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August 6, 2008


To : All Concerned

From : President, COM-FSM

Subject: President’s Update #314

Mr. Roger Mori and President James Sign an Addendum to October 2005 Lease Agreement for Mori Site:

The College of Micronesia-FSM and Mr. Roger Mori signed a fifteen years lease agreement on October 12, 2005 , that became effective on January 1, 2008 . A number of meetings have taken place between the two parties to negotiate an amendment to the lease. On July 30, 2008 , an addendum to the current lease was signed by Mr. Mori and President James which provides for more land for the College. The additional land will allow the College to build the Research Lab for the Land Grant Programs in Chuuk, additional classrooms for vocational programs, and offices.

The COM-FSM Kosrae Campus held its 9 th Commencement Exercises on August 1, 2008 , at the Student’s Lobby. Twenty-one students completed the requirements for their degrees and certificates and marched during the graduation ceremony. About 200 faculty, staff, students, families of graduates, friends and supporters attended the graduation. Mr. Kalwin Kephas presented the welcoming remarks and welcomed the honored and distinguished guests, parents, faculty, staff, students, and friends to the Commencement Exercises. President James delivered the keynote address. Regent Lyndon Cornelius conferred the degrees to the graduates and Honorable Kamsky Sigrah represented Governor Robert Weilbacher and accepted the graduates. The following are the graduating class of 2008:

  • Associate of Science In Teacher Education – Elementary
    Abraham Cordilia W. Nena, Aure
    Abraham, Sueleen M Nena, Hetty H.
    Anton, Lerina A. Nena, Jason E.
    George, Leilani J. Nithan, Senolyn N.
    George, Lerinda B. Robert, Thelma C.
    Jackson, Notwe A Taulung, Sepe J.
    Jonathan, Nolina N. Waguk, Jeffyleen M
    Waguk, Jeffyleen M      
  • Associate of Applied Science in Electronic Technology
    Skilling, Hans A.      
  • Certificate of Achievement in Agriculture and Food Technology
    Jonathan, Rickson      
  • Certificate of Achievement in Carpentry
    Seymour, Seymour H.      
  • Certificate of Achievement in Electronic Engineering Technology
    Kilafwasru, Moddy N. Nena, Benton H.
    Nena, Nobu Lance J. Sabino, Lee JI.

Given below are photos taken at the Kosrae Campus Graduation Ceremony:


Yap Campus holds 2008 Summer Commencement Exercises on July 28, 2008:

Yap Campus graduated 37 students at its Summer 2008 Commencement Exercises. Twenty five of the graduates earned their Associates of Science Degrees in Teacher Education – Elementary, and twelve receives their Certificate of Achievements in General Studies, Electronic Engineering Technology, and Construction Electricity. Attached is the list with names of the graduates. Shown below are photos taken at the Yap Campus graduation ceremony:

College Representatives Meet Governor Robert Weilbacher to Resolve Issues Relating to the Amendment to its Lease Agreement for Kosrae Campus Site:

The OIA Office in Honolulu has concurred with the plans for constructing two new buildings at Kosrae Campus. However, the concurrence by OIA is pending submission of certificate of title or land lease agreement for the land used by Kosrae Campus. The College negotiated with Kosrae State for additional land adjacent to the campus for the new buildings. The current lease charges the College $1.00 per year. However, the proposed amendment from the State increases the annual to $54,000.

College representatives (Francisco Mendiola, Kalwin Kephas, and Spensin James) met with Governor Weilbacher on Thursday, July 31, 2008 , and deliberation on the possibility of reducing the lease rate from $54,000 to the current rate. Governor Weilbacher was amendable on the College proposal and will meet with Director Kalwin Kephas and Regent Lyndon Cornelius on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 , to develop a new lease agreement.

The College representatives also met with Speaker of Kosrae State Legislature and discussed the same issue with him. He assured the College reps that he will work with the Governor’s Office on the matter. He believes that College should not be treated as a commercial entity.

The issue on the lease agreement should be resolved soon so not to delay construction of the two buildings at Kosrae Campus which would impact the accreditation of the College as a whole. A vocational education building is also pending at OIA. The cost for constructing the three buildings at Kosrae Campus will bring in over $4.0 million into Kosrae State economy.

COM-FSM Comptroller Attended the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council’s (PPEC’s) Chief Finance Officers Training:

Mr. Danny Dumantay, Comptroller, COM-FSM, attended the PPEC Institutions Chief Finance Officers Training at the University of Guam during the week of July 28 – August 2, 2008 . The training was sponsored by the PPEC through a technical grant from the U.S. Department of Interior. The trainers for the workshop are from the following PPEC Institutions: University of Guam , University of Hawaii Community Colleges, and University of Hawaii at Manoa. The following topics were presented at the CFOs training: The CFO Perspective and Key Issues, Risk Management and Insurance, Linking Planning and Budgeting to Academic Programs, Capital Fundraising, Managing Working Capital, and Planning, Leading and Monitoring Entrepreneurial and Auxiliary Enterprises.

Vice President for Student Services and Director of Institutional Research and Planning Office Attended a Recruitment and Retention Workshop:

The college is in the process of developing an enrollment management plan that will assist in addressing the decline in enrollment seen over the past few semesters and help with improvement of retention and graduation rates of students. To assist with the plan development, the President authorized the Vice President for Student Services and the Director, IRPO, to attend the National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing, and Retention convened by Noel-Levitz.

The conference provided extensive information on the latest direction in higher education for addressing student enrollment needs. The conference addressed a number of different tracks: Campus wide Issues in Enrollment Management, Improving the Quality of Student Life, Learning and Student Retention, Improving the Effectiveness of Student Recruitment and Marketing, Enhancing Enrollment through Technology and the Web, Focusing on Enrollment Issues by Institutional Type and Promoting Financial Literacy, Debt Management, and Default Prevention. The conference went “Green” and placed all presentations on their web site for ready access before, during and after the conference.

Based on the conference presentations and discussions the following were recommended for consideration in developing the college’s enrollment management plan:

  • Use the Noel Levitz framework for developing Enrollment Management Plans. This framework calls for developing coordinated marketing and recruitment and retention plans that are updated yearly with clear and specific goals for different categories of students for both recruitment and retention. Plans are evaluated yearly.
Institutional Strategic Plan
Strategic Enrollment Plan
Annual Marketing & Recruitment Plan
Annual Retention Plan
Clear Goals
Key Strategies

Detailed Action Plans

Objectives- Timetables - Responsibility – Budgets - valuation
  • Use the Noel Levitz retention funnel approach to develop tracking indicators and benchmarks for improvement. Emphasis is placed on use of both lagging indicators (retention and graduation) and leading (progression and persistence) indicators. This approach assists in following students and cohorts of students throughout their college life.

Critical & cross cutting issues to address (extensive materials are available from the conference to assist with each of the issues) in developing the enrollment management plan include:

  • Review and generation of data from the Student Information System (SIS) related to retention, graduation, persistence and progression.
  • Comparison of college data against peer groups
  • Upgrading the College’s web page as a recruitment and retention and use of technology in recruitment including social networks
  • Marketing of the college
  • Establish baseline data - write up of the current status/activities of the college in:
    • Data and data trends in recruitment & retention
    • Marketing efforts
    • Recruitment efforts
    • Retention related efforts
  • Review presentations for ideas and strategies that fit the college’s needs for marketing, recruitment and retention.

The Enrollment Management Committee was convened on Friday, August 1, 2008 to review the recommendations and will be meeting weekly until the Enrollment Management Plan is completed by Mid September.

Kosrae Campus Director, Instructional Coordinator, and Counselor

Attended the Institute for Higher Education Policy Summer Academy:

A team of three members, Director Kalwin Kephas, Instructional Coordinator Nena Mike, and Counselor Dokwe George, from Kosrae Campus attended the Institute of Higher Education Policy Summer Academy in Birmingham , Alabama during the week of July 18-26, 2008 . The Kosrae Campus Team was one of the 38 teams from community colleges and 4-year colleges that are considered as minority institutions.

The team from Kosrae Campus has developed a plan at the Academy that will target high school students and the COM-FSM incoming freshmen for the purposes of assisting them to access and succeed at the College. The plan was discussed with the President on Saturday, August 2, 2008 . President James encouraged Kosrae Campus team to try their plan with Kosrae High School students and then extend the plan to other campuses. The goals for the Kosrae Campus team plan include:

  • To design and develop an appropriate action plan that will effectively addresses high school student’s success in transitioning into COM-FSM.
  • To prepare a list of potential stakeholders who may help in nurturing college bound aspirers.
  • To identify strategies and effective practices that may support project funding for implementation of the plan at the COM-FSM.

College of Micronesia-FSM Working to Secure Save Mart Facilities for Chuuk Campus:

The College of Micronesia-FSM Chuuk Campus is still renting facilities for classrooms, offices, and labs that are spread out in Weno, Chuuk. This makes it difficult for Chuuk Campus to provide reliable power and connect these facilities to the College’s Network. Sometimes these rented facilities are without power for days. The current situation at Chuuk Campus will definitely impact the accreditation for the COM-FSM. In order to help with the current situation at Chuuk Campus, the College has been meeting with the TTC Board of Directors on leasing the Save Mart facility in Weno, Chuuk. The College’s intention is to lease the facility and eventually outright purchase the facility.

The Board of Regents for the College has directed the College to submit a directive to the Board to review at its August 27-29, 2008 meeting in Yap.

Fall Semester 2008 Begins at the COM-FSM Campuses:

President and Vice Presidents welcomed over two hundred (200) incoming freshmen and transferred students, new faculty and staff, and continuing faculty and staff at the National Campus on the opening day of orientation week for Fall Semester 2008. The photos reflect the opening day’s activities.

Thank you.