MONROVIA – The University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) has challenged authorities of the state-owned institution to fast track its recently announced credential audits in a bid to weed out fake degrees holders lecturing at the UL.
ULFA comprises of professors, lecturers, and staffs of the government-owned university.
It can be recalled that sometimes ago, the University of Liberia, through the office of the Vice President Academic Affairs (VPAA) mandated all full-time and part-time faculties of the university to submit their credentials to the office for a “credential audit”.
ULFA’s latest call comes in the wake of allegations that a Professor at the university, Dr. Jeremiah Whapoe and Dr. Josephus Gray have fake degrees.
In recent times, a group calling itself Campaigners for Academic Crimes Court (CACC) headed by its Lead Campaigner, Youth and Student Activist Martin Kollie, stated that the “Argosy University”, which Dr. Whapoe claimed to have obtain is doctorate degree in education does not exist.
Dr. Whapoe, who is an Adjunct Professor of the Graduate School at UL, is also the Head of Graduate Program in Nursing/Midwifery Education and a Professor of Cognitive Therapy and Psychology – Mother Pattern College of Health Sciences, Stella Maris Polytechnic University.
He’s also the Political Leader of the Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT).
CACC claimed that the education system in Liberia is inundated with or besieged by a salvo of “fake credentialists” who often masquerade as academics.
“These hardcore con artists are mostly found at post-secondary institutions. The floodgate of academic fraud in Liberia remains unrestricted and unchecked. Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA, QC) at various higher education institutions is lacking. Hence, phony credentials, like Jeremiah Whapoe’s PhD, have defrauded such a frail education system like ours”.
CACC maintained that the University of Liberia has reached a decision to confer full professorship on alleged “fake credentialist like Jeremiah Whapoe without conducting any credential audit”.
The group also claimed that the Dean of the Liberia College, Dr. Gray, did not obtain a PhD in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (CEDS) in France as being claimed by him.
“The Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (CEDS) that Mr. Josephus Moses Gray is claiming to have obtained his PhD from is phony. It is neither accredited as a University nor a College. CEDS does not have any accreditation and/or legal authorization to operate as a degree-granting institution in France. No accreditation agency has ever granted/issued CEDS such right/privilege; not even to offer Certificate Courses or AA Courses. CEDS is claiming to be a “think tank” in diplomacy and international relations. How can a “think tank” or a common “center” offer PhD credentials?”, CACC stated.
It added: “Where is CEDS? It is nowhere to be found throughout France. CEDS is a utopian school like the Atlantic International University (AIU) and the Charisma University. CEDS is a degree mill that auctions fake credentials only to people like Josephus Gray. To conclude, we, the Campaigners for Academic Crimes Court (CACC), with full knowledge of the facts and after thorough investigation of Josephus Gray’s PhD credential, can 100% confirm and attest that Gray has a fake PhD in International Relations and Diplomacy”.
In a statement issued in Monrovia under the signature of its Public Relations Director Eric Patten over the week end, ULFA recalled that it leadership reminded the VPAA’s office to make public and official the results of the audit exercises so as to rid the UL of “fake degrees” in December and January 2022.
The group emphasized that these reports of lecturers or professors tutoring at the UL with fake degrees has the propensity of casting a “dark cloud” on the University of Liberia and the faculty association.
“ULFA attention has been drawn to viral social media accusations against some of our colleagues at the University of Liberia (UL). Particularly, in recent weeks, ULFA offices have been engaged by concerned faculty members asking the leadership to intervene so as to save the general image of the faculty and the university”.
“ULFA is troubled by these recent allegations. The leadership therefore calls on the office of the VPAA and the President of the University of Liberia to fast track the exercises of the credential audits”.
The group further called on the administration of the UL to “give particular attention to recent allegations against Dr. Josephus Gray and Dr. Jeremiah Whapoe as an assurance to the public on the credibility of the UL as was done in the case of Representative Alex Grant”.
Representative Grant, who is serving his second term as lawmaker of Grand Gedeh County, lied on his official facebook page that he earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Ibandan in Nigeria in 2005.
But FrontPageAfrica established that he has never been a student of the university.
In response to FPA inquiry, the Administration of the University of Ibandan described as “academic fraud” claims by Grant that he attended the university in 2005, stating that such claims have the propensity of undermining the integrity and image of the university.
“I regret to inform that Grant Alex Chersex did not graduate from this university and was never awarded the Bachelor of Science in Sociology with Second Class Honor (Upper Degree) effective November 19, 2005 as claimed,” the university said in a statement.
In response, Grant said the allegations could be a product of “mischief makers with potential to foment distractions from weighty matters of the country.”
“Do I need degree to be representative or do I need degree to serve my people; or do I also need degree to make money? Let them be wasting their time. Marshall Dennis is afraid because he has nothing to show to our people in 2023, I will beat him in the election massively, young people are wasting their time on things that don’t benefit them.”
Grant was a senior student majoring in Education at the University of Liberia’s Master’s program, with an ID number ID# 94975 when news of his fake undergraduate degree broke out.
ULFA urged both Dr. Whapoe and Dr. Gray to “muster the courage to provide clarity and show proof of academic achievements so as to bring a close to these allegations that are detrimental to the survival of the UL in our modern dispensation”.
“The leadership of ULFA therefore requests all of its members to remain calm and be assured that we will pursue this to its logical conclusion”.
Meanwhile, those accused are yet to official respond to the allegations made by CACC and the latest statement issued by ULFA.