Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks
President, University of Liberia
Ophelia Inez Weeks, PhD, is now the fourteenth (14th) President of the University of Liberia, and the second female to lead the institution since it founded in 1951. Dr Weeks is a neuroanatomist and was a professor at Florida International University (FIU) for than three decades in its Biological Sciences Department. She was seconded by FIU to the University of Liberia (UL) in December 2012 to assist with Liberia’s rebuilding efforts from its long civil war.
She served as Dean for UL’s College of Science & Technology (ULCoST) through April 2016. In May 2016, she was appointed as UL’s Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost. In January 2017 she retired from FIU after 30 years of service. Dr. Weeks is an advocate for students, and had a long-standing record at FIU of mentoring a wide cross-section of students for careers in biomedical research, and professional schools. She brought to UL her dedication to students’ scholarship.
Dr. Weeks spearheaded development of an innovative undergraduate biological sciences curriculum at FIU called QBIC (Quantifying Biology in the Classroom) was its founding Director (2007-2012). She has served as major professor and committee member-to-completion of 30+ graduate students, and has supervised the research of over 40 undergraduate and high school students. Dr. Weeks was the recipient of over $5.5M in funded grants, largely, while at FiU. She has gained both national and international reputation as an expert on educational issues -pedagogical, curricular, and mentoring and has been called to serve in varying capacities.
For example, she was a member of FIU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Development and Design Team for Global Learning for Global Citizenship. She participated in a USA conference on Transforming Undergraduate Education in Biology: Mobilizing the Community for Change. She was a plenary speaker at the Africando Hemispheric Summit on Science, Technology & Research for Africa’s Development, sponsored by Foundation for Democracy in Africa. She was an invited guest of the Government of Bermuda to participate in an international women’s conference, speaking on Empowering the Next Generation – How do we prepare our sons & daughters?
In Liberia, she has been a Grand Rounds Seminar Speaker at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center speaking on Developing Effective HIV Infection Prevention Programs, and a guest speaker at the Liberian Rotary Club speaking on The Road Back Home-Our Responsibility as Educators. Dr. Weeks spent a part of her 2011 sabbatical leave at UL where she taught an HIV/AIDS, Science, Society & Global Issues course in the Biology Department, a Neuroanatomy course to first year medical students at the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine (AMDCM) and served as Technical Advisor to the Dean at AMDCM.
In 2013, she was an invited guest speaker at the Women in Public Service Conference on Conflict Transformation Through Economic Development And Innovation, in Lowell, Massachusetts, and made a presentation as a panelist on The Role of Women and Healthcare in Country Development. In 2015 and 2016 she moderated a panel on “Lessons learned from the Ebola Epidemic” at the 5th International Conference on Global Health, and on “Challenges on Control & Prevention of Vector-borne Viral Diseases” at the 6th International Conference on Global Health, respectively, in Miami, Florida. Dr. Weeks spearheaded organization of an Ebola Awareness Team in 2014 for ULCoST that subsequently developed into a University-wide Ebola Response Committee, which she co-chaired; the committee developed EVD awareness and prevention projects in communities around UL’s campuses.
As Dean of ULCoST, she played a major role in transforming the Division of Engineering into a College of Engineering. Already, positive changes are being realized in overall faculty profile and commitment, and students’ satisfaction and performance under her leadership as UL’s Vice President of Academic Affairs.
The Board of Trustees, and the University of Liberia Family congratulate Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks on her appointment as the fourteenth (14th) President of the University of Liberia.