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    November - Palikir, Pohnpei


November 14 , 2007

To:         All Concerned 

From:     President, COM-FSM 

Subject: President's Update #302


The College of Micronesia-FSM's accreditation reaffirmation will take a little over two years from now in March 2010. However, the accreditation standards for each of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has been established (attachment).

President James contacted the President of the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges (ACJCC) of the Western Association of School and Colleges regarding conducting a workshop for the COM-FSM community on the Self-Study Process. President Beno informed President James that Dr. Pond of WASC will be conducting a workshop on the Self-Study Process during the early part of Spring 2008 for the College of Micronesia-FSM and Palau Community College in Hawaii.

The established Standard Committees will be meeting once a month commencing in November 2007.

President James has been conducting monitoring visits to the state campuses and one of the things being discussed with administrators, faculty, students and staff is on fundamentals of accreditation as it relates to writing of the self-study report for College's accreditation reaffirmation in March 2010.

Board of Regents

The tentatively scheduled BOR meeting during the week of December 3-7, 2007 has been postponed to the week of December 17-20, 2007. Major items of discussions during the upcoming BOR meeting will be on review and adoption of the FY 2009 budgets and modified FY 2008 budgets.

Mr. Graceful Enlet, the Regent representing Chuuk State on the COM-FSM Board of Regent has been appointed by President Manny Mori for a three years term. Regent Enlet has been on the COM-FSM Board for a year completing the last year of Mr. John Sound's term. Mr. Sound resigned from the BOR in December 2005. The appointment of Regent Enlet needs to be confirmed by the FSM Congress.

Joint Meeting of the Finance Committee and Planning Council

The joint meeting of the Finance Committee and Planning Council took place on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at the BOR Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting was to review the FY 2009 budget and recommend the budget to Cabinet for review and further action. The recommendation from the joint meeting was to submit two separate budgets to the Board of Regents to review and adopt at their December 17-20, 2007 meeting in Pohnpei. One of the budgets will be using $3.9 million as FSM Congress appropriation and the other will use the $3.8 million level. The purpose of this recommendation is to comply with BOR approved guidelines for preparation of FY 2009 that stipulated the College to seek $3.9 million appropriation from the FSM Congress. The difference of the two budgets is $100,000 and the amount will be added to line item on fuel costs.

The Finance Committee has also been asked to reduce the FY 2008 budget by about $97,000. This action is needed to have a balance budget because the College requested $3.897,170 from the National Government and the FSM Congress appropriated only $3.8 million. This balanced budget will also be taken to BOR for review and approval at their December 2007 meeting.

Institutional Research and Planning

Sponsored Programs. The Gear Up competition by the U.S. Department of Education has been opened with a closing date of December 20, 2007.  It is expected that most if not all state campuses will be developing proposals in cooperation with private and public partners.  If you would like to assist in the grant application, please see your State Campus Director or the Sponsored Programs Facilitator in IRPO.

An evaluation programs planning workshop is tentatively set for late this month at the National Campus for sponsored programs.  If additional information is desired please contact the Sponsored Programs Facilitator in IRPO.

Planning Council. A joint Planning Council & Finance Committee meeting was held to review the line item and performance budgets for 2009 in preparation for submission to the Board of Regents at their December meeting.  The budgets were adopted by the joint meeting with some modification.  A major issue was to request funding from the FSM at the $3.89 million level (FY 2007) instead of the $3.8 million.  The increase in 2007 was additional funds for utilities and fuel. 

Title III and Title IV Meeting. The IRPO director attended a Higher Education Title III and Title IV meeting coordinated by Noel -Levitz.  The college will be developing a Title III application when the competition opens (expected next spring).  .  If you would like to assist in the grant application, please see your Vice President or contact IRPO.  While the completion is not expected until the spring, research and data collection will be beginning shortly. 

Institutional Assessment Plan Working Group. A meeting of the IAP Working Group reviewed forms for developing academic program missions, plans and reports.  Work is continuing on developing the IAP Handbook.. 

Fall 2007 Enrollment

The College of Micronesia-FSM System wide enrollment for Fall Semester 2007 is lower than Fall Semester 2006 by about 170 students. Factors that might have contributed to this decrease may include the following: College was not too aggressive on its recruitment efforts, retention rate is too low, students are going to off island colleges, and increase in the admission test score. The COM-FSM is also working with the Education Systems in the FSM to bridge the gap between high school and the college.

Budget priorities for FY 2008 prioritized improving the retention rate by allocating more funds in the tutoring and academic advising programs at all campuses.

We hope that above things will assist the College to increase its enrollment by Fall 2008.

Establishment of Pacific Island Students Scholarships at UH Manoa

The COM-FSM Board of Regents tasked the administration of the College to find out the status of these scholarships at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and report the status to BOR. President James met with the Acting President Johnsrud, Mr. Mike Rota of the Hawaii Community College System, and Dr. Morten, Vice President for Hawaii Community College System in July 2007 and was informed that these scholarships have not been established at UH Manoa.

The Presidents of the Pacific Post Secondary Education Council (PPEC) met recently in Honolulu, Hawaii during the week of October 22-25, 2007 and learned that more work are needed by UH Manoa to put these scholarships in place for Pacific Island students.

The established scholarships are needed to assist qualify Pacific Island students due to increase in tuition of 150% for these students that has been implemented at UH system during Fall Semester 2007.

The PPEC member institutions recommended at their October 2007 meeting that a letter be sent from Chairman James to President David McClain of UH at Manoa regarding the scholarships. A letter has been sent to President McClain and the chairman is waiting for a response from President McClain.

The scholarships for Pacific Island students have been established at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and eligible students are taking advantage of these scholarships there.

Presentations of Students Essays at APAFS Conference in Manila, Philippines

Seven students from 7 higher education schools in Micronesia were selected based on essays they submitted to sponsors of the Asia Pacific Association of Fiduciary Studies Conference in Manila, Philippines during the week of October 17-19, 2007. Ms. Eileen Joel was selected and represented the College at the Conference in Manila. Each of the seven students stood in front of about 300 participants of the conference and presented a 3-5 minutes summary of their essays. Ms. Eileen Joel did an excellent job in presenting the summary of her paper. The College of Micronesia-FSM participants at the conference were proud of her. Kudos to Eileen Joel.

Student Services- Recreation and Sports

Two student services staff were invited to participate in the South Pacific Games - The South Pacific Games was held in Apia, Samoa from August 25 to September 08. The games included 33 sports and over 4,000 athletes.  The FSM was the second smallest delegation .

Two of the COM-FSM student services staff Edwin Sione and Ramsie Joab from Pohnpei Campus were invited to the games to officiate the wrestling and the basketball competitions respectively. Sione was the only certified islander to officiate the wrestling competition at the games, with all of the other wrestling officials coming from Korea, Australia and New Zealand.  Joab was invited to the games by FIBA Oceania, as a basketball referee, to take the FIBA (International Basketball Association) international basketball referee exam.  He refereed 8 basketball games, passed the FIBA referee physical fitness test and took and passed the FIBA referee written exam.  Joab is the first basketball referee in the Micronesian region to hold an international basketball referee certificate.  If certified, Joab will be eligible to referee at the FIBA basketball world championships and the Olympic Games. Congratulations to Sione and Joab. We are proud of your accomplishments.

Spirit Week at Kosrae Campus

Kosrae Campus observed its Spirit Week during the week of October 29-November 2, 2007. The Spirit Week at Kosrae Campus is similar to the Crazy Week observed at the National Campus by the students. Students were dressed in different colors resembling their villages. The highlight of the week involved a group of students that successfully climbed the Sleeping Lady Mountain. Only ten students were said to successfully made it up to the top. Congratulations to these students. Although some of the students could not make it up to the top of the mountain, it is apparent that everyone enjoyed the excursion.

The photos given below reflected the fun and enjoyment the students had after their hike.

Saturday: Mt. Finkol Hike

Thank you.