FIU neuroscientist becomes president of University of Liberia

Retired FIU Biology professor Ophelia Weeks has been named president of the University of Liberia.

Already at work in her new role, Weeks will be officially installed as the university’s 14th president during a ceremony later this month. She replaces Emmet Dennis who retired in December.

Weeks spent more than 30 years as a neuroscientist with FIU, joining the faculty in 1986. She served as director of QBIC — Quantifying Biology in the Classroom — an in-depth biological sciences program and was an affiliate faculty member of what would become the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. During her time at FIU, she received many university awards included the Excellence in Teaching Award, Excellence in Service Award and the Minority Faculty Development Award.

Throughout the years, she often returned to her native Liberia, sometimes for a visit and other times for work. In 2006, she became an affiliate faculty member of the University of Liberia’s A.M. Dogliotti School of Medicine. In recent years, Weeks split her time between the United States and Liberia and had assumed a leadership role within the University of Liberia. She permanently relocated to her homeland earlier this year when she retired from FIU in January.

Weeks has had a long history with the University of Liberia, going back to her childhood when, at age 7, she resided with her family on campus after her father became the third president of the university. Weeks is the second woman to lead the university since its founding in 1951.