Marianas Variety

SAIPAN, CNMI (Feb. 20, 2008) – The latest government agency to demonstrate its inability to plan and operate according to industry standards is Northern Marianas College, which was excoriated by WASC in a report that highlights NMC’s glaring deficiencies, inexperienced board of trustees, unqualified management team, inadequate teaching staff, unsatisfactory services for the student body, and a host of other problems that aren’t likely to change significantly anytime in the near future. Consider, for example, its good programs — nursing and accounting. They have certified instructors one year but maybe not the next year, leaving kids enrolled in those programs high and dry, and making it near impossible to market those programs locally or abroad.

Losing accreditation, in any case, makes NMC degrees worthless. Ongoing threats of closure, moreover, will have an affect on enrollment, especially in the degree programs, and raise questions about whether tuition already paid by students should be refunded in full once accreditation is pulled.

The underlying problems at the college are also afflicting other large government departments where there is an obvious lack of qualified and experienced people but no consequences for poor performance. Like other disintegrating government agencies of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), NMC has good staff members, but they, too, are not properly served by their leaders.

Accreditation can be lost but nothing will happen to the leaders of the institution. Everyone will remain in place, and not having consequences for failure will mean that the whole situation will repeat itself, again.

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