Speaking during his induction ceremony on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia, he pointed out that institutions of higher learning must be able to provide for the enhancement of Liberia’s intellect and work towards driving the entire national economic progress. He said the contributions of each institution including the United Methodist University of Liberia (UMU) to national development are particularly critical at this point and time in the nation’s history, adding, “The qualifications of our youth will determine the future of our country.” He further indicated that Liberia’s future depends upon a quality higher education system that will produce leaders who will move the country in a progressive direction.
Dr. Albert B. Coleman, the newly inducted President of the United Methodist University of Liberia (UMU) wants the overall goal of higher education to be, making Liberia great. “We as a nation, and Institutions of Higher Learning should agree that all our plans and programs should be geared toward developing men and women who are able to meet the manpower needs for national development,” Dr. Coleman said.
He wants the leadership of all Institutions of Higher Learning in Liberia to ensure that the education that they are providing to Liberians can extend the progressive possibilities of the society and guarantee the intellectual capital for development and sustained wealth and reduction of poverty. “It should create greater potential for development and serve as a resource for continued human development and the eradication of poverty in Liberia,” Dr. Coleman emphasized.
UMU President Coleman told attendees at the induction ceremony that Higher Education in Liberia must be capable of creating healthy attitudes, and behaviors for nationhood to ensure continual security, with mutual respect among the many diverse cultural and ethnic groups. “We as higher education institutions must be able to build our core national capacity which will advance us as a respectable society capable of contributing and competing regionally and globally,” he concluded.
Earlier, the Resident Bishop of the Liberia Episcopal Area, Rev. Dr. Samuel J. Quire, Jr., challenged that Dr. Coleman and his entire administration that he wants the UMU Relocation Plan (known as the Liberia Project) to take off within the next five years. Also serving as Chairman of the UMU Board of Directors, Bishop Quire said the university must ensure that the quality of education delivered to the Liberian students can prepare them for the global community. “We want our students to shine throughout the academic communities here at home and abroad,” Bishop Quire noted.
Established in 1998, Dr. Albert Byrleton Coleman is now the 5th President of the United Methodist University of Liberia. Prior to becoming president, Dr. Coleman served the university as Interim and Acting President. He also served as Vice president for Academic Affairs.