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Marianas Variety: Irene Torres, Michael Evangelista sworn in as new NMC regents (August 29, 2016)

GOVERNOR Ralph D.L.G. Torres on Friday swore in two Northern Marianas College alumni as new regents, saying that hard work at NMC can lead to success as the examples of Irene Torres and Michael Evangelista show.

“I want the students to know there’s opportunity at NMC and they can succeed here and make this institution great for all of us,” the governor said.

Torres and Evangelista are succeeding Malua Peter and William Torres whose terms expired already.

“I respect both of them and I know they’ve done an extraordinary job,” the governor said referring to the former regents.

He said he believes that there’s an opportunity to have new regents to come in and assist the college with their knowledge and experience.

In an interview prior to the swearing-in ceremony in the NMC board conference room, Irene Torres and Evangelista said they will focus on maintaining the college’s accreditation.

“I want to make sure that we continue to meet the standards and requirements of the accreditation commission,” Irene Torres said.

She said she also would like to establish a good working relationship with the other regents.

For his part, Evangelista said he is aware that as a member of a policy-making body, “I will not try to micro-manage the college.”

He added, “I know that other regents understand that, but I would stress that during my term as regent my role is policy-making. I will stick to that. Our role is also to support the management of the college and try to find money to support them in reaching the goals and vision of the college.”

A lawyer, Evangelista said NMC currently has a legal counsel, former Associate Justice Jesus C. Borja, “and we respect his legal opinions.”

“That’s how I will conduct myself, and I want to make sure the other regents will also respect that,” he said, adding that the other regents will bring their own expertise and knowledge to the board.

“We will complement one another with our skills and knowledge for the betterment of the college.”

Evangelista is currently involved on the search committee to hire a new college president following the expiration of Dr. Sharon Hart’s term this year.

He said if his involvement in the search committee conflicts with his position as regent he will excuse himself from the discussions.

Maintaining NMC’s accreditation, he added, should be another major focus for the board.

NMC interim president David Attao, in a separate interview, said the new two regents “have a good vision for the college and community — they are professionals and we’re happy to have them on our board.”

Attao said the board under the leadership of Frank Rabauliman is “very supportive” of the college.

“Their [the regents] focus is on three main areas — employees, faculty and our students. They’ve been giving us direction and support,” Attao added.

The other regents are vice chairwoman Elaine H. Orilla, treasurer Michaela U. Sanchez, Juan T. Lizama and Cynthia I Deleon Guerrero.

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