College of Micronesia -FSM

Federated States of Micronesia
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June 10, 2009- Palikir, Pohnpei


To:          All Concerned
From:      President
Subject:   President’s Update #328
College Community Meets in May for President’s Retreat 2009

The College prepared for and hosted President’s Retreat 2009 on May 12-14, 2009, where participants discussed the challenges facing the college and how to accommodate the changes in enrollment while still maintaining and or continuously improving the quality of programs and services. A total of 146 participants attended this year’s retreat. Out of the many options for structural change, the retreat participants recommended that that the college maintains its current structure and called for major modifications. The recommendation will be communicated to Resources and Planning Committee to refine it and further recommends it to President’s Cabinet for the COM-FSM Board of Regents at their August 24-28, 2009, meeting in Kosrae.

COM-FSM Board of Regents Holds Second 2009 Regular Meeting in Pohnpei

The College of Micronesia-FSM Board of Regents had their second regular meeting of the fiscal year 2009 in Pohnpei at the COM-FSM National Campus during the week of May 18-21, 2009.  Four of the five board members were present at the meeting. 

The following actions and directives were adopted by the Regents during the meeting:

  • Guidelines for developing FY 2011 operations budget was approved for used in formulating the system wide FY 2011 budgets.
  • Increase in cost of meals at the cafeteria was approved effective fall 2009 as follows:
  Current Rate COM-FSM     Non COM-FSM
Breakfast $2.50 $3.00 $4.00
Lunch  $3.00 $3.50 $4.50
Dinner $3.00 $3.00 $4.50
  • The Board approved phasing out the A.S. Degree in Teacher Education – Elementary Program that is available at state campuses and replacing it with the A.A Degree in Teacher Preparation Program.
  • The class attendance policy was revised.
  • The proposed revisions to the alcohol policy and imbedded procedures were approved for immediate implementation.
  • The Board revised its FY 2009 expenditure budget to reflect the appropriated amount.
  • The Board amended the travel advance policy to provide 100% of the per diem prior to traveling.  The policy on outstanding travel advances are to be enforced.
  • The minutes as amended of the March 10-12, 2009, special meeting were adopted.
College Leadership Consults with OIA and SBOC on Budget

 The COM-FSM leadership met with representative of the U.S. Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) and the FSM Office of Statistics, Budget & Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance & Compact Management (SBOC) in May and discussed the FY 2010 budgets, infrastructure development projects (IDP), and infrastructure maintenance funds (IMF). 

The College informed the OIA representatives that its FY 2010 budget from the Compact Education Sector grant has been reduced to $3.67 million from a $3.9 million submission.  The OIA representatives were surprised by that reduction.  The FSM SBOC representatives also requested the College to resubmit its FY 2010 budget based on the FSM Executive Budget Review Committee recommendations by June 5, 2009, so the budget can be included in the FSM budgets submission to U.S. Government.

OIA representatives also discussed the OIA-endorsed Infrastructure Developments Projects for the College.  Only two projects are pending and these are the vocational buildings for Kosrae and Pohnpei state campuses.  The other component of the IDP that was discussed relates to the matching funds for the College’s IDP funds.  As reported by the OIA representatives, College may not tap into the IMF funds pending a matching fund deposit by the FSM Government.

The College was represented by Joe Habuchmai -Vice President for Administration, Ringlen Ringlen - Vice President for Student Services, Jean Thoulag - Vice President for Instructional Affairs, Jim Currie - Vice President for Cooperative Research and Extension, Jimmy Hicks - Director of Research and Planning, Danny Dumantay - Comptroller, Penny Weilbacher – Pohnpei State Campus Director, and Spensin James – COM-FSM President.

COM Board of Regents Holds June Meeting in Majuro

The College of Micronesia Board of Regents met in Majuro, Marshall Islands, for its June 4-5, 2009 meeting.  The three regents representing the three entities of the Freely Associated States (FAS) of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau were present at the meeting.  The presidents from the three higher education institutions served by the College of Micronesia Land Grant were also in attendance, including the president of the College of Micronesia – FSM, Marshall Islands Community College, and Palau Community College. 

The following actions and directives were adopted at the Regents meeting in Majuro: 

  • The Board hereby approves the following guidelines for FY 2010 budget:
  • for FY 2010, the level of the operation revenues for all programs shall be capped at the same level as FY 2009;
  • Unused Smith-Lever Hatch, EFNEP, IPM and other funds from FY 2009, unless specifically approved for reprogramming or carry-over, shall be forfeited and included in the general fund in FY 2010 as revenue;
  • Endowment income ( for BOR, Fund audit, Extension Specialist) and other local funding sources shall be identified by the Executive Director and provided as part of revenue for FY 2010;
  • All 6 Extension Sites annual budget may be increased by $10, 000, however, any site that has at lease one Extension Agent position still vacant, will not receive this increase.  Such sites with vacant position, however, may request for reprogramming of their personnel budget to be used for “all other” expenses including POL, utilities, supplies, equipment and others, and
  • The proposed FY 2010 budgets shall be submitted to the Executive Director no later than 30 days prior to the next BOR meeting for consolidation and submission to the Board for approval at its next meeting.
  • Executive Director’s recommendation to reprogram $50,000 from CMI’s FY 2009 unused Hatch allocation is approved.  This is a replacement for the $50,000 the Board had authori8zed for CMI from the FY 2008 unused Hatch funds which later was determined to be unavailable.  Furthermore, in order to maintain equity in the distribution of funs among the three colleges, the Board, hereby, commits itself to find $50,000 for CMI to replace the original FY 2008’s $50,000 that became unavailable.
  • Beginning in the current FY 2009, the Board hereby authorizes the CRE VP/Dean to match up to $5,000 Hatch funds to be used for program administration-related expenses.
  • The Board hereby approves $3,000 increase to VP/Dean CRE budgets to support office expenses related to the accounting, development of financial reports, duplication of records, mailing, and other related activities in connection with the land-grant programs.  The fund may also be used for purchasing office equipment and supplies for similar purposes as needed.  The Board would be willing to consider a recommendation at the next meeting regarding budget support for a certain FTE for a business office staff who is doing work directly related to the land-grant programs - - both research and extension.
  • The Board hereby express[es] its support for COM’s partner colleges by handing over to CMI President, Dr. Wilson Hess, the original Charter which established in 1989 the “COM-Majuro” as a full fledged college, the predecessor to the present “College of the Marshall Islands”.
  • In light of the proposed schedule of the next BOR meeting to be held in October, the Board hereby provides authorization of funding, at the FY 2009 level, beginning October 1, 2009 until the Board adopts the FY 2010 budget.
  • The next Board meeting will be held in Palau in October on a date, or dates, to be determined by the Chairman back to back with other meetings in Palau at that period of time.  Furthermore, the schedule of the next meeting should allow the Regents to attend the APAFS meeting in Manila, Philippines as part of their fiduciary oversight responsibility of the COM Land Grant Endowment Fund.
COM-FSM to Present on Workforce Training at APIL Meeting

The College of Micronesia-FSM has been invited by the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL) President J. Kalani English to be a presenter at the APIL 28th General Assembly Conference during the week of June 9-12, 2009 in Pohnpei. The College will speak about its vocational and trade programs currently being offered.

The theme of this year’s General Assembly Conference is: “The Military Buildup on Guam and our Islands”. The College will be presenting its existing programs as part of its efforts towards economic development.

College Renews Student Exchange Agreement with Waseda University

An agreement for student exchange scholarship between Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, and the College of Micronesia-FSM was renewed for another 3 consecutive academic years commencing in 2010-2012. The agreement provides one full scholarship to one COM-FSM exchange student that will cover tuition and room and board as well as travel allowances and other expenses once the student arrives in Tokyo. The College of Micronesia-FSM will provide the same services for the student from Waseda University.

The agreement between the two institutions has been in effect for nine years and has been renewed three times. The agreement will further strengthen the existing collaborations between these two institutions of higher learning in the Federated States of Micronesia and Japan.

College of Micronesia-FSM Graduates 120 in Spring 2009

One hundred twenty (120) students graduated from five of the College’s sites during Spring Semester 2009 commencement exercises on May 18, 2009.  Among these students were 7 students who will be receiving their Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Elementary Education through the University of Guam and the COM-FSM Partnership Program. 

The following is the breakdown of the number graduates from each of the five sites of the College of Micronesia – FSM:

Site Number of Graduates
Chuuk State Campus    11
Kosrae State Campus 7
National Campus  85
Pohnpei State Campus  7
Yap State Campus 10

The College of Micronesia – FSM is one college existing at six sites throughout the FSM.

Results of the COM-FSM Entrance Test

The College administered COM-FSM Entrance Test (COMET) to 1721 students from FSM high school seniors from private and public high schools, certificate students at COM-FSM campuses, and interested FSM citizens during Spring Semester 2009.  Four hundred ten (410) of these students, 24%, were invited to enroll in the degree programs and one thousand and sixty four students (1,064), 62%, were invited to enroll in certificate programs and remedial courses/program.  About two hundred forty seven (247) students, 14%, of the 1721 students tested were not invited to enroll at the college during school year 2009-2010.