The University of Liberia (UL) is the nation’s premier university that has trained and is expected to continue preparing Liberians academically for the socio-economic, scientific and technological development of Liberia.
It was Liberia College until 1951 when President W.V.S. Tubman transformed it into the University of Liberia.
Since its founding in 1862 and transition in 1951 from Liberia College into the University of Liberia, thousands of Liberians have gained academic training from this state-run institution. Many of Liberia’s Presidents, Vice Presidents and heads of the other two branches of government—the Legislature and Judiciary—have graduated from the UL, and so have tens of thousands of Liberian officials in all branches of government and in the private sector.
But probably because many recent students lack a real appreciation for the history and meaning of this great institution, there continues frequent disturbances on the UL campus, placing her into a series of predicaments and gravely harming its academic progress.
It is unequivocally clear that UL is the only learning institution that is always beclouded by intransigent, stubborn and violent activities, where students present themselves as superheroes to their administrators.
This habit was again demonstrated on January 17, 2018, when a belligerent group on the UL campus held the university’s new president, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, hostage for 7 hours in the Auditorium.
According to media reports, classes are disrupted every semester thereby creating hindrances to learning at that university.
The question now is: Who is responsible for the persistent trouble the University of Liberia is always encountering every semester?
According to a series of investigation, there are some hooligans planted on the UL campus, many of whom are not even bona fide students, who have the mindset not to graduate but always to disturb classes, dwelling on naïve and irrelevant points.
For example, they are contending that the university continues registration process indefinitely. Currently, universities in the sub-region and the world over register online now and within a given period of time, and failure to register within this time period you forfeit enrollment for the semester.
Why would UL be the only institution, not in the sub-region only, but in the whole wide world to continue the registration process up to the end of each semester?
Those people, as an investigation has established, are said to be incited by some hierarchies within the administration to create pandemonium so that the institution will regularly experience an academic setback.
It may be recalled that between 2013 and 2014 the same group, reportedly backed by some instructors and administrative hierarchies, launched violent attacks on Wede Brownell, then vice president for Academic Affairs and provost.
During that time, the student leader, Anthony Williams stated right at the front of the Cassel Building hosting the UL Administration and other offices that they will oppose any President who sets a deadline registration for students.
Not only that those students are the problem for the University of Liberia, there are also problems that are caused by staff that on that campus.
The registration process has not been organized well but done in the way that students will encounter difficulties in going through. Reports had reached us that those working in the Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Department intentionally drag the process to delay students so that they can bribe them.
What remains unfortunate is that amidst all these activities, the UL Administration sits supinely without any attempt to investigate and take steps that will correct the problems, but lives with it all of the time.
The University of Liberia is an institution that offers degrees in a lot of disciplines including Public Administration and Management. How does it reconcile its poor managerial style with what it teaches students?
We are calling on the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberia and the national government to investigate the problems and to take actions that will reduce the lawlessness impeding the institution’s progress.