As dominate enrollment at 61%
Dr. Albert B. Coleman, the newly appointed President of the United Methodist University (UMU) says it is interesting to have 61 percent of enrollment at the institution account for women while men account for 39 precent.
According to him, there are many more women in Universities today, because of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s tireless efforts in attracting more girls in school.
“When I go out of country, people congratulate us for having more girls in our institution,” he recalls.
In an interview with Daily Observer shortly after his appointment as President of the university, Dr. Coleman disclosed that his main focus is to ensure that the institution achieves academic excellence and improves academic programs, making the institution recognized both locally and internationally.
Dr. Coleman said to make the institution recognized, he will ensure that the learning environment is conducive, by employing qualified faculty with attractive salaries and reduce the numbers of part-time instructors.
He said when he took over as acting president of UMU, 95 percent of the instructors were part-time, while 5 percent were on a full time basis.
“My hope is that over the next couple of years we will be able to reduce that [percentage] as low as possible. The reason for that is this whole idea of moonlighting — running from one university to the other. Instructors are not spending more time with the student to give the necessary instruction,” Dr. Coleman said. “We are doing an assessment on the credentials of all our instructors so we are asking everyone to bring in theirs.”
He said “we are looking for PHD and Master Degree holders. BSc holders could be teacher assistants. When we got there a number of the teachers were BSc holders and, the institution being a university, a BSc cannot teach BSc.”
Dr. Coleman said to have those kinds of instructors the institution wants; UMU needs to set up a staff development program to have teachers study abroad through scholarships from other universities and the Methodist office in New York.
“As we speak, we just sent one of our instructors to Kenya, so we are planning that every year we can take three to four instructors for study,” he said.
Dr. Coleman thanked the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UMU of Liberia, Rev. Dr. Samuel J. Quire, Jr., for his preferment after serving as interim President of the UMU, following th election of Prof. Johnson N. Gwaikolo, Dr. Coleman’s predecessor, was elected to the House of Representatives in October 2017.
Prior to his appointment, Dr. Coleman served UMU as Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2015, responsible to provide leadership for all academic programs in support of the university’s mission to enhance academic excellence.
Before joining the United Methodist University, (UMU) he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Ministry of Education through a World Bank contract. In this position he supported and coordinated the improvements in the Education Sector and assisted in coordinating and enhancing donors’ confidence for resources mobilization.
Dr. Coleman served as Vice President of Government Relations and Strategy with Communities In Schools (CIS) of Georgia, U.S.A. There, he was responsible for providing strategies and understanding to local CIS affiliates in building relationships with federal and state elected officials and offices in order to increase their awareness and create funding opportunities that will support and enhance efforts to reduce the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate in Georgia.
Prior to this position, he served as Director for Community Development, responsible for the expansion of the CIS concept in Georgia and ensuring training and technical assistance were provided to local CIS programs in the area of Community Development.
Dr. Coleman was also responsible for Federal Grants, which were passed through to local CISGA affiliates. In 1975, Dr. Coleman completed his B.Sc. in Education at Cuttington University College (now Cuttington University), Suakoko, Bong County and later matriculated to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, U.S.A., where he completed his M.Sc. in Teacher Education and PhD in Educational Administration. He brings his passion for quality education to the UMU to help improve academic excellence.