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Lincoln University curators hire law firm to investigate harassment allegations

Founded in 1866, Lincoln University is a historically Black college in Jefferson City. It started when Civil War soldiers of the 62nd United States Colored Infantry returned to Missouri and wanted to establish an educational institution.
Kassidy Arena
A news release from the university said the investigation would begin this week and be completed in a few weeks.

Lincoln University has hired a St. Louis-based law firm to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of harassment and bullying raised by a university vice president who committed suicide last week.

The board of curators hired a team of attorneys from the higher education group Lewis Rice to review issues raised in an email sent by Antoinette “Bonnie” Candia-Bailey to university president John Moseley before she took her life.

A news release from the university said the investigation would begin this week and be completed in a few weeks.

On Jan. 3, Moseley fired Candia-Bailey, a university alum and vice president of student affairs. Before taking her life on Jan. 8, she sent an email accusing Moseley of bullying and harassment. After he gave her an unexpected negative performance review in November, she said, he never gave her an action plan or direction on how to improve her performance.

Candia-Bailey’s death and her letter ignited alumni and students. Moseley volunteered to be placed on paid administrative leave while the review is conducted.

“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,” Board of Curators President Victor Pasley said.

The release said investigators would provide the curators with regular updates during the review, but that the board and university leaders would have no comment until the review is completed.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.
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