Vice President for Academic Affairs Takes Sabbatical to Write History Book
Dr. William Ezra Allen, vice president for academic affairs of the University of Liberia begins a one-year Sabbatical to write a Liberian history. The announcement was made by Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, Jr., President of the University of Liberia on Thursday December 19, 2019 at the Joint UL Council and Faculty Senate meeting. Dr. Nelson, along with faculty and staff, wished Dr. Allen well on his Sabbatical. In addition, Dr. Nelson thanked Dr. Allen for successfully chairing the 2019 Centennial Commencement Celebrations, among which was the December 11th graduation, the largest class in the history of the institution.
Dr. Allen, a historian, is a 1983 graduate of the University of Liberia. He subsequently joined the UL Department of History as a teaching assistant and later obtained a Fulbright scholarship to study for his Master at Indiana University. He returned in 1989 and rejoined the history faculty. Dr. Allen traveled to the US during the Civil War and completed his Ph.D. at Florida International University. He taught at several universities in the US including Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2012, Dr. Allen returned to the University of Liberia. He was appointed interim chair of the Department of History in 2013, dean of Liberia College in 2016, and vice president for academic affairs in 2017.
He made the request for Sabbatical in early 2019 to then UL President Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, who acknowledging the need for research and publication in Liberian history, granted the Sabbatical. It was agreed that Dr. Allen would begin his Sabbatical after the 2019 Centennial Commencement. Upon assumption of the presidency of the University of Liberia, Dr. Nelson similarly approved the Sabbatical.
Dr. Allen’s record in academia comprises peer-reviewed publications, an edited textbook, development of new courses, and an examiner on two dissertation committees.
Among the publications are, “Liberia and the Atlantic World in the Nineteenth Century: Convergence and Effects,” History in Africa 37 (2010): 7-49; William E. Allen and D. Elwood Dunn, “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th, Not 23rd President of Liberia: A New Interpretative History” Liberian Studies Journal, 33 (2008): 64-68); “Historical Methodology and Writing the Liberian Past: The Case of Agriculture in the Nineteenth Century,” History in Africa, 32 (2005): 21-39; “Rethinking the History of Settler Agriculture in Nineteenth-Century Liberia,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 37, 3(2004): 435-462; editor “University of Liberia Social Science 201 Course Reader”: A Manuscript for a Co-Taught Six-Interdisciplinary Course, University of Liberia; “Making History in the Bedroom: Americo-Liberians and Indigenous Liberians Sexual Unions, 1880s-c. 1950s,” Liberian Studies Journal, August 2011. The new courses at the University of Liberia are Hist 205, History of Liberia to 1822 and Hist 206, History of Liberia after 1822 (UL). At Kennesaw State University he developed History 4490, History of Atlantic Civilization, 1415-1888.