The Northern Marianas College announced yesterday its support for the passage of Senate Legislative Initiative 17-12, and encouraged the public to vote “yes” on the measure in the upcoming November elections.
Senate Legislative Initiative 17-12 proposes to revise NMC's mission statement. It is one of the three measures up for ratification on Nov. 6.
NMC president Sharon Y. Hart, Ph.D., said the initiative was passed by the Legislature through the college's recommendation.
“We worked with the members of the Legislature in seeing this through the legislative process so that voters can decide on this important issue,” Hart said.
If passed, the initiative will give the NMC Board of Regents the authority and flexibility to establish the college's mission statement. At present, the college is limited in its ability to revisit the mission statement as it is embedded in the CNMI Constitution.
NMC Student Services dean Leo Pangelinan said that the only community college in the CNMI must evolve and grow to reflect the community it serves.
“Just as NMC must evolve and grow to reflect the community it serves, the changing economic landscape of the CNMI, and global trends in education, so too must its mission statement,” said Pangelinan.
According to NMC officials, the initiative passage's would also help NMC comply with accreditation standards. These standards state that NMC's mission statement should be reviewed regularly and revised when necessary.
“Without the passage of Initiative 17-12, the college will not be able to review the mission statement on a regular basis nor will it be able to make any revisions without undergoing a constitutional amendment, which can be a lengthy and arduous process,” said Barbara Merfalen, dean of Academic Programs and Services.