College of Micronesia -FSM

Federated States of Micronesia
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March 18, 2009- Palikir, Pohnpei


To:          All Concerned
From:      President
Subject:   President’s Update #325
COM-FSM Resubmits Follow-Up Report

As reported in the March 4, 2009, edition of the President’s Update, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) rejected the College of Micronesia-FSM’s Follow-Up Report at the Commission January 7-9, 2009, meeting. The Commission requested the college to resubmit another report by March 15, 2009.  The college was able to resubmit the report before the March 15, 2009 deadline. The report was prepared following the guidelines prepared by the Commission. The COM-FSM Board of Regents endorsed the report at their spring 2009 meeting in Chuuk State.

COM-FSM president received communications from President Barbara A. Beno of the ACCJC informing him that a two-member team will be at the college on April 25 and 26. Chuuk will be visited to assess the status of the current site and the proposed permanent site.

The visitors will:

  • verify the accuracy and relevance of the report submitted by the college in  response to the specific action of the Commission
  • determine the extent to which the institution now meets the Commission standards cited in the recommendations
  • report findings and recommendations to the Commission
Board of Regents Meet in Chuuk

The College of Micronesia-FSM Board of Regents held its second quarter special meeting during the week of March 9-12, 2009, at Chuuk state campus.  The college’s money manager was able to update the Board. The College’s money manager also updated the regents and the president’s cabinet on status of the college’s endowment and the management of the college’s funds. The Regents were also given a workshop on the “Roles of Trustees” on a college’s investments.

BOR Meeting in Chuuk


Board of Regents

The college administration was tasked by the Board to develop some options for the Board regarding the future direction of the college by the next Board meeting. The options should reflect the mission of the College and should also include elements like accessibility, sustainability, affordability and relevancy of programs and services. The Regents also met with faculty, staff, and students at Chuuk state campus, heard their concerns and responded to their concerns.

The following are the Board directives from the meeting in Chuuk:

  • The Board endorsed the Follow-Up Report for submission to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • The President's Contract was renewed for another two years.
  • A policy on Continuous Improvement Cycle was approved.
  • The holiday policy was revised to read: The College is to observe all FSM and host state holidays.
  • The Board approved the proposed revisions and made further revision to Section VIII Compensation Policies and Practices of the Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual. The revisions are to be implemented March 2009.
  • Due to the current market situation, the Board delayed implementation of the reallocation of the endowment fund which was approved January 2009. Upon the advice of the investment consultant, the college is to gradually move toward full implementation.
  • The Board adopted a resolution recognizing and commending Mr. Andrew R. Yatilman for his commitment, service, and dedication to the College and the nation while serving on the COM-FSM Board of Regents.
  • The Board directed the administration to develop several budget scenarios that bring the Board's approved FY 2009 budget to the funding level for the Board's consideration at the next meeting.
  • The administration was directed to look into the feasibility of conducting job audits, including the cost, which would lead to policy formation.
  • The minutes as amended of the December 3-5, 2008, regular meeting and the minutes of the January 13, 2009, teleconference meeting were adopted.
  • The next Board meeting will be held May 19-22 at the college’s national campus.
COM Board of Regents Meets in Guam

The College of Micronesia Land Grant Board of Regents held its first quarter meeting in Guam on March 13-14, 2009. (College of Micronesia Land Grant is the last remaining component of the former college system which has now divided into the College of the Marshall Islands, Palau Community College and the College of Micronesia-FSM). The board members and the presidents of the three colleges attended the meeting.  The Board approved the FY 2009 budgets and elected new officers during the meeting.

The following directives were approved by the COM Land Grant Board and issued for implementation:

  1. The Board, hereby, approves BOR Resolution 09-01 requesting the three signatory governments to extend the expiration date of the COM Treaty for 2 years to
    September 30, 2011.

  2. The Board, hereby, approves Executive Director's funding requests as follows:

    1. not more than $22,000 to fund a meeting among representatives of PCC, CMI, COMFS and COM Central Office in connection with the updating of the COM Plan of Work as well as the drafting of the fy2008 Report of Accomplishment; and

    2. not more than $30,000 to fund the compilation of data, drafting, preparation, editing and printing of  an Entomology book for Micronesia as proposed by PCC's Dr. Esquerrra. Executive Director is authorized to identify the appropriate funding sources, whether Hatch, Smith-Lever or others, for these purposes as noted above.

  3. The Board, hereby, approves the proposed amendments to the COM Investment Policy
  4. Statement (IPS) by deleting the first two sentences of section IV in their entirety. The new policy shall read as follows:


    The annual spending policy of the Board of Regents is subject to the demands imposed by the annual budget process, and will be adjusted accordingly."

  5. The proposed COM Fiscal Year 2009 Consolidated Budget is, hereby, approved for implementation.

  6. The Board, hereby, approves $150,000, to be divided equally among PCC, CMI, and COM-FSM, from fy2008 unused Hatch funds to be utilized for: a) complete needed laboratory construction; and b) provide laboratory furnishing and equipment as appropriate. Budget justification shall be provided to Executive Director as basis for the allotment advice for these funds.
  7. Depending on availability, Executive Director may request additional funding from the
    Board, should it be determined that it is needed to enable the new laboratories to be operational. Executive Director may notify, and receive approval from, the Regents thru email, phone, fax or other means of communication. It is the wish of the Board to have all the research laboratories in the three nations fully operational, equipped and staffed with appropriate researcher(s) as soon as practicable.

  8. The COM Board of Regents elects its 2009 Board officers as follows:
    ROP Regent Masa – Aki Emesiochl is Chairman; RMI Regent Nidel Lorak is Vice Chairman; and FSM Regent Andrew Yatilman is Secretary/Treasurer.

  9. The next Board meeting shall be held in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands the first week of June on a date to be determined by the Chairman in consultation with the RMI Regent.
Upward Bound Students from Chuuk, Kosrae and Yap to Visit National Campus

Upward Bound students from Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap will visit the national campus from
April 4th – 10th, 2009. The students will be staying at the national campus dorms and eating at the cafeteria. The visit will feature activities at community churches in town, courtesy visit to COM-FSM president, visiting classes at the national campus, visits to FSM national complex, meeting students at the national campus and shopping. Pohnpei state campus Upward Bound Program students completed their visit to the national campus during the month of February 2009 and will not be participating at the upcoming visits as well.

Although the Accrediting Commission rejected the College’s Follow-Up Report, the College is still in good accreditation status with the Commission.  The College is currently not in any kind of sanction like warning, probation, or show cause.  President James wants to assure the college community, the leadership of the FSM National and the State governments and other stakeholders that the College will work hard to resubmit the report by March 15, 2009.

COM-FSM Students Perform Cultural Dances for Board after Chuuk State Campus Meeting

Cultural dance performer from two Chuuk islands showcased cultural dances for the COM-FSM Board of Regents and the president’s cabinet after the dinner marking the end of the Board meeting at Chuuk state campus.

In an unrelated but relevant issue, the preservation of cultures at college campuses is going to be part of the Founding Day Activities at all six sites when the college celebrates its founding day on April 1, 2009.  The theme of this year’s founding day is “16 years of preserving culture at the COM-FSM”. The college sees itself as one of the only few institutions in the FSM that preserves Micronesian cultures as well as doing nation-building in the FSM. As part of its mission, the college brings students from all parts of the FSM together to live and learn together.

Dance From The Mortlocks  Dance From The N.W. Islands
Students from the Mortlock Islands
Students from the Northwest Islands


Kosrae State Campus Holds Staff Development Day in February

Kosrae Campus conducted its Staff Development Day activities, sessions, and workshops on February 27, 2009.  Given below are photos showing sessions and workshops conducted by faculty and staff for members of the College of Micronesia – FSM community at Kosrae state campus.

Kosrae Campus Staff DevelopmentKosrae WorkshopKosrae Staff Develpment Participants