Dr. Weeks Inducted Today as 14th UL President

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The newly appointed President of the state-run University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, will be inducted into office today. Dr Weeks succeeds Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, who served the university as president from 2009 to 2016.

Dr. Weeks was unanimously endorsed by the UL Board of Trustees in March this year following thorough scrutiny of candidates that applied for the position. She becomes the 14th president and second female president following Dr. Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman, daughter of former Chief Justice Louis Arthur Grimes (class of 1903), in whose honor the UL Law School is named.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Visitor of the University, and a host of government  officials, UL alumni, guests from private institutions, friends and family are expected to attend the induction ceremony to be held at the UL Fendell campus.

Dr. Weeks is a retired professor of the Florida International University (FIU). Upon her retirement from FIU, she returned to Liberia and joined the UL faculty as Dean of the Science College. She was subsequently promoted to the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs. Based on her appearance and disposition, some managerial experts describe her as “conscientious,” a personality trait that depicts humility, quietude, carefulness.

Even though it is difficult for every student to know the UL president, considering the bureaucratic process associated with this, Dr. Weeks’ personality has caused many students not to recognize her when she is among them. During the resumption of academic activities following Ebola epidemic in 2015, many were left in shock to see her for the first time, as she simply appeared like any of the students.

It is not yet known what plans this second Dr. Weeks presidency (the first being her father, Dr. Rocheforte L Weeks who was UL president from 1959 to 1972) has  for the university in the years to come. Whatever the latitude of her inaugural address, students, instructors and the nation expect to hear her tackle the fundamental issue of adequate financial support from the government for overall improvements in salaries, student transportation, instructional materials and equipment, renovations of the academic and science complexes on the Fendell campus and a myriad of corrective actions, developments and expansions that are long overdue at this restive, underdeveloped institution.

As a scientist, she will no doubt work to raise the standard of the College of Science and Technology and the medical college but she is expected to balance her time and attention to raising standards across the entire spectrum of learning and administration at the University.

Her challenge is to make the UL, Liberia’s oldest tertiary institution founded in 1862, the preeminent university in the country in terms of academic and professional excellence and impact on the nation.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations Dr. Weeks! As your embark on this awe-inspiring task of revitalizing our nation’s foremost institution of higher learning, compounded by herculean challenges, it is our ardent hope and sincere prayer, that your will turn every challenge into an opportunity to make that Light in darkness shine so brightly that it will continue to illuminate all over Liberia and beyond. And thankfully, when ever you really need help, there is always somebody in the great beyond with the requisite experience and skills that you can invoke in prayer, Dr. R. Weeks, your sainted and lamented father who now has two loves converging in one place; you, his daughter at the helm of his University Of Liberia, to which he dedicated a substantial portion of his professional life; am sure being the skillful diplomatist that he was, he will intercede with the Lord to resolve any problems that may pose a challenge in the execution of your mission, to make the light in darkness shine brighter than ever before. May the Lord give you strength and increased wisdom as you take up this assignment.

  2. Brother Sayku Koroma,

    Dr. Weeks is not only academically qualified for the position, but also served exceedingly well in the rough and tumble of a hypersensitive UL system, and, unmistakably, right at the epicenter of students’ politics, as Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    In other words, certainly, she has crossed the crucible. That’s why it seems unfair that you and Daily Observer’s effusive reference to her father’s tenure could unfortunately make her preferment sound like a legacy appointment. It isn’t. She would’ve been president after surmounting those educational and occupational hurdles, and it mattered not whether her father was a Kru seafarer, a Kissi rubber tapper, or a Kpelle farmer.

    Let’s not unwittingly fuel few foul-mouthed detractors’ wrong perception of a resilient culture of entitlement; it distracts from the amity and unity cardinal to the challenges ahead of collective nation – building in the pursuit of tension – free stability and a just lasting peace. Congrats, Dr. Weeks.

  3. Syl; Indeed! It does matter. Again, this is Liberia. We’ve got yet to see the son of a “QUALIFIED” Kru Seafarer Heading Liberia’s Central Bank. I don’t get it. Are you infact saying the Kpelles are Farmers and The Kissis are Rubber Tappers? You’d make such a “Good Diplomat”. By the way, Liberia’s Top Mathemetician just happens to be a Kpelle Man; so important, that the U.N consults him periodically to solve challenging STATISTICAL PROBLEMS. Syl, thanks for your efforts to develop NKT. ‘Very must appreciated. That’s what Liberians should be doing for their childhood Commodities.

  4. I was hoping this article would spell out the details of Dr. Weeks’ qualifications more fully. It is nice to know that she is the daughter of an ex-president of the said university and the second female to be appointed to the prestigious post; but what else? What specific academic accolades accompany her as she takes the challenging posts? It is not enough to assume her late father will intercède with the gods on her behalf; it may not be necessary or even feasible. What gives an interested party or observer needed assurance that Dr. Weeks comes with academic qualifications? Please provide clarity.

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