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Federated States of Micronesia
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    December - Palikir, Pohnpei


December 13 , 2006

To:         All Concerned 

From:     President, COM-FSM 

Subject: Update #286


President's Office received an e-mail from Dr. Barbara Beno, President of the Western

Association of Schools and Colleges, with three separate attachments regarding the US Federal Governments directions for accreditors that accredit community colleges and other institutions of higher learning. An Education Department committee that oversees accreditation organizations has barred the American Academy for Liberal Education from accrediting new institutions or programs for at least half a year. The move, as reported in the Chronicle of Education December 6 issue, which also must be approved by the Assistant Secretary for the postsecondary education before it goes to effect, followed a determination that the small accreditor had been lax in not setting minimum standards for what students must learn at the colleges it accredits.

The Spelling Commission Report which came out during the early part of September 2006, is critical on the accreditors for colleges and universities. One of the complaints from the commission report is in regard to the fact that accreditors must be more accountable to stakeholders. Copy of the Spellings Commission's report is available at the President's Office for information and perusal.

Board of Regents

The Board of Regents for the College of Micronesia-FSM had its Second Regular Meeting during the week of December 4-8, 2006, at the COM-FSM National Campus in Palikir with all five members present. The first day of the meeting was spent on orienting new members regarding the responsibilities of the Board. The important articles and sections of Public Law 7-79 were discussed with the new Board Members from Chuuk and Pohnpei State. Summary of other matters discussed with the new members included the following:

• The COM-FSM Board of Regent is a citizen board and members represent the public's interest.

• Individual members make up a team. The board has power only as a unit and has no

authority as an individual Regent.

• The Board makes policies that establish institutional goals and define ethical and legal limits for college operations. The Board does not administer College.

• The Board hires and evaluates the President as the institutional leader.

• The Board act as a link and cushion between the college and the governments as well as the communities they serve. The Board advocates on behalf of the College.

The COM-FSM Board also re-organized by electing new officers. The actions and directives adopted at the December 4-8, 2006 meeting are attached for your information. The Board of Regents also met with the students to hear concerns from the students. The lists of concerns from the students are also attached for your information.

President's Holiday Season Message to COM-FSM Community

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the College Community (students, faculty, staff, Board of Regents, and administrators) for completing a successful Fall Semester

2006. Your cooperation, dedication, support, and willingness to work together as a team has enabled us to complete a successful semester. I am looking forward to a prosperous year in 2007 at the College as we have a strategic plan that will be directing our activities in 2007.

Because of your cooperation, support, and dedication I have consulted key staff and appropriate offices at the College to grant all regular employees at the College administrative leave on December 26, 2006 and January 2, 2006. I have also gotten the approval of the Business Office to advance the payroll checks for the paydays on December 27, 2006 and January 10, 2006. The payroll checks can be picked up on December 22, 2006 for December 27 payday and December 29, 2006 for the payday on January 10. Although payroll checks will be prepared for employees to pick up, it will be up to individual employees to leave their checks at the Business Office to be picked up on the regular paydays.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish every member of the College Community a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Remember to drive safely during the holiday season and we'll see you next year during the week of January 3-5, 2006.

University of Hawaii Officials Visited the FSM Regarding Tuition Increases

Mr. Mike Rota, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Hawaii System, and Dr. Tusi Avegalio, Executive Director, UH Pacific Business Center, visited FSM National and Pohnpei State Governments Leaders. COM-FSM Cabinet members and staff, counselors, scholarship officers, and alumni during the week of December 11-13, 2006 regarding the 150% increase in tuition on the residence rate that FSM students and other students from the Pacific

Islands will be paying commencing Fall Semester 2007. The Officials from the University of Hawaii System met FSM and Pohnpei State Leaders and provided information regarding the increase in tuition at UH.

The recently approved tuition rates for Pacific Islander students will take effect for new students in Fall Semester 2007. Students from Pacific Islands that are currently enrolled at the University will be paying the current resident tuition rate at UH campuses if they are continuously enrolled. FSM citizens that have obtained Hawaii State resident status and decide to enroll at any of the UH System campuses will pay tuition rate. Information on the increase in tuition at the University of Hawaii System can be obtained at this website: Fact Sheet regarding the tuition increase at UH System can be obtained at the College of Micronesia-FSM.

Permanent Site for CQM-FSM Chuuk Campus

Governor Wesley Simina issued an Executive Order that created a Task Force on COM-FSM Chuuk Campus permanent site on November 22, 2006. The duties and responsibilities of this Task Force are to (1) locate a suitable site for the COM-FSM Chuuk Campus permanent site; (2) delineate and survey the site for the school; (3) negotiate for long term lease and/or acquisition of the real property to which the proposed site COM-FSM Chuuk Campus; and (4) Does any other act, relevant and necessary to achieve the purpose for which the Task force is created.

The issuance of the Executive order by Governor Simina is a step forward in the College's attempt to identify a permanent site for the COM-FSM Chuuk Campus.

Important Dates to Remember

December 15, 2006 Mid-Year Graduation - Fall Semester 2006 Ends

January 4, 2007 Spring Semester 2007 Begins

January 4-5, 2007 Faculty Workshop

January 8-10, 2007 Spring Semester 2007 Registration

January 11, 2007 First Day of Instruction for Spring Semester 2007

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Thank you.

BOR Actions and Directives