Liberia: University of Liberia Faculty Wants Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson Removed As President - Threatens to Boycott Classes

Monrovia — The University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) has with immediate effect passed a vote of no confidence in the President of the state-owned institution, Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, for allegedly removing some of them from the payroll following a mandate from the Government of Liberia (GOL).

In a communication addressed to the leadership of ULFA recently, Dr. Nelson informed the faculty that Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah has complained that some members of ULFA are allegedly involved into "double-dipping".

He noted that by directive of the government, the UL Administration, upon review of the payroll, will begin to execute the government's mandate.

He claimed that the move was intended to ensure that some faculty members who are engaged into such act can be removed to part-time or contract payroll effective May 2022.

In keeping with the promise, scores of faculty members of the UL have been reportedly remove from the payroll as employees.

But members of ULFA vowed to no longer work with Dr. Nelson as a result of the decision taken by the UL administration.

They took the decision during their General Assembly held on the main campus of the university on Capitol Hill in Monrovia on Wednesday; June 15.

The assembly was presided over by UL Acting Secretary General, Eric Patten.

A motion for the decision to be taken was filed by Kajali Karnga, a lecturing Biology in the Science College.

"Dr. Nelson lacks the credentials and ability to run the day-to-day affairs of the University of Liberia, for taking instructions from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning", Karnga stated.

They expressed fear that Dr. Nelson might again take instructions from the Liberia National Police (LNP) or the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to manhandle their members and threaten their lives.

"We cannot work with anyone who is not in our interest. We should pass a vote of no confidence, and until he is removed, we stand our position. The government took away our social security and other benefits. We should request for our charter and policy Madam President, Dr. Edna Johnny, because those documents have some clauses therein at our detriment", he maintained.

According to them, Dr. Nelson is not seeking their interest at the institution

ULFA also indicated that the decision taken is in consonance Article X Section Three of its Constitution and By-laws which calls for Special and Emergency Assemblies.

It states that: "Special and Emergency Assemblies shall be called when there are urgent issues to be discussed and those that cannot wait. Two-thirds of full-time ULFA members can request the Executive Committee to call such Assemblies. Decisions resolved at the ULFA Assemblies shall be implemented by the Executive Committee, and be binding on all faculty".

Meanwhile, members of ULFA have vowed to disengage from all academic activities, including the administering of entrances at the state-run university, until their concerns are addressed as indicated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed.

They indicated that they have been alleged oppressed with their rights violated and severe damages have been done to their characters as a result of disparaging comments made by some authorities of the Finance Ministry, including the Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Samora P. Z. Wolokolie.

Also speaking, ULFA acting Secretary General, Eric Patten, strongly warned the Colleges of Laws and Health Sciences at the state-run university to avoid making attempt to go against the decision taken by the body.

He observed that the two colleges have not been acting in line with resolutions arising from the General Assembly, terming the alleged act as "disrespecting major decisions taken by the association".

"We will take serious action against you if you go against our decision. Be warned especially the Laws and Health Sciences Colleges at the University of Liberia," Patten intimated.

In a brief remark, ULFA President, Dr. Edna Johnny promised to fully abide by the "wish and command" of the General Assembly.

The latest decision taken by ULFA would paralyze normal academic and working activities at the UL.

Already, the re-opening of the university has been postponed three consecutive times. It has now been scheduled for June 27.

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