The President of the University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Julius Julukon Nelson, Jr., has hailed the tremendous progress the university has made with support from the Government of Liberia toward solving perennial, age-old problems that have affected the running of the institution.
In a live Christmas Message delivered Thursday, December 23, on UL Capitol Hill Campus, President Nelson confidently said after months of head-splitting discussions, a roadmap to solving the university’s perennial infrastructural and other critical academic problems has now been developed.
“Fellow members of the UL family, I can confidently say that the University of Liberia has made tremendous progress with support from the Government of Liberia toward solving our problems, or turning our problems into opportunities for sustainable development,” he said.
Dr. Nelson gave special thanks to the President of the Republic of Liberia and Visitor of the University of Liberia, Dr. George Manneh Weah, for his continuous interest and support toward the sustenance of the nation’s highest institution of learning.
“We are grateful to you Mr. President, as well as your able lieutenants; especially Hon. Samuel Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, and his team, who have stood by your side so far, in crafting and implementing policies and programs that will positively affect the overall educational sector of our country, including the Lux in Tenebris,” said Dr. Nelson.
“Rest assured, Your Excellency, we will continue to work with your leadership in taking the University of Liberia from level to level, from stage to stage,” he said further.
Dr. Nelson said it is in this direction that discussions on finding a lasting solution to the perennial problems, resulted in the signing on October 1, of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the UL, the Government, and the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA).
In more practical terms, said Dr. Nelson, the first phase of a massive renovation is expected to commence during this Christmas break and will continue upon return to school after the break.
“Thanks to His Excellency, Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and Visitor of the University of Liberia, an initial commitment of US$375,000 has been committed to commence the first phase of renovation works, which is expected to last at least five weeks,” Dr. Nelson announced.
He also gave special appreciation to the Ministry of Public Works, the General Services Agency, The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment, and the Armed Forces of Liberia (Engineering Battalion), for their collaboration with the university in carrying out the renovation exercise.
The UL President explained that it is no secret that this academic year has been a year filled with challenges and difficulties, but he is grateful that together the university has managed to reach thus far in one piece as a family.
“Fellow members of the university family, as a family, I mean in the true definition of 'family', we have had internal differences and will surely continue to have differences; however, it is always incumbent upon us to reflect on our differences and find appropriate solutions,” he pleaded with stakeholders of the university.
He added that as they celebrate the joy of Christmas, he is happy that the university has risen above its problems and is on a new track with renewed commitment.
“The University Administration and the Government of Liberia are jointly resolved to provide an unhindered learning environment for our students and faculty,” he stated.
“Your constant engagements are always welcomed as our partners, the University of Liberia
Faculty Association, University of Liberia Staff Association, and our student body. Bettering the university is a joint effort of all stakeholders, in the University family and beyond,” said Dr. Nelson.
He continued that the various stakeholders’ commitment, support, dedication, hard work, prayers, expertise, and professionalism are all contributing factors that kept the University of Liberia alive and running, despite the challenges faced.
“Let me encourage you as you celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, to remember our commitment to developing and molding the minds of the future leaders of this great country, Liberia,” he noted.
He urged the university family to return in the New Year with renewed vigor and efforts to roll up their sleeves and join the wagon of reconciliation and sustainable development at the Nation’s Premier Institution of Higher learning, the microcosm of the larger society.
He suggested that the more investment is made in the younger generation, the better it will be for the country, and the world at large.
“To our hard-working and energetic academicians, your diligence and tenacity in contributing to molding the minds of our future generation cannot be overlooked. We appreciate you so much. We know we do have some differences at times, but there is no progress without divergence of views and opinions,” Dr. Nelson indicated.
He also lauded the administrative and support staff of the university, saying without them, the University of Liberia will cease to exist.
“Our resilience as a family has seen us overcome the second strain of COVID-19, an academic transition from a hundred percent eLearning to a blended learning institution.”