Following the suspension of classes at the state-run University of Liberia and calls for resignation of Wede Elliot-Brownell and resumption of classes, the Board of Trustees has endorsed the appointment of Dr. Walter T. Wiles as Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost.
Dr. Brownell remains on a leave of absence.
Prior to his appointment, Dr. Wiles had been serving as Vice President for Institutional Research and Development.
According to communications from the UL Board of Trustees, issues raised by the faculty union and students have interconnections, and Board is desirous of a full report from the mediation investigation committee, in order to consider all sides of the complaints.
The board said the mediation investigation committee is expected to submit its report on January 31, 2014 following which decisions surrounding the complaints made, will be reached.
It therefore called on the faculty union to return to classes as being announced by the UL Administration to continue academic activities that have been suspended for about two months now.
The UL Administration on January 20, 2014, released to the public that classes were resuming on January 21, 2014.
However, a tour on the Capitol Hill campus on Tuesday showed that classes were vacant without students and teachers.
The administration could not clarify why instructors could not go to class as was instructed, but some independent sources told this paper that the faculty members are contemplating the full resignation of Dr. Brownell.
With the shield of “Leave of absence” still protecting her, doubt still looms, regarding whether instructors will adhere to the Board of Trustees and the UL Administration’s order that they return to classes.
Meanwhile, in a release issued the Daily Observer, Tuesday evening, the UL Administration said it regrets that classes did not resume on January 21, as was announced. “However, negotiations with the parties are ongoing. Meanwhile, the administration is appealing to all stakeholder to remain calm as efforts are being made to resume classes. Furthermore, students are advised to remain off the campuses until further notice.”