New president plans to move Liberia university

Newly inducted United Methodist University president Johnson Gwaikolo has announced plans to relocate the congested university from central Monrovia to a site 15 miles away.

One year after being named interim president of the university, Gwaikolo now heads the institution officially. During his induction ceremony Aug. 30, Gwaikolo said he would seek to move the university to an area off of Robert Field highway (airport road).

“The students need a conducive environment to enhance their learning at our school,” Gwaikolo said. “I am afraid the students might go to other institutions if the issue of space is not resolved in the soonest possible time.”

Asked how he and the university leadership are going to fund the relocation process, Gwaikolo said he is going to work with health institutions that have expressed interest in doing business with the school.

“We will move the institution college by college, and the college of health sciences will be the first on our list,” he said.

He pointed out that during the Ebola crisis, students of the college of health sciences were instrumental in serving various health institutions, highlighting the quality teaching services the university provides.

“Our school, especially the college of health sciences, was used as a training base for most Ebola health workers, including the one sponsored by the Discipleship Ministries,” Gwaikolo said.

Though he did not name specific health institutions that expressed a willingness to partner with the school, he said moving the college of health sciences first will be the quickest way to attract sponsorship.

“There are people and institutions that are standing by to help us move this college because of the contribution that we are making in the healthcare delivery program of Liberia,” he said.

The university also will launch a capital campaign to help raise funds. The effort will include reaching out to United Methodist-related institutions in the United States to create an e-library for students, he said.

Gwaikolo is the third president of the university since its establishment in 2000. He replaces the Rev. Emmanuel Bailey, who served as president for more than 10 years before being removed in 2015.

Previously, Gwaikolo served the United Methodist University as the vice president for business and finance. He also worked with the Liberian government in various positions. He is a doctoral candidate in Interdisciplinary Leadership at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Swen is a communicator in Liberia. News media contact: Vicki Brown, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or [email protected].


Like what you're reading?  United Methodist Communications is celebrating 80 years of ministry! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community.  Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Evangelism
Interpreter Victor Fahn signs the message of Esther Metzgar during a Sunday morning service at S.T. Nagbe United Methodist Church in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by E Julu Swen, UM News.

Church cares for Deaf community amid pandemic

Deaf church members in Zimbabwe and Liberia have adequate resources and information to fight the coronavirus thanks to United Methodist ministries.
General Church
United Methodist Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey presides over an online meeting of the denomination’s Council of Bishops. Amid financial pressure and a potential denominational split, the council called for postponing elections of new U.S. bishops and urged that five new African bishops be added only as resources allow. UM News screenshot via Zoom.

Council urges no new US bishops for 4 years

Under financial strain, United Methodist bishops recommend postponement of U.S. episcopal elections and slowdown on adding new bishops in Africa.
Mission and Ministry
The Rev. John Makaniko (left) gathers in fellowship with teenage members from Hatfield United Methodist Church circuit in Harare, Zimbabwe. Makaniko said young people are not immune to the stress and anxiety of COVID-19. Photo by Chenayi Kumuterera, UM News.

Pastors reveal emotional toll of COVID-19

Church leaders in Zimbabwe help counsel traumatized families, while also dealing with their own fears and anxiety amid pandemic.