LIBERIA – On June 21, 2021, the Campaigners for Academic Crimes Court (CACC) presented a strong public case justifying why “honorary credentials” should not be considered at various academic institutions across Liberia.
To push this case further, CACC presented a concept note to the National Commission on Higher Education in 2021.
In a press statement issued and signed by Martin K. N. Kollie, Lead Campaigner of CACC on Monday, February 13, 2023, said, “Today, we are proud to announce that a new policy intended to improve the quality and the integrity of higher education in Liberia has been passed, and it’s now in full effect.
The CACC has accomplished yet another milestone in its national campaign to promote academic excellence, fair competition, optimal human capital, and increased public-private productivity throughout Liberia. This victory belongs to the PEOPLE.”
The statement further indicated that the CACC wants to appreciate the current management team of the NCHE headed by Professor Edward Lama Wonkeryor (Ph.D.). This policy couldn’t have come at a better time than this.
Two important highlights of the new policy are:
1) All Presidents and Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs (VPAAs) of various universities/colleges must possess a doctorate degree from an accredited university;
2) An Honorary Degree Holder is DISALLOWED to serve as President or Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) at any Higher Education Institution in Liberia.
Since the NCHE has already communicated this new policy to all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) including universities and colleges, the CACC is calling on all HEIs to immediately adjust and unconditionally conform to this new policy.
We want to state emphatically clear that it is fraudulent and disingenuous for someone with a master’s degree to be heading a university. Only in Liberia, such an unthinkable precedent is being set. Either we end it now or risk losing the future of a whole generation. The CACC notes with disappointment that almost every university/college in Liberia has already been HOOKED by this new and proactive policy.
Therefore, we will give every institution at most two weeks to readjust. If anything less than this, we will be compelled to roll out the following actions:
1) We will call on students to de-enroll from your school because you do not meet the prescribed standard(s) to run a higher education institution;
2) We will rally the students and Liberians in general to organize consistent peaceful protests until the right thing is done;
3) We will explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit because you are destroying the future of thousands of Liberian students;
4) We will launch a mass media campaign against your school (print, electronic, and social media).
We encourage you to not allow us to reach this point. Once again, we want to call on all HEIs to abide by this new policy. During this national campaign intended to weed out academic fraud and fake credentialists, we want to reassure the public that there will be no sacred cow. We will pursue everybody and anybody until the education system is totally rescued. Liberians have suffered too long from academic fraud. The CACC is ending it. We will protect the future of this country even at the very peril of our lives. The Republic deserves better!