By Leroy M. Sonpon III
The administration of the Florida International University (FIU) has extended its congratulations to Dr. Ophelia Weeks on her recent appointment as president of the University of Liberia.
Dr. Weeks is a retired FIU biology professor.
The new UL President spent more than 30 years as a neuroscientist at FIU, joining that faculty in 1986. She served as director of QBIC — Quantifying Biology in the Classroom, an in-depth biological sciences program, and was an affiliate faculty member of what would become the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.
“During her time at FIU, she received many university awards, including the Excellence in Teaching Award, Excellence in Service Award and the Minority Faculty Development Award,” the FIU said in a statement.
It also said, “Throughout her tenure at FIU, she often returned to Liberia, sometimes for a visit and other times for work. In 2006, she became an affiliate faculty member of UL’s A.M. Dogliotti School of Medicine.
“In recent years, Weeks split her time between the United States and Liberia and had assumed a leadership role with UL. She permanently relocated here when she retired from FIU last January. ”
Weeks whose father, Rocheforte Lafayette Weeks, became the third president of UL has had a long history with the University going back to her childhood when, at age 7, she resided on the campus with her family.
Dr. Weeks is the second woman to lead the University of Liberia since its founding in 1951 and the 14th president of the University.
Dr. Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman was the first woman to serve as president of the UL in 1978, becoming the first female head of a university on the African continent.
Dr. Weeks succeeds Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, who retired in December 2016. He will remain at the university to teach at the A.M. Dogliotti College and the T. J.R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology undergraduate program.
Before her appointment as UL president, Weeks served as vice president for academic affairs from March 2016 to April 2017 and Dean of the T. J.R. Faulkner College from 2012 to February 2016.