University Of Liberia Professors Demands Hundred Percent Monthly Salary Increment

...with-held students Grades

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

May 5, 2003

The May 7th date set for the 2001/2002 Commencement convocation for the University of Liberia (UL) is said to be hanging in the balance, as the UL faculty Association (ULFA) is demanding hundred percent increment in their monthly salary.

Members of ULFA reached the uncompromising decision last Thursday at a general called Meeting held at the Capital Hill main campus of the university.

According to a memorandum from the ULFA office under the signatures of the association secretary General, Mr. Edwin T. Juah, members of ULFA have resolved against submitting grades for the 2nd semester 2001/2002 academic year until the hundred percent increment in salary is realized.

Besides, the association said the increment in the salary must be concomitantly with the settlement of the seventy-five percent arrears for the months of January, February and March 2003. Members of the association were expected to meet at a general meeting over the weekend to hold important discussions.

Information gathered from the campuses of the university indicates that during the beginning of the 2nd semester academic year, the UL Administration promised to increase the monthly salaries of the university's employees by hundred percent and that salaries were to be current.

According to our sources, the UL Administration decided to increase the students' tuition and fees by 300 percent at all levels so that the university Administration would be in the position to increase the employees' monthly salaries by hundred percent and also make salaries current.

Our sources said the UL Administration has only increased the employees’ monthly salaries by twenty-five percent despite of several communications from ULFA reminding the university administration of its obligation to the employees.

During the 2nd semester academic year, the under graduate students of the regular program were asked to pay L$2800 while those of the Continuing Education Program paid L$4,400 and students of Graduate and Professional schools paid close to L$20,000.

Meanwhile, the president of the University of Liberia (UL) Dr. Ben Augustus Roberts has disclosed that students of the institution are indebted to institution in the sum of 12 million Liberian dollars - the amount represent the fees and tuition the students owed for the 2001/2002 Academic School Year.

Commenting on wide-range of issues at the university, Dr. Roberts in an exclusive with The INQUIRER recently said grades of students, including the prospective graduates who are indebted to the UL Administration, will be withheld until they can settle their financial obligations.

According to the university president, most of the major scholarship donors are yet to make full payment of scholarship fees, while some of the students who paid 50% of their fees during the start of the semester are yet to fully settle their financial obligations for this second semester.

Dr. Roberts, however, did not reveal the names of the major scholarship donors, but told The INQUIRER that the UL Administration is not in the position to compare the donors to settle the scholarship fees, instead, it is the students who had to appeal to their donors to make the full payment.

He said, if the donors fail to settle their obligation, the students will suffer the consequences, adding that this is the time that the students do everything possible to ensure that the their scholarship donors meet up with their obligations before the semester comes to an end.

Speaking on the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) demands for a hundred percent increment before submitting grades, Dr. Roberts said all is being done to reach a compromise with the faculty.

According to him, since the research alliance was discontinued, the UL Administration during the beginning of the semester promised to increase the salary by hundred percent on grounds that the administration was expecting 7,000 students to enroll for the semester.

To our surprise, Dr. Roberts said, about 10,000 were able to enroll for the semester, adding that some of the students are yet to make their full payment, something he said posing problem for the administration to increase the salary by hundred percent.

He however said the administration has increased the January, February and March salary by twenty-five percent while it intends to increase the salary for the months of April, May and June by fifty percent, adding that the increment will be done quarterly until the hundred percent can be concluded.

Dr. Roberts said in a Joint Council Meeting held recently, the issue of the hundred percent increment was discussed and settled but said since the same increment of salary has resurfaced, the UL Administration will continue to appeal to the faculty to submit their grades to enable the school authorities to hold the commencement convocation on schedule.

" I will go to the ULFA meeting to hold their feet and appeal to them to submit their grades for the semester", the soft spoken UL president said.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.