- Lincoln University, a historically Black institution in Missouri, announced Thursday that it hired the law firm of Lewis Rice to investigate allegations of improper management after an administrator died by suicide earlier this month.
- Antoinette “Bonnie” Candia-Bailey, who had worked as the university’s vice president of student affairs, accused President John Moseley of bullying and mistreatment in a letter sent hours before she died on Jan. 8.
- Candia-Bailey’s death has left the campus reeling. Moseley volunteered to go on paid administrative leave until the investigation concludes, but college protesters are calling for his immediate removal.
Lincoln had hired Candia-Bailey to the vice president position in May 2023 after 23 years of experience in higher education.
But Candia-Bailey accused the university president of micromanagement, inconsistency and arrogance this month in a letter addressed to Moseley and sent to friends, family and alumni of Lincoln University. She contended that his behavior exacerbated an existing mental health issue, according to KCUR.
The university had terminated Candia-Bailey from her role less than a week earlier, on Jan. 3. The letter stated that the firing was due to insubordination and breaching confidentiality requirements, ABC News reported.
Before her death, Candia-Bailey requested family and medical leave from the university, saying that her relationship with Moseley had turned sour, according to emails obtained by KRCG 13.
She had made complaints to the university’s Board of Curators, according to those emails. However, the board’s president responded that it does not engage in management issues and would take no further action, the news station reported.
Sherman Bonds, president of the Lincoln University National Alumni Association, called for a leadership change, in a letter to the university’s board one day after Candia-Bailey’s death,
“The present administration has become a liability to the mission and health of the institution,” he wrote in a letter obtained by HBCU Buzz.
The alumni association has sent supplies to student protestors, who have gathered multiple days this week, KOMU 8 reported.
“As a Board, we are focused on having an independent expert promptly examine all of the facts so that we can take appropriate steps,” Board of Curators President Victor Pasley said in a statement Thursday. “As a University community, we want to prioritize the mental health of everyone here and make sure each employee and student is treated with dignity and respect.”
The law firm’s investigation will begin immediately, and the university expects it to conclude “in the coming weeks,” according to the announcement.