UL Places 10,000 Flunkies On Probation

“More than 10,000 undergraduate students of the University of Liberia have been notified of their poor academic performance. The notification serves as a strong warning for students to perform better during the current semester.

“When grades are tabulated for the current semester, those on double probation plus will be withdrawn from school for one semester on academic suspension. Three successive failures (semester Grade Point Average below 2.0) would lead to academic expulsion, in keeping with the University Student Handbook.

“The lists were compiled by the University’s Office of Enrollment Management. The first list shows that 5, 349 students are on single probation after failing to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 or (C) for the 2nd Semester of Academic Year 2012/2013.

“For privacy reasons, the lists released to the general public carry student identification numbers and majors.

According to the UL Student Handbook, Chapter IX, “A student is considered not in good academic standing, that is, on probation, if his/her Grade Point Average for any semester falls below 2.000 or (C) at the end of the semester.”

“But the notification is especially troublesome for students on double probation. That list shows that 5, 343 students could not, after two successive academic semesters—2nd Semester of Academic Year 2012/2013 and 1st Semester of Academic Year 2013/2014—meet the minimum cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.000 or (C) required to be removed from double probation.

“Therefore, for students on double probation, the Handbook says: “….he/she may remain at the University if his cumulative average is not less than 2.000 at the end of two semesters. A student who fails to meet the cumulative average specified above is suspended for a period of one semester.”

“And so going by the rule quoted above, students on the double probation list are likely to be given a semester academic suspension and, after serving that suspension, they must reapply to be re-admitted, according to the Student Handbook, which states further, “A student so suspended has the opportunity to apply for readmission through the office of Admissions, records and Registration at the end of one semester.”

“Broken down by colleges, the double probation list shows that Business College, the University’s largest college with enrollment of 11, 242 students, has 1,955 students or (17 %) on double probation.

The College of Agriculture & Forestry with a total student enrollment of 3,551 accounts for 755 students or (21 %) on double probation; Science College with a total student enrollment of 8,000 has 1,852 students or (23 %) on double probation.

“Liberia College has a total enrollment of 5,524 students but 598 students or (10.8 %) are on double probation, and Teachers’ College with 1,993 students has 186 or (0.9 %) on double probation.

“When broken down further by departments, the double probation list shows that the Accounting Department has 819 students, representing 15.33%; General Agriculture has 542 students, representing 10.14%; Biology Department has 533 students, representing 10.35%; and Geology Department has 532 students, representing 9.9%, among others.

“The Student Handbook also adds that: “A student is dropped from the university when at any time after re-admission following suspension, his/her cumulative grade point average is less than 2.000 at the end of the semester under which he/she is re-admitted. A student dropped permanently from the University is not allowed to come back.”

“Appearing on the Truth Breakfast Show last week, UL President, Dr. Emmet Dennis bemoaned the high rate at which UL students are on the single and double probation lists, tracing it to what he called “poor academic preparation at the high school level, as well as to some students entering the University not on the ‘sweat of their brow’.”

“Between 2009 and 2014, the University took several measures to eliminate academic malfeasance, including during its entrance and placement exams and admissions process, the President added.

“He named some of the measures the University effected to address the prevalence of academic malfeasance as: “No more purchase of admission in the university—actual performance on entrance determines entry into the university; large required courses with propensity for academic malfeasances have been made optional or deleted from curriculum & declared persona non-grata; a one-stop registration eliminates going to each department for approval for each course taken; no more test fees required; and no more pamphlet must be purchased as a prerequisite for registering for a course, among others.”

“The probation lists come out a few weeks after the UL released its good academic standing listing showing that more than 1,400 students scored cumulative grade point average of 3.000 and above, while sixteen students had a perfect GPA’s of 4.000.

“The University of Liberia has more than 35, 000 students on five campuses. It reopened on March 17, 2015, after a prolonged closure as a result of the deadly Ebola Virus,” a press release issued by the University said.