Emmet A. Dennis, PhD, President Emeritus, University of Liberia

Dr. Emmet A. Dennis is a distinguished board member of National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and founding director of Liberia Institute of Biomedical Research (LIBR). He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Cuttington College and Divinity School in Liberia. He holds Master’s degree in Zoology from Indiana University, U. S. A. and Ph.D in Parasitology from University of Connecticut, U. S. A.

Between 2008-2016, Dr. Dennis was the President of the University of Liberia (35,000+ students). Recently, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees, University of Liberia, from 2006 to 2008. On leave from Rutgers University during the 2007/2008 academic year, Dr. Dennis was a Visiting Professor at the University of Liberia’s A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, Technical Advisor to the University of Liberia, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Health, and Tertiary Education Advisor to the President of Liberia.


Prior to his appointment as President of the University of Liberia, Dr. Dennis held the faculty rank as Professor I, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. At the latter university, Professor Dennis has served as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs of the large Department of Biological Sciences, Associate Provost for Academic Advancement of the Rutgers New Brunswick Campus, Dean of Rutgers University College, Rutgers – New Brunswick, Rutgers University Vice President for Student Affairs for all Rutgers geographic campuses (50,000+ students).

Professor Dennis also served as Co-Director of the highly competitive Bachelors/Medical Degree Programs between Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Medical School, and New Jersey Dental School. He was also Director of the Office for diversity and Academic Success in Sciences – an 800 student academic support and enrichment program for students in the sciences from under-represented populations.


Dr. Dennis was also the founding Director of the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR), Liberia, a World Health Organization Collaborating Unit with research and control programs in major tropical diseases. He served for two years as Chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics, Cuttington University (then Cuttington College and Divinity School).

Professor Dennis is a member of a member of professional organizations. He has many scholarly honors and awards and he has received a number of sizeable research and educational grants awards. He has published many peer-reviewed journal articles in his field. In 2006, in honor of his tenth anniversary as Dean of University College, the Alumni Dean’s Advisory Council established and presented to Rutgers University, the Emmet A. Dennis Endowed Scholarship. In 2002, he was awarded the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters by his alma mater, Cuttington University when he gave its commencement address. In May 1997, he was presented with the competitive and celebrated Rutgers Presidential Award for Excellence in Education, the Warren I. Sussman Award. Prior to that, he received another competitive award as Rutgers Distinguished Contributor to Undergraduate Education from the faculty of Arts and Sciences.

During the latter years of the 1980s and first half of the 1990s, Dr. Dennis headed the LiberianCoalition for Relief, an organization of Liberians and friends of Liberia that sent medical teams and commodities to displaced Liberians both in Sierra Leone and Liberia and articulated the Liberian cause to international and national government and non-government agencies all over the US. In recognition of these efforts, City of Newarks, New Jersey presented to Dr. Dennis a Distinguished Service Resolution for these humanitarian efforts.

At its open deliberation on February 26, 2009, the Board of Governors of Rutgers University named Dr. Emmet A. Dennis as Rutgers University Distinguished Service Professor for the many contributions he has made to that University over the years in his various positions and capacities.

Finally, Dr. Dennis was awarded the additional title of University Professor, a rank reserved for the most distinguished of Rutgers Professor which is only awarded to full professors who have distinguished themselves.

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