….“I am disappointed to hear that the University Faculty Senate has decided to graduate the students in question despite my testimony to them on a conference call. Based on this fact, I have decided to reinstate my resignation from the Law School,” Allison wrote Cllr. Jallah Barbu, the Dean of the Law School.
A professor at the Louis Arthur Grimes Law School, Cllr. Frances Johnson-Allison has resigned from her post following the decision of the University of Liberia’s faculty to graduate two of her students who allegedly bribed a staffer in her office to alter their failing grades.
Allison, an assistant professor at the law school, accused Alimatu Nuri Hutchinson and Ebenezer Mass Wilson of conniving with her secretary, Allen Toe, to change their “D” grades to “C,” which paved the way for their graduation during the university’s just ended convocation.
“I am disappointed to hear that the University Faculty Senate has decided to graduate the students in question despite my testimony to them on a conference call,” Allison wrote in a letter to Cllr. Jallah Barbu, the Dean of the Law School.
“Based on this fact, I have decided to reinstate my resignation from the law school since it seems that the university is more interested in graduating students than pursuing academic excellence and integrity.”
Hutchinson and Wilson have, however, denied failing Allison’s Children’s Law course at the Louis Arthur Grimes Law School, even though Allison, who is apparently in the U.S. on vacation, insists that they failed.
However, the University of Liberia has claimed that the allegations against Hutchinson and Wilson were never formally communicated, but an investigation was carried out before allowing the accused to graduate.
“On the issue of Prof. Johnson-Allison, we looked at the pros and cons, and in the wisdom of the school and the university, we gave the benefit of the doubt to the students, and we went ahead to graduate those students, and we stand by their graduation,” said Dr. Julius Nelson, UL President, at a press conference.
“Facebook is not the place where you do university business. You have to understand this, and Cllr. Johnson understands the rules of engagement at the law school and the university,” he said. “If there is a formal complaint from the professor, she will have to write to the appropriate committee. Until that is done, we don’t know that she has a complaint.”
Allison's resignation comes after the UL faculty senate, a body that Nelson is chairing, placed a WhatsApp call to verify her claims after she reported the matter to the police.
However, the school still went ahead to graduate the students on the grounds that Allison did not file a formal complaint.
“ I present my compliments and wish to express regrets for the embarrassment and inconvenience caused the Law School and the University at large as a result of the unscrupulous and fraudulent conduct of my secretary, Mr. Allen S. Toe, who altered my Children's Law grades by changing the failing grades of two students, namely, Alimatu Nuiri and Ebenezer Wilson, thereby clearing them for graduation,” Allison wrote in her resignation.
The University of Liberia is the country's largest and oldest university. Located in Monrovia, the university opened in 1862 and today has six colleges, including a medical school and the nation's only law school, the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
The Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law prides itself on having Liberia’s leading lawyers on the faculty. One of them is Allison, who has also served at the helm of a number of Liberia’s integrity institutions, including the Supreme Court of Liberia (Chief Justice), the National Elections Commission (Chairperson), and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (Chairperson).
Known to be one of the best professors at the law school, her resignation might be a setback to the institution.