(MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Tuesday, March 4, 2014) The President of Savannah State University, Georgia, in the United States, has offered to form a partnership and collaboration with the University of Liberia in getting UL back to its pre-war status when it competed with world-class universities.
According to an Executive Mansion release, SSU President, Cheryl Dozier, made the offer during a courtesy call to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday, March 4, and said it was in support of President Sirleaf’s courage to see a revamped and quality education, and her institution stood ready to support the cause.
SSU, said Madam Dozier, was willing to provide textbooks and enter into a student/faculty exchange program with UL and other institutions of higher learning. Savannah State, the only university awarding a degree in Homeland Security, was interested in extending its program by working with UL to see how the academic program can help Liberia with its ports of entry for the security of its border, with security being a global issue.
Coming to Liberia to form a partnership with the University of Liberia was like coming home, she said, since Liberia and the State of Georgia have a rich black history in common regarding the emancipation of former slaves.
Founded in 1890 by Richard R. Wright, Sr., who was born into slavery, Savannah State University is the oldest public historically black college in Georgia.
Responding, President Sirleaf said she was grateful and honored that SSU would see Liberia as a home and, at the same time, announce the formation of a partnership with Liberia’s flagship tertiary institution. She said the historical connection with the United States was clear, as evident by the continuous support from past and current U.S. administrations and the Congress which has, over the years, made the United States Liberia’s number one bilateral partner. She expressed hope that the partnership will also encourage people-to-people outreach and increase the student/staff exchange.
The President hailed UL’s President, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, for being an ambassador in government’s quest to restore quality education in Liberia, especially at the tertiary level, describing him as bridge builder between overseas and Liberian universities.
President Sirleaf briefed the visiting delegation about government’s development plans and actions in infrastructure development, naming roads, water and electricity. Plans being concluded will see roads, water and electricity projects either rehabilitated or restored, to attract visitors to beautiful tourist sites like Lake Piso, in Grand Cape Mount County.
In his comments, Dr. Dennis expressed satisfaction that his efforts to resuscitate the University of Liberia were gaining momentum, and he praised President Sirleaf’s administration for the support in realizing the dream. He paid tribute to Liberia’s Honorary Consul General, Madam Cynthia Nash, for making contact possible with several U.S. universities.
Dr. Dennis named Marine Engineering, Social Work and the Criminal Justice System as areas earmarked by the partnership. Such a partnership could help elevate the National Police Training Academy to an Associate Degree-granting institution, a plan that has already been initiated between UL and the Liberia National Police.