Liberia: UL Launches 'New' College

Faculty staffs and other high profile invited guests posed with some of the prospective students at the end of the ceremony

Authorities of the University of Liberia (UL) have launched a new college - the Honors College of Research and Interdisciplinary Studies - which will be added to the many other colleges, thus bringing to eight the number of colleges in the university's undergraduate academic programs, a release has said.

At a well-attended ceremony held on Friday, September 6, 2019 on the UL Fendall campus, UL President Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks paid homage to her predecessor, Professor Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, for starting the Honors Program that has now transcended in an Honors College.

Dr. Weeks said in many institutions, honors programs and colleges are developed to highlight the best students and faculty that they have to offer.

"This program is long overdue," she said. "You want to be able to highlight the crème de la crème, which no one would want to get lost in the sea."

Dr. Weeks expressed the hope that as the UL evolves, everyone will work together to make the college live its true meaning.

"And so, as we move or transition or evolve, I hope that all of you, the entire university family, will work together to make sure that this Honors Program, soon to be Honors College, thrives and becomes 'the best,'" she said with much enthusiasm.

Dr. Weeks continued, "We'll start off with the best in the area, then the best in the region, and then the best beyond."

According to its overview, the Honors College will empower students with the research, knowledge and skills needed to solve critical national issues.

The ceremony was attended by Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, who delivered a special statement of appreciation and commendation to the UL Administration.

Vice President Taylor: "We have been rescued by academicians, who have provided all of us an environment for debate, research, critical thinking, analysis, knowledge expansion, competence, excellence and advocacy."

According to sources, one of the areas of academic interest to be focused on in the new college is gender studies. Vice President Taylor lauded the UL Administration for recognizing the need to do more research in that area.

In her keynote address, Gender Minister Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr applauded the UL Administration for establishing a college that places emphasis on gender studies, especially for Liberian students and the region as well.

She said the establishment of the college was an assurance that societal understanding of gender is taking a dramatic trend from being just an official public discussion to a more critical academic and intellectual deep-dive.

Minister Tarr then recommended social inclusion, gender budgeting, gender statistics, women in peace and security and social protection to be added to the college's curriculum.

Among those who attended the ceremony was Ms. Telia Urey, a politician. Ms. Urey expressed the hope that the Honors College of Research and Interdisciplinary Studies will identify solutions to some of the problems faced by Liberia, adding, "We also hope that it will find creative solutions to these complex issues that we are faced with as a country and people."

"We hope this school will help to shape public policy and act as a 'think-tank' to move our country in the direction that it should go in," she said.

Ms. Urey expressed the belief that the college of gender studies will include other areas of interest to get a holistic understanding of issues the country is faced with, saying: "And it is my sincere hope that this college will break these barriers to understanding, and give room for innovative learning, critical thinking and creative problem-solving."

She pledged to provide 15 scholarships every semester.

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