By Antoinette Sendolo
Uncertainty looms over the reopening of the University of Liberia which was recently closed down due to the decision taken by the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) to disengage in every academic activities at the University campuses. The faculty which recently demanded for salary increment, the reinstatement of those instructors who were illegally dismissed according to them, and the immediate resignation of Dr. Weade Brownell who is the Vice President for Academic Affairs, has reinforced its decision to disengage in all academic activities on grounds that the administration is yet to address their plights as agreed upon during the past one month.
The Faculty of the University of Liberia disclosed that there were series of meetings held with the administration giving several conditions to be met in order to come to a common ground but according to the head of ULFA, their issues have not been addressed by the University’s authorities something he described as disservice to ULFA.
According to ULFA, Deans and Chairpersons for various departments are not to attend any faculty senate meetings as part of their disengagement noting that their decision is not only about teaching in the class.
Discussing in a meeting held at the University of Liberia, the University of Liberia Faculty Association disclosed that based on their agreement with the administration, members of the faculty should have been paid at the rate of US$ 78 but to their utmost surprise, they received controversial salaries at the rate of US$ 75 something they described as being deceitful.
Members of the University of Liberia Faculty Association said they are highly disappointed in the president of the University, Dr Emmett Dennis describing him as a man who does not stand by his words because he has failed the faculty and students of the University and even betrayed their trust.
Meanwhile, the president of the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU), Anthony Williams said, his union highly supports the action taken by the faculty and will work collaboratively to ensure that the University of Liberia is restructured.
He noted that the Student Union presented 14 claims to the administration but they are willing to compromise 13 of their claims ad in no way compromise the resignation of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr Weade Brownell noting that she is the major cause for the numerous problems at the University.
ULSU president described Dr Brownell’s action as an implementation of the statement made by President Sirleaf that the educational system in the country is a mess.
The ULSU president added that it is better for the students to be at home for a month or two while the issue at the University would be resolved properly rather than going to school and facing lots of problems.
However, president Williams has assured the public that students of the University of Liberia will remain calm as they await the University Authority’s action to their issues.