Initiative and asked the President for a meeting. Governor David and President James met and discussed the possible collaborations between the College, Michigan State University and Pohnpei State. Governor David informed President James that he is establishing a working group on the Work Park Initiatives and this working group will be working with the College on all aspects of the World Park.

A World Park Planning Proposal has been developed by Mr. Howard Rice, Associate Professor of Hotel and Restaurant, with a budget and submitted to Governor David for review and further action. Similar World Park Planning Proposals have been developed and transmitted to the Governors of Chuuk, Kosrae, and Yap. A meeting with the Lt. Governors of Kosrae and Pohnpei took place during the week of the EPIC meeting in Pohnpei. The two Lt. Governors expressed their state’s interests and support on the World Park Initiatives. The Governors of Chuuk and Yap were briefly contacted on the World Park Initiatives and expressed their interests on being included in the collaborations.

A planning meeting has been organized by the Michigan State University during the week of October 6-13, 2006, at Michigan State University. The President of the Michigan State University will be hosting this meeting. Invitations have been extended to all the FSM States to send at least a representative to this planning meeting at the Michigan State University. Michigan State University will be having a home football game during the week of the planning meeting and plans are being made for the participants to attend the home game.

Mr. Howard Rice and President James had a teleconference meeting with Dr. Richard Paulsen, one of the contact persons for Michigan State University and he expressed Michigan State University’s willingness to work with the FSM States on the World Park Initiative. He also expressed their desire to seek funding for this project with foundations and other donor countries.

New Related Services Assistants at COM-FSM by RSA Staff

The COM-FSM Related Services Assistants (RSA) Third Year Certificate program got off to a successful start, thanks to the hard work and support of many people we would like to recognize. A big Mahalo to Mr. Benson Moses, Chair of the Department of Education, for numerous hours of overtime, excellent communication and overall coordination in setting the program up. Additional thanks goes to Ms. Senry Eldridge, Clerk Typist III, Education Division, for her quick response to copying requests and availability to the students. More mahalo to President Spensin James, Vice President for Student Support Services, Mr. Ringlen Ringlen; Mrs. Jean Thoulag, Vice President for Instructional Affairs; Mrs. Karen Simion, Director of Academic Affairs, for continuous support of the program. The RSA staff do not want to forget the wonderful job maintenance crew did to get the room ready for the program, too. To the staff at MITC, Joe, Luciano, and Karleen, mega kalahngan for strategically planning VTCs and helping to network with other sites for our Saturday classes. Thank you to others that have made the program successful so far.

Twenty three new RSA students began their program at the College of Micronesia-FSM in Pohnpei in March 2006. Students are from Pohnpei (9), RMI (7), Kosrae (3), Chuuk (2), and Yap (2). The College of Micronesia-FSM will host the RSA program during the last two years of the program.

The purpose of keeping the program at the COM-FSM is so that COM-FSM faculty can feel ownership of the program, and will be able to take over the administration and teaching once the federal program ends at the end of 2008. When the current cohort of students graduates in November, the RSA program will have certified 150 people across the Pacific. Another 50 are expected to be certified in 2007 and 2008 for an expected total of 200 RSAs. Kudos to staff of the RSA for a successful program and the College of Micronesia-FSM is honored and happy to be the host institutions for this program.

Mission Statement for the College

The President’s Cabinet met on Friday, September 15, 2006, and discussed the mission of the College especially the part that says “college is committed to assisting in the development of the Federated States of Micronesia by providing academic, career and technical educational opportunities for students learning”. This part clearly indicated that the College is to provide training for human resources for economic development of the FSM. The cabinet members felt that there is another side of this mission statement where the college will assist in development of the private sector by processing the payments of all its purchase orders with supporting documents for local vendors in two (2) to four (4) weeks. The payments of purchase orders quickly will help the nation economically. It was also decided at the cabinet meeting that Vice Presidents and President should monitor the processing and payments of all purchase orders for local vendors and make sure that payments are made in two to four weeks. This is if the College has to be consistent and complies with its mission statement.

Piano Concert by Pianist Roman Rudnytsky

Roman Rudnytsky, an internationally renowned pianist and virtuoso held his third Pohnpei recital at the PMA Auditorium. The College of Micronesia-FSM sponsored the concert, which began at 7 pm, and ended at about 9:30 pm. Tickets were sold for $10 each and the proceeds will be donated to the college’s endowment fund.

Maestro Rudnytsky is an internationally active concert pianist of Ukrainian background whose frequent performances take him all over the world. As of 2003, he has performed in almost 80 countries. He has received much acclaim in the world’s press and many reinvitations.

Rudnytsky arrived Pohnpei on the 11 th of September and departed on the 15 th. His accommodation on Pohnpei was provided through the generosity of Lucy Panuelo of Ocean View Plaza West Wing , the Jesuit Community of Pohnpei, and Mr. David Panuelo.

The major donors for this event include: Ocean View Plaza West Wing (Lucy Panuelo ), Jesuit Community of Pohnpei, 4-T Y Serehd Apartments, FSM Telecom, Enerica Peterson, COM-FSM Board of Regents, and Bank of the FSM.

Also sponsoring this event were ( DJ Store) Andy's Rent-A-Car, Ace Hardware, Craig Reffner, CTSI/Western Union, David Panuelo, Do it Best Hardware, Genesis Hospital & Pharmacy, Grace's Special Bakery, Janhabi Nandy, Kaselehlie Diner "Lunch, Dinner & Catering", Kolonia Dental Clinic, Law Office of Fredrick L. Ramp, Maristella Jack, Pacific Landscaping Engineering & Construction, Inc., Stephen V. Finnen A law Corporation, Tom Beckman, and Yvette Addams.

Students at Campuses Elect Their SBA Officers

Election of Student Body Association Officers for school year 2006-07 were conducted at campuses and the following are the results:

FMI: Juliano Yarofaitig, President; Jayson Hadley, Vice President; Julian Tigweyalo, Secretary/Treasurer

National Campus: Kennedy Nedlic, President; Andrew Falcam, Vice President; and Secretary/Treasurer positions still pending final decision.

Pohnpei Campus: Kathy William, President; Pentricko Peter, Vice President; Lisa Johnny, Secretary; Leslie Ifamilik, Treasurer

Yap Campus: Brandon Roboman, President; Steven Ochey, Vice President; Michelle Gapith, Secretary; Bernadette Fasong, Treasurer

Congratulations to all of you and let’s have a good year.

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