The President of the University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Julius Nelson, has officially welcomed to the University Cabinet the newly appointed Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Cllr. Jallah A. Barbu, whom he appointed as Acting Dean on July 31, pending approval of the UL Board of Trustees.
Barbu comes to the prestigious and respected deanship portfolio with years of experience in law, including serving as a former chairperson of the Law Reform Commission.
At a UL Cabinet meeting held on August 17, the UL President presented Barbu to his Cabinet colleagues. He said the UL management team was glad that Barbu accepted the request to serve as the new Dean. Nelson encouraged Barbu to explore new and existing opportunities that will further improve the standards of the law school.
“I want you to consider more opportunities for the Law School. This is an expectation I placed before you prior to receiving you today. I know that you have already started that exercise,” Nelson said.
As Dean, Barbu will report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In this position, he is tasked to, among other things, carry out administrative supervision with direct responsibility for academics and operations.
He is charged with the responsibilities of developing and transforming the curriculum of the law school to meet local/regional demands as necessary while maintaining international academic standards, values and excellence, among others.
Barbu has a rich and solid academic profile. He earned a Doctor of Juridical Science (Constitutional Law) from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America. From August 2006 to July 2008, Barbu earned a Master of Laws (Thesis - Constitutional Law), from the Maurer School of Law, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America.
In 1997, he received his Bachelor of Laws (LLB), with honors, from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia. And in 1990, he received his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting and Management as a Minor from the College of Business & Public Administration, University of Liberia.
The UL President also emphasized the need for Barbu to strengthen the already existing partnership the law school has with Indiana University, which has benefited the Louis Arthur Grimes School of law in many areas.
Nelson implored Dean Barbu to utilize his relationship with Indiana University, of which the Law School Dean is a graduate, to foster meaningful collaborations that will benefit the Law School.
“Indiana is a long-standing partner to the UL,” he said. “We are at the point where we want to renew and strengthen such [a] relationship again. So as an alumnus of Indiana, I am strategically placing you in that role so that our relationship with them will be rejuvenated,” Nelson urged.
Responding, Barbu expressed appreciation for the preferment to serve in the capacity of Dean of the law school. He acknowledged the huge responsibilities and expectations his new task entails. Barbu assured the UL Administration of his preparedness to deliver and uphold the confidence reposed in him.
“I appreciate very much this wonderful opportunity to be able to serve the UL in this capacity,” Counselor Barbu said. “You all know fully well what I stand for and what I can do.”
He further pledged his willingness and commitment to maintain quality standards at the only law school in Liberia by working and supporting the students, faculty, and staff.
“It is for me not a challenge, but a blessing to contribute to our university and our country,” he said.
Regarding the UL Administration’s quest to foster relationships with institutions abroad, Barbu said he has begun discussions with other institutions outside of Liberia for support for the law School.
“The issue you raised with respect to building and strengthening the Law School and our relationship abroad, I have started that already by speaking with the Dean of Indiana University Law School for some of our faculty members to lecture via zoom, and online visual application,” Dean Barbu disclosed.
“We agreed that next semester our professors here can stand up in the classrooms via zoom to lecture as a way of strengthening that relationship, and they can do the same,” Barbu added.
Barbu outlined the Moot Court project, research, faculty development, students' support projects, and financial discipline as targeted areas in his action plan that he wants to implement as Dean of the law school.
Barbu is a legal scholar, author, and professor of law. He has practiced law for more than a decade at the Supreme Court of Liberia. Speaking of credentials, Nelson said the decision to name Barbu as Dean was based upon a strong recommendation from the legal community, including a recommendation from the Liberia National Bar Association.