The president of the University of Liberia Alumni Association (ULAA), Mr. James Davis, II, is calling on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to withdraw the appointment of Mr. Norris Tweah as the new Vice President for UL Relations.
Mr. Davis, II told this newspaper that as president of ULAA, he thinks Mr. Tweah’s appointment by the President undermines the university’s by-laws.
According to him, Article III Section 2 of the institution’s by-laws “clearly states that Officers of Administration and Instruction of the University of Liberia shall be nominated by the President of the University of Liberia for Approval by the Board of Trustees. Therefore, the appointment of Mr. Norris Tweah by the President of Liberia and Visitor to the University of Liberia is in violation of the by-laws or Charter of the University of Liberia.”
Mr. Davis, II, who is also a member of the UL Board of Trustees, stated that one of the tenets of good governance is the respect for rule of laws. “I’m convinced that President Sirleaf is an adherent of the rules of law. She will adhere to this call to withdraw the appointment of Mr. Tweah as Vice President to the flagship state University of Liberia.”
He clarified that he and others are not against Mr. Tweah serving their alma mater; instead, “We are against the procedural error that has characterized his appointment.”
Davis, described Mr. Tweah as an astute individual with a wealth of experience and credibility, who could immensely contribute to the UL. “BUT his appointment by the Visitor contravenes the University of Liberia by-laws or Charter.”
He emphasized that, as enshrined in the UL Charter, the UL president, who is presently Dr. Emmet Dennis, is the only person with that authority to nominate a Vice President for approval by the UL Board of Trustees.
“President Sirleaf and the president of the University of Liberia should now begin a constitution about Mr. Tweah’s appointment, and if possible, the president of UL should nominate Mr. Tweah to the UL Board of Trustee for approval to avoid any further attempt to undermine the University of Liberia By-Laws or Charter,” Davis said, suggesting a way forward.
Dr. Dennis could not be reached for comments as his mobile phone rang endlessly.
Mr. Tweah replaces Prof. Dr. S. Momolu Getaweh, who is now the Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs of UL.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Tweah served as Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism. He served for more than seven years at the Ministry and had received three appointments from President Sirleaf.
As part of his core responsibilities at UL, Mr. Tweah is to establish an effective public relations system and strategy that will promote the goals of the University and create the most positive image and branding of the nation’s premier University; engage in lobbying exercises on behalf of the University; articulate the values of the University to the developmental needs of the local and external community, testify, when necessary, on behalf of the university before Government and Non-Government agencies and bodies, both foreign and national, as well as assume oversight of the UL Public Affairs, UL Postal Office and the UL Protocol Activities.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Development Administration (MDA) and a Bachelor’s in Communication from the Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB) from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia. He was admitted to the Liberian Bar Association in August 2014 to practice law in Liberia.