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June 25, 2008



To : All Concerned

From : President

Subject: President's Update #312

Reflections on Pohnpei State Executive Retreat

The above two photos were taken at the Pohnpei State Executive Retreat in the FSM-China Friendship Sports Center . The College was contracted to conduct a two-days retreat for about 80 or more key staff of the Pohnpei State Government on June 12-13, 2008 .

Pohnpei State Legislature Public Hearing on Assistance to Nursing Program

President James and Vice President for Instructional Affairs Jean Thoulag attended an hour long public hearing in the Pohnpei State Legislature hearing room with the Committee on Finance regarding a proposed request from the Governor's Office in the amount of $60,000 funding for the nursing program to be implemented at COM-FSM. The Pohnpei Legislature Committee on Finance asked the delegation from the College questions regarding the program's quality and sustainability. They also wanted to know if the funds requested is a one time request or not.

The PNI Legislature Finance Committee members were supportive and positive.

2008 Summer Residential Program for UB Students at National Campus

The Upward Bound 2008 summer residential program is being held at the College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus in Palikir, Pohnpei. The main objectives are to provide the participants an opportunity to live and study independently both academically, socially and culturally, to prepare them for their upcoming academic year (08-09), and to experience college life. This summer's program consists of 56 participants, from UB Pohnpei , 4 from UB Kosrae, 4 from UB Yap, 2 from UB Marshall and 2 from Educational Talent Search Program (ETSP) in Pohnpei, making a total of 68 participants.

This year's summer program will run for approximately six (6) weeks commencing on the 15 th of June and concluding on the 27 th of July. The students moved in the dormitories at the National Campus on the 15 th of June, were oriented and started classes on the 16 th. Throughout the six-week program, participants are expected to learn academically, exercise to be fit physically and to live culturally by accomplishing several cultural activities and tasks prepared for boys and girls.

The daily activities include morning fitness around 6am, clean-up, breakfast and prepare for classes, classes starts at 8am and runs to 12 noon, lunch, the afternoon starts with cultural activities from 1:30pm to 3:30pm and sports and physical education from 3:30pm to 5pm. Dinner is served from 5pm to 6pm, study period runs from 7pm till 9:30pm, then prepare for bed. Lights are out by 10:00p.m.

The academic component of this summer program consists of four English courses (Research Writing, Speech, Literature and Creative Writing), two Mathematics (Practical Math and Math Concepts), two Sciences (Chemistry and Micro Biology), and a Physical Education course. These courses are designed to challenge and enhance the student's capability levels in English, Math, Science and Physical Education. The non-academic component is mainly cultural activities. Boys cultural activities include building a locally made hut and planting bananas, yams, coconuts, breadfruits and other resourceful and native plants here at the National campus. Girls cultural activities include hands-on weaving and other handicraft makings. Other cultural activities which will take place in the midway of the program include ocean expedition where the participants will experience canoe paddling from Tekehtik in Nett all the way to Black Coral Island in Kitti. These cultural activities are mainly designed to promote our culturally way of living here in Pohnpei, especially to our younger generations. The program is so fortunate to have nine (9) capable instructors to help our students during the six weeks program.

Our Upward Bound seniors (24) enrolled for the summer classes as Bridge program participants. The main objective of the bridge program is to prepare them for transition into college.

Living in the dorms with the participants are 6 committed Residential Assistants (RAs), 3 RAs for the boys dorm and 3 for the girls dorm. These RAs are there to help monitor, tutor, mentor, assist and guard the students day and night for the duration of the program.

At the end of the program, there will be an Award Night or Banquet where students will receive awards based on their academic performance, social and cultural participation and performance, attitude and behavior, and neatness in the dorms.

Lastly, it is Pohnpei Upward Bound's dream to help educate our young and talented students whom someday would become ambassadors. Furthermore, it is our great hope that this summer's residential program will make a difference in each and everyone of the participant's life - academically, socially, mentally, spiritually, physically and culturally.

Upward Bound academic instruction in Math

Kosrae Upward Bound students enjoying their meal in the cafeteria

Upward Bound students with their cultural studies instructor-weaving local mat

Upward Bound Participants Workshops in the practice court

Recommendations from OIA and the COM-FSM Budget Consultation Meeting

A budget consultation meeting between the FSM SBOC, OIA, and the COM-FSM representatives took place in Pohnpei Campus' conference room on May 27, 2008 , at about 3:00 p.m. The purpose of that consultation meeting was to review the FY 2008 Supplemental Education Grant funds, FY 2009 Education Sector Grant consolidated budgets, and the Infrastructure Development Project funds.

The FSM SBOC recommendations on the College's SEG, ESG, and IDP funds for FY 2008 and 2009 are all acceptable to OIA. There are no modifications needed from the College on these project funds. The only recommendation made by OIA is for the college campuses to determine if the vocational equipments, etc. can be shared with the high schools in their respective states.

The OIA accepted the following budget allocations for the College:

Supplemental Education Grant (SEG):
  College Work Study and Supplemental Education Grant
  Student Assistant Grant
  Teacher Corps
Infrastructure Development Projects
Education Sector Grant

These budget allocations are from the Compact II Sectors and SEG funds.

COM-FSM Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2007

The official COM-FSM Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2007 has been released to the College on June 20, 2008 , from the Deloitte and Touche Auditors. The summary of the auditor's results include the following:

  • The Independent Auditor's Report on the financial statements expressed an unqualified opinion.
  • No significant deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting were identified.
  • Instances of noncompliance considered material to the financial statements were not disclosed by the audit.
  • No significant deficiencies in internal control over compliance with requirements applicable to major federal awards programs were identified.
  • The Independent Auditor's Report on compliance with requirements applicable to major federal award programs expressed an unqualified opinion.
  • The audit disclosed no findings required to be reported by OMB Circular A-1333.
  • COM-FSM did qualify as a low-risk auditee as that term is defined in OMB Circular A-133.

This is the third year in a row that the College of Micronesia-FSM has been given the rating of a "low risk auditee" and no major findings. The College's Audit Reports from Fiscal Years 1999 to 2007 have all been given unqualified opinion by the Deloitte and Touche Auditors. These are major accomplishments for the College and credits should be given to all management people and especially the Comptroller Danny Dumantay and the Business Office Staff. Commendations are given to all management staff at the COM-FSM system for managing your budgets and making sure that you are in compliance with the established policies on fiscal management at the College. Kudos to all of you.

Beta Omicron Upsilon Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

The following students were elected to be the new officers of the society for the 2008-2009 School Year:

Angelina Tretnoff - President; Maybeleen Apwong - Secretary; Madelina Rangailug - Treasurer; Vice President for Leadership - Laura Fujimoto; Vice President for Fellowship - Garry Nanpei; Vice President for Scholarship - Jay T. Pong; Vice President for Service - Alfredson Helgenberger; Public Relations - Kristina Hadley; Fundraising - Jessica Endere

"Operation Green" by Alfredson Helgenberger:

On the tropical island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Beta Omicron Upsilon Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at the College of Micronesia-FSM went out under 90 degree heat to execute Operation Green. On May 9 th, 2008 , seventeen members of the local Phi Theta Kappa chapter and a couple of advisors helped to support the rest of their brothers and sisters around the world to preserve the beauty of our home planet.

The young men and women demonstrated their dedication to uphold their commitment to our Mother Earth by cleaning and shaping the Medicinal Garden at the College of Micronesia-FSM Pohnpei Campus by pulling and cutting unwanted weeds, trimming over grown plants and planting new flowers that will enhance the beauty of the college and that of Pohnpei. The plants included coconuts, noni, bananas, and other tropical plants conducive to the livelihood of the people of Micronesia .

After all that hard work, the smiles on everyone's faces showed a job well done - Operation Green was a success.

Tutoring Program at National Campus

The following students are tutoring this summer:

Jason Louis Math, Remedial Courses, Expository Writing I & II, Philosophy, Advanced Reading , Speech Communication
Merleener P. Elias Mathematics, Social Science
Kennedy Nedlic Micronesian Studies, ESL Courses, Speech Communication
Andrew Falcam ESL Courses, Expository Writing I, Advanced Reading
Toshimichy Winis Linguistics, Speech Communication, Professional Teaching, Advanced Reading, History of Micronesia, Expository Writing I & II, Reading IV & V, Writing IV & V
Jerome Jacob Political Science, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, Micronesian Cultural Studies

Thank you.