4 July 2012

Liberia: UMU Proposes New Campus

The administration of the United Methodist University (UMU) has proposed what it calls a "state of the art university campus" to be constructed in Dwazohn, Margibi County. According to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the UMU, Dr. Evelyn Kandakai, the university has 'over-run' its current campus on Ashmun Street in Monrovia, and as such, the university must be re-located.

She said there is a need for the UMU to be relocated because the demand of quality higher education is expanding in Liberia. She made these comments on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at a news conference held in Monrovia. She said the proposed university campus would need millions of United States dollars to be constructed.

When completed, the former Education Minister stated, the university campus will accommodate over 4000 students.

"UMU has over-run the present facility here and there is a need that we move forward. The demand of higher education is expanding and in this direction, the UMU should be relocated. We have been working on this project for the past seven (7) months and we want it to actually succeed," the Liberian educator emphasized.

Speaking further, Dr. Kandakai disclosed that an endowment fund drive will be launched officially by the university in order to actualize its vision. According to her, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to serve as Chief Launcher at the fund drive, which is slated for Friday, July 20, 2012.

She said the launching of the fund drive is in commemoration of the university fourteen (14) years of existence in the country. She said proceeds generated from the fund drive will spearhead the construction of the new university's campus.

The UMU vice president for Academic Affairs said contributions towards the project will also be placed in what she calls "time deposits," in addition to checks amongst others.

She further disclosed students of the UMU have already started contributing to the institution's endowment fund drive.

She stated that graduating students are willingly paying the amount of US$10 while junior, sophomore students are paying the little amount of US$1 towards the project per semester.

Dr. Kandakai said members of the United Methodist Church in Liberia will also contribute to the project. Dr. Kandakai further stated that the decision for all United Methodists to support the initiative was taken at the just ended sitting of the Liberia Annual Conference (LAC) in consultation with Bishop John Innis.

"President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has not consented to us yet, but we are very optimistic that the Liberian leader will consent to us. Proceeds from the endowment fund drive will be deposited into banks in order to guarantee the realization of the project.

At the UMU, we like to applaud our students because they have already started contributing to this project. The presidents, deans, chairpersons as well as junior staff are also contributing. So, we are making honest efforts to ensure the relocation of our university," the Chairman of the UMU's endowment fund committee among other things added.

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