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Lincoln University president put on paid leave after administrator’s death


The Lincoln University Board of Curators will contract a third party to review personnel issues and concerns about mental health after an administrator's death.

President John Moseley volunteered to be placed on paid leave during the review and Stevie Lawrence, provost and vice president of academic affairs, will serve as acting president, Lincoln said in a news release.

"As a Board, we are committed to make certain the mental health of Lincoln University employees is a priority and that every employee is always treated with dignity and respect,” Board of Curators President Victor Pasley said in a prepared statement. “The Board has confidence in the leadership team we have at Lincoln, but as we all work together to serve students and the Lincoln University community, this review will fully examine important questions, concerns and gather facts. Dr. Moseley agrees those issues should be examined and has volunteered to go on leave during the review so that it can move forward in a fully independent way.”

The news release mentions the death of Antionette "Bonnie" Candia-Bailey, vice president for student affairs. ABC 17 News obtained a memo written by Bailey the day of her death, laying out several complaints over Moseley's leadership. Bailey said Moseley was overly-controlling of the university and was "defensive" with others that tried to give him feedback.

A spring announcement about her hiring says she was a Chicago native with 23 years of experience in higher education and a longtime supporter of historically Black institutions such as Lincoln.

Bailey's death has upset students and alumni over the president and board's handling of the situation. Dr. Herbert Kitchen and Nell Cheatham, both Lincoln alums, said they spoke with Bailey two days before she wrote her memo. The two said Bailey shared many of the same concerns she wrote about but seemed in good spirits on the call.

"The bullying, the harassment that she went through was just too much," Cheatham said.

Dr. Earl Wheatfall Sr. told ABC 17 News that the Board of Curators bore some of the blame. Bailey said board president Victor Pasley said the board doesn't "engage in the management of of personnel issues" at the school when she shared her concerns.

The three said they feared the third-party review would be used as a tool to cover up the mistakes the board had made. Wheatfall suggested someone from the alumni community be involved to ensure accountability.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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