Liberia: Nimba University President Vows to Provide Vibrant Leadership

Nimba University College, Dr. Jesse Noah Mongrue.

--- — Kicks against tribalism and sectionalism

The newly appointed president of the Nimba University College, Dr. Jesse Noah Mongrue, has vowed to provide vibrant leadership and make the university second to none in Liberia.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer in Sanniquellie on March 4, he said his leadership will be inclusive and tribal-free.

“We will take the university to a level that is compatible with the outside world, not only Liberia but also makes the institution meet the 21st-century challenges,” he said.

Dr. Mongrue said his administration has already begun lobbying with partners, including the Chinese Embassy, the Indian Embassy, and other reputable local institutions for the betterment of the university. He talked about inclusion, with priority to women and any other well-meaning Liberian and other nationals.

As a community college, tribal issues had been one of the sources of confusion among the staff and even the local leadership, where certain tribes wanted to play dominant roles and also control access to opportunities such as employment.

But, Dr. Mongrue in the interview dismissed any implication of tribalism. “This university is not Nimba University, simply because it was built in Nimba, but it belongs to everybody regardless of where you come from or your tribal affiliations,” he said.

“We are a government university built in Nimba. So we are open to anyone,” he said. “Our goal is to mold the minds of the next generation, ensuring children get the best education."

Dr. Jesse Noah Mongrue is an educator, who lived and worked in the United States for about 36 years. He replaces Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor, who is now serving as head of  Liberia’s National Commission on Higher Education.

Dr. Mongrue is now third president of the Nimba County Community College, now Nimba University, but boasted of being the first president of the Nimba University, because it was during his administration that the institution was granted full-fledged degree-granting status.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mongrue said he has come with an open mind and open options “to do the best I can for my people — not just Nimba people, but Liberia.”

“Working together is fine,” he said, “but if you want to criticize, be constructive in your criticisms, because we are here for one common goal, to help Nimba and the entire country,” he said.