Lincoln University of Missouri has brought in an outside party to review personnel concerns following the death of Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Antoinette “Bonnie” Candia-Bailey. The HBCU administrator took her own life on Monday (Jan. 8), sparking outrage and calls for university President Dr. John Moseley’s firing.
In the wake of her passing, complaints of being unfairly treated by Moseley became public knowledge as excerpts of a private letter Candia-Bailey penned were shared with members of the media. The long-time administrator took on the VP role in May 2023. Soon after, her friends said her once-happy demeanor began to deteriorate. Her letter shed light on how she had been “intentionally harassed and bullied” and denied career guidance after receiving a poor evaluation from Moseley.
Before becoming university president in 2022, Moseley served as the school’s director of athletics and a head basketball coach.
On Friday (Jan. 12) afternoon, the university’s Board of Curators released a statement informing the student body that Moseley volunteered to be placed on paid administrative leave as personnel matters were reviewed. “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,” said Board of Curators President Victor Pasley.
“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,” Pasley continued.
Lincoln’s National Alumni Association President Sherman Bonds told KOMU-TV that Candia-Bailey was relieved of her duties at the university on Jan. 3. “Between five days, her level of despair was beyond hope, and she took her life. That causes us to pause, and she wrote a manifesto, a letter to Dr. Moseley, giving directions to improving his leadership,” Bonds said.
It is unclear how long the review process will be underway or if Moseley is expected to be immediately reinstated or reprimanded pending the outcome.