University of Alabama’s Delegation Pays Courtesy Visit on the Dean of Liberia College

MONROVIA : A visiting delegation led by Dr. Chapman Greer from the University of Alabama, United States of America on Thursday, 17 March 2022 paid a courtesy visit on the leadership of Liberia College of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Liberia.

During the visit at the college, the Dean of Liberia College, Prof. Dr. Josephus M. Gray and the head of the visiting delegation to Liberia, Dr. Chapman Greer (Ph.D. in English) discussed and exchanged a wide range of salient academic issues and views. On behalf of the President of the University of Liberia, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukun Sarwolo Nelson, the Dean of the college, Dr. Gray welcomed Dr. Greer and delegation and wished them well in their tour of visit to Liberia and extended an invitation to them to visit the other campuses of the university.

In his welcome remarks, Dr. Gray stated UL administration’s gratitude and openness for cooperation and partnership with the University of Alabama, considering that the relations between Liberia and America have been going very well.   He informed the visiting team that the recent past has been a challenge not only for UL but also for the entire world, but noted that in due course, history will admire the fortitude of our current generation of students at the University of Liberia.

Dr. Gray also indicated that the current generation of students and dedicated faculty of UL deserve praises for their tendency in overcoming the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the countless factors of uncertainty.

Dr. Gray reiterated his firmed high hopes for the continued upward trajectory of University of Liberia and University of Alabama relations across a broad range of cooperation in several areas, such as collaboration, partnership, faculty exchange, training and scholarship, capacity building and career development programs and the provision of essential reading materials. Recounting the history of the university, Dr. Gray told visiting delegation that Liberia College was founded 1862 on an agenda of social responsibility to the Liberian Society and the world to provide educational access to the nation and other nationals across the globe.

He emphasized that this agenda has served the institution and its students well since 1862, and stressed the need for oversea advancement of the faculty of the college especially faculty of the Department of English and Language Studies. In 1951, Liberia College and William V. S. Tubman College of Education (formerly William V. S. Tubman Teachers’ College) merged to form the University of Liberia through the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia (TDEL), based in the United States of America.

Dr. Gray informed the delegation that Liberia College offers   Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in several disciplines. The minimum credit hours needed for completion of a specialized degree program is 128. Students are allowed to choose from the six academic departments to fulfill a four-year Baccalaureate Degree Requirements to earn a BA or BSW degree.

The visiting delegation’s courtesy call highlighted the cardinal interests of both the University of Liberia and University of Alabama, with major issues of mutual concern, including collaboration and partnership (Memorandum of Understanding) between the two higher institutions. Other issues discussed include faculty career development, advanced training, research, faculty and students exchange and Provision of Academic Resource Materials for classroom.

During the visit on Thursday, Dr. Gray also in a brief history, introduced Liberia College as the Second Oldest Institution of higher learning in West Africa and the Fifth Oldest College on the African Continent, established by the Liberian Government barely fifteen (15) years after the Independence (1847) of the Republic of Liberia.

In a brief remark, Dr. Chapman Greer said the purpose of the courtesy call was to acquaint the visiting delegation about the institution including achievements, academic programs with emphasis on collaboration, partnership, research, academic excellence, teaching, and creative thinking.

Dr. Chapman Greer requested Dr. Gray that if the University of Alabama was to award a scholarship for a Ph.D. studies in English, she wondered if UL will be willing to nominate a faculty who will be able to return upon completion of his or her studies. In response, Dr. Gray assured Dr. Greer and the University of Alabama that any faculty chosen for the Ph.D. studies will definitely return to give back to the institution.

He used the opportunity to express institution’s appreciation to Dr. Greer and also expressed the need for scholarship opportunity in the area of master’s studies to help reduce the huge number of Bachelor’s degree holders in the classroom. Dr. Gray added that for the current academic year, the college has 233 faculty members, 206 (88%) males and 27 (12%) females.  The faculty breakdown shows 54 (23%) Bachelor’s degree holders; 167 (72%) Master’s Degree holders and 12 (5%) faculty with doctorate degree.

Following a brief discussion in the Dean’s office, Dr. Gray took the visiting delegation led by Dr. Chapman Greer from the University of Alabama on a guided tour of the Academic Complex in Fendall from one floor to another.

Among offices, departments and program that the guided tour covered include the offices of the president, vice presidents, associate vice presidents, Office of Schedule and the library. While on the tour, the departments also visited include Physical Education(PE), Political Science, Military Science(ROTC),Geography, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Liberian Studies( formally Social Science), History, French Studies, Liberian Languages, Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, Demography, Communication and Media Studies, Social Work and English and Language Studies.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gray used the occasion to present few copies of peer-reviewed scholastic publications of three faculty members of the college. The publications include a Novel: Short Stories Essays and Poems from Liberia, authored by Mr. Benjamin G. Sumo, Instructor, Department of English and Language Studies and : Introduction to Liberia Criminal Justice System, authored by Dr. Ambrose Monboe Nebo, Instructor of the Department of Political Science. The 2nd Edition of the college’s Newsletter was also presented to the visiting delegation.

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