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    January - Palikir, Pohnpei


January 18 , 2008

To:         All Concerned 

From:     President, COM-FSM 

Subject: President's Update #303 and 304


This spring 2008 marks two years before the College of Micronesia-FSM's and the Palau Community College's scheduled comprehensive visits by the Accrediting Commission. It is the practice of the Accrediting Commission for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) to offer Self Study Training Workshop for colleges about to undertake the task of institutional self study leading to the Self Study Report. Dr. Jack Pond, a key staff at the Commission, has asked the University of Hawaii to host the workshop for the COM-FSM and the Palau Community College during the week of March 17, 2008 in Hawaii. The workshop is a one day presentation; however, Dr. Pond is proposing that other topics like program review, accreditation basics, etc. be offered based on the needs of the two institutions.

Board of Regents

The Board of Regents for the College of Micronesia-FSM recently met during the week of December 18-20, 2007, at the College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus. The Board of Regents deliberated on important matters like FY 2009 budgets and adopted the following actions and directives:

  • The following were elected as officers of the COM-FSM Board of Regents:

Andrew Yatilman Chairman

Graceful Enlet Vice Chairman

Isamo Welles Secretary/Treasurer

  • The revised organizational chart was approved with the understanding that during the initial stage of the reorganization, placement on salary schedules for affected employees will not be altered, review of jobs will be scheduled accordingly and as determined by the administration, and evaluation of the structure for the Department of Administration be undertaken.
  • FY 2009 operations budget was approved at $10,886,541 of which a request for $3,900,000 appropriation is to be submitted to the FSM National Government.
  • The FY 2009 budget for FSM-FMI was approved at $655,110 and a request for that amount is to be submitted to the FSM National Government.
  • The FY 2009 budgets for the auxiliary enterprises were approved as follows: $176,312 for the Cafeteria and $101,185 for the Bookstore.
  • The Infrastructure Development Projects for FY 2009, per the college's Master Capital Improvement Project Plan, totaling $2,235,000 were approved for submission to the FSM National Government. A request of 5% for IMF is to be added to the submission.
  • The FY 2009 budget in the amount of $96,000 for the Board of Regents was approved for submission to the FSM National Government.
  • Vice Presidents and Campus Directors are to fund travel to Board meeting from their budgets.
  • A policy on use of income earned from general fund savings accounts and general fund investments was approved.
  • A policy on maximizing earnings from college's savings accounts was approved.
  • The request for use of the college's fund balance in the amount of $80,000 to purchase a generator for Chuuk Campus and to have the generator installed and the single phase system changed to a three phase system was approved.
  • The Board directed the administration to explore other sites, including the Nantaku site, for Chuuk Campus permanent site.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the College of Micronesia-FSM to cooperatively promote successful educational experiences for students from both institutions was approved.
  • The proposed program modification of the Associate Science Degree Program in General Agriculture and change of program name to Associate of Science Degree Program in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management were approved.
  • Revisions to the policy on tuition waiver and reduction were approved for implementation in January 2008.
  • The administration is to address the problem of animals on campus without a Board directive.
  • The Board adopted a resolution to recognize, commend and express gratitude to Mar. Henry Robert, John Sound, and Joseph J. Habuchmai for the commitment, service, and dedication to the college while a Regent of the College.
  • The Board also adopted a resolution to recognize, commend and express gratitude and appreciation to Mr. Charles Musana-Manyindo for his eleven years of exemplary service to the college.
  • The minutes of the August 2007 special meeting as corrected and the minutes of the November 2007 teleconference meeting were adopted.
  • The next meeting will be held the second week of March 2008 in Kosrae.

The FSM President's Initiative on Converting the COM-FSM into a 4 year College

The FSM President and the College of Micronesia-FSM key staff had a series of meeting on His Excellency's initiative of converting the COM-FSM into a four year college during the months of October 2007. The President of the FSM tasked the College to submit a feasibility study plan on his initiative to his office in December 2007. The College of Micronesia-FSM conducted research and analysis on three options that may be considered and used for further action. These three options include: community college -two year college with not more than one four year program, community college-two year college with more than one four year program, but with an extensive network of degree offerings with other Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), and full four year college or university.

The analysis done by the college of the three options also included the financial implications and academic, student services, administrative support, learning resources center, research, and facilities need. The pros and cons of each option were also included in the feasibility study.

The College submitted the feasibility study to President Mori's Office on December 3, 2007. President Mori met with key staff from the College on January 10, 2008 on the feasibility study plan. The College recommended to His Excellency Mori option two and he concurred with the recommendation. His Excellency Mori is scheduling a follow up meeting on his initiative sometimes in March.

The summary of option two is that the COM-FSM maintains its current status as a community college with not more than one 4-year program, but with extensive network of degree offerings with other Institutions of Higher Education (IHE).

FY 2009 Budget

Per Board of Regents directives the budget guidelines from the FSM President's Office, the College of Micronesia-FSM has submitted its FY 2009 operations budget to the FSM National Government on January 15, 2008. The College of Micronesia-FSM FY 2009 budget submission included the following:

  • COM-FSM FY 2009 performance and line item budget for the Education Sector Grant (ESG)
  • Board of Regents FY 2009 performance and line item budget
  • Infrastructure Development Plan for FY 2009
  • FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute FY 2009 performance and line item budget
  • College of Micronesia-FSM Institutional Priorities for FY 2009
  • Summary sheet for overall COM-FSM 2009 operations

Updates from the Institutional Research and Planning Office

Surveys: An “open activity period” survey was conduced at the end of Fall 2007 for all employees and students. The purpose was to find out how the students, faculty and staff utilized open activity period.

The employee survey was administered online. Students received hard copies.

  • 25 faculty/staff responded
  • 312 students responded

Analysis of the “open activity period” will be completed by next update.

Reporting: The first quarter 2008 performance reporting is due on January 14, 2008 at IPRO. The reporting template has been revised to include specific slots for reporting against institutional priorities 2008 and the President's Retreat problem.

Assessment: Guidelines and worksheets for Administrative and Support Services assessment have been sent out. All administrative and student support offices are to complete development of their mission and objectives and an evaluation plan by January 31, 2008 with the evaluation report due at the end of 2008.

IPEDS: IPEDS Winter 2007-08 Data Collection is currently open for data entry. Surveys in this winter collection are:

  • Human Resources survey, which is the main survey for winter collections.
  • Fall Enrollment survey - newly added survey to the winter collection (optional for this year but its completion is required in the spring collection)
  • Finance survey - part of the spring data collection but it is also pen for data entry this winter (will be completed in the spring data collection)

Data included in the main survey for this data collection, the Human Resources Survey, are number of employees by assigned positions, average salaries for all full-time primary instructional staff, number of full-time primary instructional staff ranking, and the number and average amount of expenditures for employees and their dependents covered under selected fringe benefits for the institution.

IPRO is currently working on completing the Human Resources survey with the help of the HR and Business Office staff. We are hoping to collect the requested data/information from the Business Office a week ahead of the deadline so we could have time for cleaning and entering into the IPEDS online system. The deadline for this data collection is scheduled for January 23, 2008.

Spring Semester 2008

The Spring Semester 2008 Registration at the National Campus got underway on January 8, 2008 and continued on January 9, 2008. Classes commenced on January 10, 2008. As of January 17, 2008, 793 students have officially registered for Spring Semester 2008 at the National Campus. As of the date of this report only Pohnpei Campus has reported to my office the Spring Semester 2008 enrollment. The enrollment at Pohnpei Campus for Spring Semester 2008 is at 476 students. Enrollments from other campuses for Spring Semester 2008 will be reported in the next update.

Site for Joint Inauguration for Pohnpei State Governor, Lt. Governor, and Members of the 7 th Pohnpei State Legislature

The FSM/China Friendship Multi-Purpose Sport Center was the site for the joint inauguration for Pohnpei State Governor, Lt. Governor, and members of the 7 th Pohnpei State Legislature. Over 200 dignitaries, governors, FSM Congressmen, diplomatic corps, and citizens of Pohnpei and the FSM attended the event.

Campus Directors Meeting

The Campus Director's Meeting took place at the National Campus on December 17, 2007. The participants of the meeting included Campus Directors, Directors of Offices, Programs, Centers, and other key staff at the National Campus. The agenda items for the Campus Director's meeting included the following:

1. Monitoring visits to State Campuses

2. Distribution formula for indirect cost

3. Modified Organizational Chart

4. Revisit of the Policy on use of fund balance

5. Collection of outstanding balances

6. Assessment/Evaluation

7. Department of Administration

8. Dual Evaluation for instructional and student services coordinators

9. Bridging the cap between high school and college

10. Communication and reporting

11. Infrastructure Development Projects

12. Personnel Issues

13. Technology Issues

The discussions of the above items led to the development of the recommendations for most of the items that will be routed to appropriate standing committees and to the Board of Regents for final approval. For example, the current policy on distribution formula for indirect cost is: 25% for Business office, 50% for campus or department that is

coordinating the project, and 25 % for President's Office. The Campus Director's Meeting recommended that 50% of indirect cost currently given to the state campuses must be increased to 60-70%. President and comptroller will meet with the Campus Director and recommend for a workable distribution formula that will incorporate the recommendation of the Campus Director's meeting into the new formula. The new distribution formula will be sent to the Board of Regents at its March 2008 meeting for review and approval.

Student Learning Outcome Workshop

A delegation consisting of Mr. Joseph Saimon, Accreditation Liaison Officer, Mr. Jimmy Hicks, Director of Institutional Research and Planning Office, Mrs. Karen Simion, Director of Academic Programs, and Mr. Faustino Yarofaisug, Financial Aid Counselor will be representing the College of Micronesia-FSM at a Western Association of Schools and Colleges Seminar on assessment of Student Learning Outcome in Irvine, California during the week of January 31-February 3, 2008.

Retirement Plan

More College of Micronesia-FSM employees have enrolled in the College of Micronesia-FSM Retirement Plan due to the recent approval of the retirement loan policy by the Board of Regents during its teleconference in November 2008. A good number of employees that are enrolled in the retirement plan have increased their contributions to their plans due to the implementation of the retirement loan policy. Contact Rencelly Nelson at telephone number:320-2480 if you are a full-time employee of the college and want to enroll or learn more about the Retirement Plan.

Thank you.