The Northern Marianas College Board of Regents has elected Frank Rabauliman as its new chairman during an election Friday.
Rabauliman was chosen to lead NMC’s policy-making body in a unanimous vote.
Rabauliman conveyed his gratitude to the vote of confidence he received from his peers and pledged the board’s full support to the mission and vision of the college.
Rabauliman was nominated to the post by regent Michaela Sanchez and this immediately seconded by regent Malua Peter.
Present at the meeting were six regents: Rabauliman, Sanchez, Elaine Orilla, and newly confirmed members Juan Lizama and Malua Peter. Joining the group was its newest member, Dr. Elizabeth Rechebei, while regent William Torres participated via teleconference.
Rabauliman, in his message, recognized the hard work and untiring support of his predecessor, Lizama, for his leadership during one of the most difficult times of the institution—addressing the show-cause status of NMC’s accreditation.
As he formally assumed the chairman’s seat Friday, Rabauliman outlined the direction he wants the board to forge.
“I would like to share my vision, being the new chair of this board: I’d like to see this board moving forward and be very deliberative in discussion of issues. However, we should be mindful that we make sure we’re on track. As the facilitator of this meeting, I expect everybody to come ready and have studied the issues for discussion. We won’t dwell on one issue over and over again…” Rabauliman told members. He cited past instances when regents often spent “too much” time discussing one issue over and over again.
He said he also looks forward to working with NMC president Dr. Sharon Y. Hart.
Rabauliman pointed out that despite the submission of the show-cause report and the completion of the accreditation team visit, NMC is not yet out of the woods, so everybody must work together to realize the affirmation it desires for the college.
The fate of NMC’s accreditation is expected to be known after the accrediting commission’s January assembly. Hart and Rabauliman will be expected to participate in that assembly.
In Friday’s election, Lizama was nominated to the vice chair position but he immediately declined the nomination. That led to the re-election of Elaine Orilla to the post, along with Malua Peter to the treasurer position. The two have served the same positions in past board leaderships.
For the three standing committees, Rabauliman appointed Lizama to head the personnel committee while Torres and Rechebei will handle the fiscal affairs and programs committees, respectively. The new committee heads were given flexibility to choose their members.
Also on Friday, Hart recognized Lizama for demonstrating commitment and full support for the college, especially on the issue of accreditation. She lauded Lizama’s leadership for making difficult decisions on college policies. Among these policy decisions are the removal of honorary regents and the imposition of a minimum qualification for faculty—which both received some criticisms from some sectors. Hart said she looks forward to working with the new board leadership.