Cuttington University (CU) Board of Trustees has suspended the University president Dr. Hermon Browne following days of protests by faculty in demand of hundred percent salary increment and better working conditions.
The NewDawn’s Bong County correspondent says the board took the decision on Wednesday, 20 May following a meeting with faculty members. Instructors at CU laid down their chalks since 15 May as part of the protest in which they are demanding Dr. Browne’s dismissal and a 60 percent payment of thesis fees at the graduate school.
Announcing the Board’s decision, Board Chair and Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Liberia Dr. Jonathan B.B. Hart said Dr. Browne’s suspension is intended to create an atmosphere of peace while investigation on allegations against him is being carried out.
Dr. Hart officially announced a staff of the University Rev. Father James Tamba as the Interim President of CU.Following the announcement by Dr. Hart, members of the Cuttington University Faculty Association agreed to abandon their strike action and return to classes beginning Thursday, 31 May.
The president of the Cuttington University Faculty Association (CUFA), Lepolu Torlon, described the decision of the Board of Trustees as victory. He says this is the beginning of Dr. Browne’s departure from the institution.
“At this time, it is important that the Cuttington University Faculty remains focused on our top priority and greatest treasure which is our students,” he says.He says he thinks it’s commendable the board had the courage to take action when there were some real mistakes made.
Education Minister Professor Dao Ansu Sonii and Justice Minister Musa Dean who attended the mediation meeting say they were glad that an understanding has been reached for normal academic activities to resume at the university.
They add that the situation at Cuttington has drawn the attention of President George Weah and maintain that its amicable resolution will make the President glad.
They praise the students for exercising restraint and also commend members of the Cuttington University Faculty Association for agreeing to return to classes.
Students danced and jubilated as Dr. Browne’s suspension was being announced.Students who spoke to our correspondent say they finally feel relieved. Interim president Rev. Father James Tamba will steer the affairs of the school until the conclusion of the semester.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parle