The President of College of Micronesia caught in pushing out Micronesians from jobs

Many Micronesian are losing out by joining the college. The college president is making the college as his own empire preferring non Micronesians to get the jobs over FSMers. His own cronies in the college are enforcing this as if they own the college. There is a FSM policy that FSM citizens first and if no citizens can fill the jobs then foreigners will be considered. This has been backed up by the President's policy that FSM citizens should also have experience first overseas before they can join the college. Is the college now belongs to foreigners to tell Micronesians what to do? .Look at the top positions filled by foreigners like the President, vice presidents and others plus teaching positions. This is insane as FSM are no longer in control and now are moving overseas to find jobs. The Congress and the FSM President should look into the College doing these things especially the president encircling himself with cronies to protect himself. Start question the college president and his scouts club at the college.


  • I think the standard to evaluate COM-FSM President is not the same as we evaluate politicians--at national, state or municipal governments. It's really should not be based on popularity leading to the next election or based on how many Micronesians should/could be hired.

    The best measurement is whether COM-FSM has achieved full accreditation; and whether the requirements to maintain the accreditation standards are met or have been met.

    Just a couple of years ago, COM-FSM faced a bleak future when its accreditation status was about to be yanked out--after several years of accreditation reports and improvements that never met the standards. Everybody knew that if COM-FSM were to lose its accreditation status, then, none of the FSM citizens could use their Pell Grant awards to attend COM-FSM.

    I believe that was the reason the Board searched hard and wide and selected a tough executive who they hoped would bring COM-FSM to a level of quality as to meet the accreditation standards. After his hiring, yes, some people were laid off; some new people were hired. I believe these recruitment decisions were based solely on getting the best possible employees to join the Team in order to prevent COM-FSM from losing its accreditation status.

    Yes, there is need to hire more locals. At the moment, it is understanding the VP for Administration is a Yapese, a former LT. Governor of Yap. VP for Instruction is married to a Chuukese man. Those of us who became nervous, a couple of years ago, when COM-FSM was about to lose its accreditation status, we think the Board made the right decision to hire this particular person to be the executive. Yes, we may not like his strong management style; but that's how he gets things done. After all this is a college--not a high school or elementary school or political arena. Just my personal observation.
  • @visafree, see what did i tell you. Foreigners also control FSM.
  • May I say that foreigners are hired to get the job done--jobs that we sometimes cannot do. This also include lawyers, doctors, nurses, computer programmers, economists, business analysts, etc., etc. In the future, when all qualified citizens have returned to the islands to work, the need for foreign workers/helpers/technicians/executives will be minimal or hopefully, eliminated altogether. Looking forward to that day!
  • Its also a common practice to hire foriegners and give them higher wages but when a micronesian gets hired his or her wage WOULD be lower than the white person.
  • As for me, I believe in equal work for equal pay. Compensation policies are meant to ensure that. However, for difficult to fill positions, exceptions could be made. I think that's fair too.
  • edited September 2018
    marc, so what about the policy of hiring Micronesian first if they can do the job on equal footing, or if they are more qualified than the foreigners, for example, Filipinos. Should we ignore the President hiring policy, which in effect contradict what has been handed down by the FSM government. Congress needs to investigate these allegations to get to the bottom of such. The restructuring of COM since last year is creating unnecessary stress on instructors. They are overload with teaching classes and have no time to do research. The president approved that each departments should have no chair. A new instructional coordinator is taking over despite the fact that instructors have more knowledge and better qualified than the coordinator. This structure creates more layers of red tape to shield complaints from reaching the top and shield those at the top positions. Complains are killed before they get to their destination. The college is structured like a corporation than a learning institution. That is why it is getting back its accreditation.
  • Yir, the issues you've raised seem serious. I think the Board should be the one to investigate not the government(s). The Governing Board is the one charged by the governments to oversee COM-FSM. If the governments were to try to interfere with the operation of the college, COM-FSM accreditation status will be jeopardized.

    On the other hand, there are basic laws of the land against discrimination--especially, if a Micronesian is qualified for the job. The college can be sued by an applicant for a job if it can be proven that he/she was discriminated against. Just some thoughts.
  • marc, the board can do its own internal investigation and oversight should be by Congress. Yes, the FSM College Corporation Inc. It is no longer the College of Micronesia.
  • Someone should write a letter to the board as it seems they are blind folded by the charmers in the college.
  • the drinking water at the cafeteria continues to be a problem as many Kosraean students are complaining that it comes directly from the tap water which we all know that tap water is tagged as "potable" but is not really the case, it sometimes full of dirt when heavy rain falls tap water becomes red. the issue is of grave concern. they complained bout frequent upset stomachs and such from drinking the tap in Kosrae we don't drink tap water and we want our kids in college at COM to be drinking from rainwater catchment, this is not a request, it is a DEMAND, el Presidente, FIX IT or take a hike...
  • Shame the water remains a problem. WHY?
  • Probably the locals are not up for the jobs.
  • kidding me? college graduates have gone back to USA tired of waiting for job openings. All contract jobs in administration and instructional affairs should be advertized after the contracts are terminated. in this way it opens up for competition and bring in new blood into the college system. Those who are on contract should also reapply for their positions to compete for the same job. Far too long they are too comfortable in sitting in the offices with air con and protect themselves by keep signing the same contract year after year. This is the reason cronies are protected by the system especially by the President.
  • I don't want to appear to blindly support COM-FSM, however, there is another side of the coin. COM-FSM used to have a personal system similar to the governments: once you're hired, you have the job for life until terminated for cause.

    In order to weed out the unproductive workers, COM-FSM adopted a 4-year contract system. If you are not producing based on your annual evaluation, then, at the end of the 4-year contract, your contract will simply not be renewed. For those who are evaluated who meet the satisfactory or better performance, you contract will be renewed.

    Actually, I think this is a better system than the governments. It is also a better system than most of the college and universities that have what is referred as "tenure" system--where a faculty, even the unproductive one--cannot be easily terminated. Just my observation.
  • edited September 2018
    On the contrary marc. A merit system should be in place so all interested applicants can compete when the contract ends. That will attract a pool of applicants to compete. To merely extent a contract is contrary to the merit system after all the college is a public institution, not a private institution. Without such a crony system is developing where new applicants are being discourage to enter the college system. Moreover, layer s of red tape have been developed to safeguard the people on contracts. It is called internal power mechanism to protect their own turf. This practice needs to be changed to allow new blood.
  • Kaselehlie maingko, and my respect to each and every one of you,

    With respect, Rebel, I believe what marc is referring to is, indeed, a merit system. If COM-FSM believes that you will contribute to the notion that "student success is our success", and you otherwise pass their paper screening, then you get a 4-year contract. If, after that contract expires, you're deemed to have contributed to student success, you get a new contract. If not, then you don't. Is that not a merit-based system?

    And, if I may be so bold, while I can appreciate the concerns stated in this thread, what I would argue I find concerning is the lack of emphasis in our conversation on student outcomes. In my view, everything we do when it comes to education--at the primary, secondary, or tertiary level--should be under the lens of "how does this help students?" Should COM-FSM adapt new hiring policies? "How does this help students?" Does current COM-FSM policy in any arbitrary or hypothetical area negatively impact student performance? If so, how can we improve it to help students?

    When I look at COM-FSM from the perspective of someone in the Pohnpei Department of Education, what I'm seeing in recent memory is terrific emphasis on helping students become successful. Native Micronesians like Sylvia Henry and Gardner Edgar, American-by-birth but essentially white Micronesians like Dana Lee Ling and Sue Moses--I only see good things. In particular, what I am truly excited about is the development of a BA or BS program in the next couple of years. I suspect that will be a genuine game-changer for our country.

    I presume you have more of a background on the inner-workings of COM-FSM than I do, and I respect your concerns with regards to their hiring policies. Perhaps the COM-FSM Board should ask some questions to determine if present policy helps students--and if not, how it can be changed to help them.

    Regarding contacting the COM-FSM Board, while I regret I cannot tell you who all of the board's members are--it's not something I've looked up--I am fairly confident that my very own Director with Pohnpei DOE is one such individual. If you'd like to contact him to share your concerns at the next COM-FSM Board meeting, I would be happy to give you his email address.

    Ni wahu,

    -Richard Clark
  • edited September 2018
    No assistance required Sir Richard Clark. I can without your assistance. While I understand your concern about the merit system, that does not quite match with many perspectives. A merit system is based on access to employment on fair and square determination. I am not against retaining those who have been in the system for a long time and contribute to the college. If that is the case, then of course they will be re-hired when new applicants are screened against them, that is what I called merit system. What is the fear here?

    Your notion of student outcomes as the first priority is like talking about the chicken and the egg--what comes first? How can you have better outcomes if the college is mediocre, for example? The administration side of the College is all stacked like a corporation deciding what is good for the instructors and thus the students. No longer the instructors part of the heart of the college decision making process. They are overwork and under pay, while the non teaching administrators staff are enjoying sitting and controlling the instructors. Take the case of the chairs of each department being abolished? Why ?

    The College needs to be scrutinized all the times. The fact that it continues its accreditation under the current President, does not mean we should stop questioning practices within the college. Far from it. The public has a right to know what is going on.
  • The College needs to be scrutinized all the times. The fact that it continues its accreditation under the current President, does not mean we should stop questioning practices within the college. Far from it. The public has a right to know what is going on.
  • imagethat's ugly if it's true
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