The Head of Cmpigners for academy Crimes Court has Martin Kollie has written an open letter to the University of Liberia Administration concerning the graduation honor to be given to Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee.
The rumor that Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee is about to graduate with honor (Magna Cum Laude or Cum Laude) from UL will finally ruin your reputation – An open letter to Dr. J. Julius Sarwolo Nelson
Dear Dr. Nelson:
This is a historical chronology of your ascendancy as the President of the University of Liberia:
1) October 18, 2019 – you were nominated as the 15th President after serving as the Dean of Students and the Chairman of the Department of Philosophy;
2) November 11, 2019 – you were confirmed by the Board of Trustees in accordance with Article 4 Section 1 of the Charter of the University of Liberia;
3) November 28, 2019 – you were officially inaugurated as the President.
I still have a copy of your inaugural speech and this was what you said in paragraph 10, “My administration will brighten the light of the University of Liberia and create an enabling environment that promotes quality education and the advancement of academic activities.”
I had to begin my open letter with this brief chronology in order to set the stage for reflection and retrospection. You invited me at your inauguration as a former student leader. Of course, I was in attendance. I even penned and published a 3-page piece that expressed undying hope and confidence in your ability to do better as the arrowhead at UL. It was titled, “University of Liberia en route to Renaissance under Dr. Julius J. Sarwolo Nelson, Jr.” The link to this analysis is still available: https://newspublictrust.com/university-of-liberia-en…/
Afterwards and since I had like 2 weeks to my graduation, you invited me to your office on the Capitol Hill Campus and we had a lengthy conversation about how we can improve the quality of education at the University of Liberia. I made a number of bold and doable recommendations. You asked me to develop a concept or proposal which I did in no time and submitted. Unfortunately, i had to flee into exile a few days later due to the government’s aggressive and belligerent posture towards me and my critical stance on the national front.
I did not publicly extol/support your administration simply because you were being preferred as a veteran of the Student Unification Party (SUP). I did so because of your practical experience and in-depth understanding of the workings at the University of Liberia. I actually thought that the status quo would have changed but history has begun to posit a contrast to my initial thought. Do I still support your administration? Yes, I do. I really respect our friendship but my utmost loyalty is to nationship. Whenever friendship comes in conflict with the national interest, my preference is the latter.
But here is my latest issue. There is a rumor that Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee is about to graduate with honor (magna cum laude or cum laude) from the University of Liberia. It is my hope that this sudden revelation remains a rumor because if it is true, then your reputation as the President of UL is already in free fall. While other students are compelled to undergo the academic rigors at the University of Liberia, Tamba Koijee cannot and must not buy his way out of UL with honor simply because he has political capital or economic leverage (e.g. City Mayor of Monrovia).
I am going to outline a number of fact-based scenarios to justify why he has not been a legit student of UL and why he must not graduate with honor:
1) Koijee is claiming to have entered UL in 2009/2010 Academic Year (ID#: 57630). At the same time, he is claiming to have entered Stellas Maris Polytechnic in 2008/2009 (ID#: 05176). The year that Koijee entered Stellas Maris was the very same year that he dropped out of college. Did he take transfer from Stellas Maris to UL because there is no record of any entrance result for him at UL? Furthermore, the policy of the University of Liberia does not accept transferred students from the Stella Maris Polytechnic. Additionally, he never came Division 1 in the WAEC Exams. So, how did he even enter UL? His “admittance” remains a mystery to date.
2) Assuming but not admitting that he was admitted after “passing UL’s entrance”, he still did not complete a full semester at UL before he could finally drop out in 2009/2010 according to his academic ledger which is also in our possession. His “ledger” shows that he did not complete any credit hour at UL before he could drop out. Another policy at UL during that time was, “a student is automatically deregistered and/or de-enrolled if he/she forgoes two successive semesters upon admission.” This rule was revised between 2018 and 2019 while I was still a student leader.
3) Here is the third scenario. Koijee only returned to UL a year after his political party (CDC) assumed power in 2018. Practically, he started “attending UL” in 2019. From the beginning of 2019 to the end of 2021 is 3 years. So, how is Koijee even graduating at the end of year 3 when the basic requirement to obtain an undergraduate degree in Public Administration is at least 4 years. This is a matter of policy and not option. It is mandatory and unavoidable for all full degree-granting programs at UL. Some students even take up to 5 or 6 years to complete. Like me, I took up to 5 years to complete. Even at that, UL had to close/shut down more than different 4 times between 2018 and 2019 due to unending crises (e.g. student protests, faculty strikes, COVID-19, non-GOL support, etc.). These crises stole like a year from “student Koijee”.
So, did he actually complete his studies in 2 years while at the same time making several international travels and being very engaged with local functions as the City Mayor of Monrovia? This must be a pathetic joke. Some students of the Public Administration Association (PASA-UL) are even willing to testify that Koijee was never seen in regular classes. The University of Liberia under Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson has to be serious. Education is not politics because its impact is far-reaching in the context of securing our collective future and driving long-term economic productivity.
4) Koijee’s situation is similar to Sadia’s and Kalasco’s. When UL announced that the beauty queen and supermodel in Miss Sadia was graduating as the dux, there was huge public outcry. There was also public outcry when UL Graduate School recently declared that Kalasco scored an average of 85% in Math and English in UL’s entrance. Dr. Nelson, there are certain things that are just possible and you should be cognizant of this. In fact, who doesn’t know Koijee’s academic and intellectual output? While other students are posting and announcing the receipt of their clearances, do you know why Koijee is yet to do same even though he often posts on his Facebook page? Because he knows that there will be huge public backlashes and doubts about his 5G “Graduation”.
Based on these scenarios, any attempt for the Monrovia City Mayor in Jefferson Koijee to graduate, your reputable as the President of the University of Liberia will be brought into question. We will be compelled to release Koijee’s ledger. For him to even be graduating with “honor” is like adding insult to injury. Dr. Nelson, I am making this passionate plea for those who are afraid to speak out. Please do not ruin UL’s reputation and your own reputation. People, including alumni, are becoming concerned.
I have known you for a while now. We have a very good relationship and it my hope that we maintain such cordiality. But it seems like we might part ways very soon if these legitimate concerns are ignored. This is not a warning in any form but a caution to an educator who I still believe can do better.
A lot of people, including faculty members, alumni and students, have problem your administration. They are afraid to speak out. Some of them have even reached out to me. For instance, I received an email from a group of faculty members who raised 8 legit concerns about how they are being unfairly treated under your watch. They claim that you even cut their salaries for laptops that they did not receive during your quest for “Online Education” at UL.
The infrastructural outlook of UL is still filthy. There’s no plan to even renovate. There have been consistent strikes from the faculty and the students due to unfavorable conditions. President Weah’s “tuition-free education” is a failure and this fiasco of a public policy has placed UL in a very tight financial position. There are some faculty members, mostly administrators, who have fake degrees at UL. The budget of UL was reduced this fiscal year again by the Government. Dr. Nelson, why are you not speaking and taking action? I want to be frank with you. Your continued silence has formed the basis for three general beliefs/perceptions in the public space:
1) You are silent and soft on a number of important issues, including fraud, because you do not want to be sacked;
2) You were preferred by President Weah because you are a Kru man;
3) You have reduced the morale and image of the University to an all-time low.
It is up to you to prove your critics and cynics wrong. A lot of people do not know why your predecessor (Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks) was abruptly sacked by President George M. Weah while she was out of the country. But I know because at that time, I was a student leader. Let me say it today.
Dr. Weeks fell into trouble with the ruling class when she testified at the Liberian Senate and said, “As President and Administration of the University of Liberia, we were never consulted before the pronouncement of the tuition-free education by the President of the Republic of Liberia.”
Of course, she was bold to have said the truth and the truth booted her out. Though I led a number of protests against Dr. Weeks’ administration which were in pursuit of academic freedom and basic reforms, but her bold testimony at the Senate has made her a courageous woman with a free conscience. Dr. Nelson, I have known you to be a bold man and an upright prelate. But why have you been so silent amidst unending contradictions and crises at UL? This is not you. But what is finally going to ruin your reputation is the rumor that City Mayor Jefferson Koijee is about to graduate with honor.
UL is a very serious and credible University in Liberia, Africa, and the World. To allow an academic reprobate and a college degenerate like Koijee to buy his way is an affront to thousands of top-notch alumni. Neither UL is not a joke nor a comic theater for tomfoolery and gaffe. I won’t go further than this. Let’s save UL’s image together. Let’s save the Department of Public Administration. Let’s save Liberia’s future from fraud and malfeasance.
Wishing you all the best in your quest to make UL a better academic environment.
Signed: Martin K. N. Kollie
An Alumnus and a former Student Leader in exile