New Virginia Union University President Is Sued by His Former Employer

On September 1, 2017, Hakim Lucas became the 13th president of Virginia Union University in Richmond. For the previous five years, Dr. Lucas served as vice president for institutional advancement at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Now Dr. Lucas and two other officials are the subject of a lawsuit filed by Bethune-Cookman University. The suit alleges that Dr. Lucas, Edison Jackson, then president of Bethune-Cookman, and the university’s chief financial officer took bribes from private developers that saddled the school with $306 million in debt over 40 years to pay for two residential halls that house 600 students each.

Virginia Union University issued a statement that read in part: “VUU utilized a through and standard search and vetting process in the hiring of Dr. Lucas. It is not appropriate for VUU to comment on any specific litigation in Florida as we are not involved.”

Earlier in his career, Dr. Lucas served as director of development for the Old Westbury campus of the State University of New York and dean of institutional advancement and development at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.

Dr. Lucas is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. He holds a master’s degree in education from Tufts University in Massachusetts, a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York, and a doctoral degree in education from Fordham University in New York.

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  1. I question what kind of background check VUU officials conducted before hiring Dr. Lucas.
    The allegations from Bethune- Cookman are not exactly things that were swept under the rug. I am sure that there was some type of information in the air from Bethune-Cookman before he left. Did VUU conduct a Trump- like investigation- “We looked him in the eye and asked him if the Bethune-Cookman allegations were true and he emphatically said NO.” Therefore, our conclusion is that the allegations are “fake news.” My Alma Matter deserves a better hiring process for its president.

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