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    June 18 - Palikir, Pohnpei


June 18, 2007

To:         All Concerned 

From:     President, COM-FSM 

Subject: Update #294

Workforce Development Challenges in the FSM  

The College of Micronesia-FSM has established a working group to gather information and data focusing on workforce issues in the FSM. The President of the College had a meeting with Ms. Maria S. Connelley, Director of the Department of Labor, Guam on May 30, 2007. The purpose of the meeting with Director Connelley was to get in formation of workforce training needs in Guam and the region. Copies of documents on workforce needs and skills of the jobs needed in Guam were also obtained at this meeting.

All the documents will be turned over to Mrs. Jean Thoulag Chairperson of the Working Group at the College of Micronesia-FSM.

The Pacific Post Secondary Education Council (PPEC) Institutions will be collaborating with the College regarding doing a survey on the Workforce Development Challenges facing the region commencing summer 2007. The target date for completion of the study will be on September 30, 2007.

Wheel Chair Lift at Learning Resource Center  

A wheel chair lift is been installed at the COM-FSM National Campus Learning Resources Center. Work is still in progress but will soon be completed. This will make the College in compliance with the Accessibility Act of the USA especially for the second floor of the LRC. Disabled persons will be able to access the second floor of the LRC and this may be the only wheel chair lift in the FSM. Kudos to Francisco Mendiola, Alfred Olter, Eugene Edmund, Miller Lemuel, and Dannis Lorrin for their hard work and negotiations with the Company from Guam.

COM Land Grant Board of Regents Meeting in Majuro, Marhall Islands

The College of Micronesia (COM) Board of Regents recently met in Majuro, Marshall Islands during the week of June 5-7, 2007. The meeting was chaired by Regent Masahki Emioshol of the Republic of Palau.

The meeting was productive since a good number of directives were adopted by the Regents. Among the directives approved is $130,000 for Research Facilities for Chuuk and Pohnpei States each respectively. The plans for the facilities for Chuuk and Pohnpei states must be approved by August 25, 2007, or else the money goes back to COM Central Office.

Summer Sessions At Campuses  

Summer sessions at Pohnpei Campus started on June 4, 2007, with 187 students attending. Pohnpei Campus currently offers an array of courses like governmental accounting, regular English, math, science, social science, and computer courses. Pohnpei Campus also offers computer courses at three different levels, basic, intermediate, and advanced to children.

The other campuses like Chuuk, Kosrae, and Yap also began their summer sessions on June 4, 2007. Some of the state campuses are running double sessions to accommodate teachers from the school systems in the FSM to enroll in teacher education courses needed for their teacher certification.

The University of Guam 4 th Year Program at the National Campus will start instruction on June 18, 2007. About 21 students have been accepted into the Program. We are hoping that more students may be accepted into the program during Fall Semester 2007. The unofficial summer session enrollment at National Campus is at 401. Enrollment data from Chuuk, Kosrae, and Yap campuses has not been received yet.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)  

The College of Micronesia-FSM is currently working with two of the four FSM States on their Small Business Development Centers. Kosrae and Pohnpei campuses are collaborating with their respective states on managing the centers as indicated in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan documents.

The SBDC building at Kosrae Campus had its final inspection at the end of May 2007 and found to be satisfactory. The keys for the building have been turned over to the Director of Kosrae Campus. The equipment and furniture for the building had been ordered by the College and hopefully will be arriving sometimes this summer. The construction of the SBDC building at Pohnpei Campus has been delayed and we hope that construction can resume sometimes in June 2007.

The issues relating to management of these two centers have been problematic so the administration, especially President and his key staff at National, Kosrae, and Pohnpei

campuses have been working diligently with the leaders of the National and State governments to resolve the issues. President James also traveled to Kosrae State during the week of June 7-9, 2007, and met with the leadership of Kosrae State to resolve the issues of membership on the SBDC Council and the management of the Center there.

Budget Consultation Meetings With OCM and OIA Staff  

The College of Micronesia-FSM's cabinet as well as key staff attended a budget consultation with the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) staff on Thursday, June 14, 2007, at the Blue Plate CafĂ© at Pohnpei Campus. The objectives of the meeting were to review the FY 2008 budgets as well as the reporting requirements from OIA on College's budgets. The meeting was productive and the College has been asked to provide some documents on its budget developments to OIA 

World Park Update  

Mr. Howard Rice, World Park Coordinator at the College is currently at the Michigan State University meeting with the key officials there on the Planning Workshop for Pohnpei State that has been tentatively scheduled during the later part of July. COM-FSM and MSU are collaborating on raising funding to assist the States in World Park planning and results look promising. The States will need to continue to seek funding for the 12 month planning phase and if successful additional funds may available through the COM-FSM and MSU efforts.

Michigan State University President Simon is sending Dean Jeff Armstrong, Dean Jeff Reidinger, and Dr. Richard Paulsen to Pohnpei and FSM to coordinate the World Park Planning Workshop for Pohnpei State and to meet the FSM and FSM States leadership.

The World Park Vision is to set the standard in development of excellence and achievement of good citizenship in the FSM States, Nations and the world communities.

Updates On Summer Internship Programs for Marine Science Students

 There are 5 students participating in marine science internships on Pohnpei this summer. They are Julie Emelios, Jason Louis, Charley Luhk, Mckye Ioanis and John Rousan Jr. These students are collecting data from the rivers and streams on Pohnpei in collaboration with researchers from the University of Hawaii. The scientists have returned to Hawaii on June 13, 2007, but the students will continue with their projects. Elijah Tarofalmal was selected to participate in the internship in Alaska sponsored by Ray and Yenti Verg-in this summer. The following students were accepted into the UMEB program at the University of Hawaii this summer: Jimmy Gallen, Jeannie Nanpei, Alfonso Alexander, Jorg Anson, and Eugene Gold. The students left Pohnpei on May 18 th for a 10 week internship at the marine lab at the Kewalo and Coconut Island. Each student will develop his/her own research project while working alongside UH professors and graduate students.

All of these students will be giving presentations at the 2 nd Annual Internship Symposium in early Fall Semester 2007.

South Pacific and Asia Friendship Association Delegation Visit Pohnpei

 Four Japanese college students visited Pohnpei during the week of May 20-27, 2007, from South Pacific and Asia Friendship Association (SAFA). SAFA has been inviting and hosting students the COM-FSM and PICS to visit Japan every other year in order to assist Japanese Language teaching in Pohnpei. Every other year SAFA sends a delegation to visit Pohnpei to participate in cultural exchange with Micronesian students. The SAFA delegation went around the island of Pohnpei and visited historical sides with COM-FSM students.

The Sixth Annual COM-FSM and PICS Japanese Speech Contest  

The Sixth Annual COM-FSM and PICS Japanese Speech Contest took place at MITC, COM-FSM National Campus on May 26 th, 2007. The contest was organized by Japanese Language instructors at the COM-FSM National and Pohnpei campuses and PICS sponsored by South Pacific Asia Friendship Association (SAFA). The nine local students presented speeches in Japanese to a panel of nine judges. The winners of this year's speech contest are Vangie Mercado from COM-FSM and Bradley Spirin from PICS. The winners of this year's speech contest will fly to Japan for a one week stay in Kyoto, the home of SAFA, and travel on to other regions. The topic of Vangie's speech was "The Importance of education" and the topic of Bradley's was "Kapinga's Thanksgiving Day."

COM-FSM New Lease Line Contract with FSMTC  

The COM-FSM lease line agreement with FSM Telecom has been officially signed by the two agencies of the FSM on June 1, 2007. Details of the agreement are as follows:

  • One Flat Rate Asymmetric Global IP, for 1024 kbps receives and 384 kbps transmit rate for campuses on Pohnpei.
  • Four wire dedicated circuit between FSM Telecom, Chuuk and COM-FSM Chuuk Campus for 512 kbps usage based symmetric with maximum allocation of 54000 mb per month.
  • Four wire dedicated circuit between FSM Telecom, Kosrae and COM-FSM Kosrae Campus for 512 kbps usage based symmetric with maximum allocations of 54000 mb per month.
  • Four wire dedicated circuit between FSM Telecom, Yap and COM-FSM Yap Campus for 512 kbps usage based symmetric with maximum allocation of 54000 mb per month.
  • Dedicated peer to peer link between National and Pohnpei Campuses.
  • Dedicated peer to peer link between COM-FSM Yap and FSM-FMI.
  • Domain name registration.

WINDS Project with Japanese Government

The COM-FSM Information Technology Director assisted the FSM Government in submitting a proposal to be part of the WINDS satellite experiment to the Government of Japan. The capability of WINDS satellite can provide the following to specified sites in the FSM that are participating in this project:

  • Maximum Data Rate for USAT of 1.5 mbps uplink, 155 mbps downlink
  • 45 cm prototype antenna satellite dish
  • 700 watts

Official communication from the Japanese Government has been received that the FSM proposal has been accepted to be part of the broadband satellite experiment to begin sometime next year.

Thank you.