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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Lincoln University Missouri Alumni Association Board Issues ‘No-Confidence Statement’ Following President’s Reinstatement

The Lincoln University Alumni Association (LUAA) Board of Directors has issued a statement of no-confidence in the Lincoln University Board of Curators’ “ability to bring forward an effective leader who can bring healing to this institution of higher education.”

This statement comes after the Board of Curators released a summary report of a third-party investigation last week, which found no evidence of bullying against former Lincoln University administrator Antoinette “Bonnie” Candia-Bailey.

Candia-Bailey, former vice president for student affairs, wrote a 12-page letter to Lincoln University President John Moseley, alumni and faculty, accusing the president of bullying and harassment before she died by suicide on January 8th.

Statement from Lincoln University Missouri Alumni Association provided to HBCU Buzz on March 21, 2024.

Moseley was placed on paid administrative leave on January 12th. Since then, students have organized protests calling for Moseley’s removal. Moseley was reinstated as president by the Board of Curators following the completion of the third-party investigation. Attorney Ron Norwood led the investigation team at Lewis Rice LLC, who is a member of the governing board and was the past board president of an HBCU.

“There is not a lot I can say about the independent report and its findings, but I am grateful to the Board of Curators for their faith in me and their vote of confidence,” Moseley said in a statement last Thursday.

“The Board advised me of the report’s findings a week ago, and I’ve had time to reflect and to discuss my future and that of the University with my family and members of the Lincoln University community. I care deeply for this University, its mission, our students, staff and faculty and I look forward to returning from administrative leave to resume my duties as President.”

Lincoln University x Jefferson City, MO
Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO.

However, President of LUAA Sherman Bonds said the investigation was flawed.

“They brought us a narrative that cleared them and cleared Dr. Moseley,” Bonds said.

In the statement, Bonds expressed concern with how the investigation was conducted and questioned how interviewees were selected. Regional law firm Lewis Rice, which conducted the investigation, interviewed 24 university employees, including 19 employees and five members of the Board.

“You can’t give testimony and then turn around and vindicate yourself through your own testimony and call it an independent inquiry,” Bonds said.

Bonds said this investigation undermines the confidence in the Board of Curators’ abilities.

“We don’t have confidence in what they do, because it’s like ‘you (the board) are inept, and you want us to be in collusion with your ruse,’” Bonds said. “And, I choose not to include myself, and so does the (LUAA) board.” 

Bonds said he would like the Board of Curators to exit with dignity.

“We’d like for Dr. Moseley to resign at this point,” Bonds said. “We’d like for the members of the Board of Curators whose terms are expiring to exit at this stage.”

Lincoln University
Lincoln University students protest outside the administration building calling for the removal of Lincoln University President John Moseley in Jefferson City, Mo.

Some former students of the university are also calling for a separate investigation.

“Her last words to us, when we asked her ‘how can we help’ she said, ‘pray for me, I love you all, and do not let them sweep this under the rug.’ We are going to make sure that other Black females do not have to suffer things that they have endured,” Nell Cheatham, Lincoln University attendee, told ABC News in a recent interview.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 for free, confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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