For some time now faculty promotion at the University of Liberia has not been regular. Several factors have contributed to this irregularity, among which are the lack of an updated policy on faculty tenure and promotion. The other obstacles have to do with the institutional instruments or requirements for determining promotion, such as, faculty and student evaluations and a systematic approach to support faculty research. Over the last several years, however, the University has gradually either addressed these problems or instituted measures to do so. For instance, the new Teaching-Learning Center (TLC) and the recently established Institute for Policy Studies and Research can now handle evaluations and regulate faculty research respectively. It is in this new light that this faculty promotion and tenure policy is being presented.
The document itself has a long genesis, as it has evolved over a period of about five years. In 2014 Dr. Momolu Gateweh, then Vice President for Academic Affairs, appointed a committee to review the policy on faculty promotion and tenure. The committee, headed by Professor T. Debey Sayndee, submitted its report to the Academic Coordination Committee (ACC). During the review of the report in 2016 some members of the ACC raised a number of questions. For instance, there was a call for greater transparency, decentralization of the procedures for promotion, and a clear definition of the various academic ranks. Accordingly, for example, a key change in this proposal is that the application for promotion and tenure begins in the applicant’s college —first in the department and later in the dean’s office—and then the recommendation is forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and finally to the President’s office. In this process, the ACC still plays a critical role in that it becomes the arbiter or ombudsman to evaluate protests from aggrieved faculty members who are dissatisfied with the result of their application for promotion.
Afterward Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, President of the University of Liberia, set up a subcommittee to review the comments and recommendations and revise the document; the subcommittee was headed by Dr. William Ezra Allen, Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 2017 an electronic copy of the original report was forwarded to the subcommittee. Following an initial revision, the document was then turned over to the newly established TLC for its evaluation and recommendation. In addition, others likewise appraised the document and contributed to this final draft. These latter contributors include, for instance, the proposed College of Health Sciences and a number of individuals. The names of the original committee members (and those of the subcommittee) are affixed at the end of the document.