Investigation Fails to Substantiate Claims of Bullying by Lincoln University President

Following the suicide of Antoinette Candia-Bailey, vice president for student affairs at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, a third-party investigation was launched to review her claims of mistreatment and bullying by Lincoln University President John Moseley. The investigation has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to substantiate Dr. Candia-Bailey’s allegations.

On January 18, the board of curators of Lincoln University asked Lewis Rice LLC to conduct an independent investigation into an email sent by Dr. Candia-Bailey on the day of her death. Her email outlined alleged accounts of bullying from President Moseley as well as claimed the university failed to accommodate her under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act.

Upon interviewing 24 university employees and analyzing thousands of documents such as emails, text messages, and internal communications, the investigators from Lewis Rice could not substantiate Dr. Candia-Bailey’s allegations. None of the employees interviewed in the investigation reported personally experiencing or witnessing bullying from Dr. Moseley. Additionally, the investigation found that the university did respond appropriately to Dr. Candia-Bailey’s accommodation requests by offering remote-work and accrued leave options. Since she had been with the university for less than 12 months, she was not eligible for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.

While the Lewis Rice investigation was ongoing, President Moseley was placed on paid administrative leave. Now that the investigation has been completed, the board of curators have voted to reinstate Dr. Moseley as president of Lincoln University.

“For us, this report is not the end of a process, but rather the beginning of one. None of its findings have led the board to doubt President Moseley’s ability to lead the University, but this tragedy has forced us to grapple more fully with issues facing Lincoln and our individual students and employees – ranging from mental health support to employee work and relationships,” said Victor Pasley, president of the board of curators. “We are incredibly grateful to Lincoln University’s students and employees, our alumni, and the university’s supporters in Missouri and across the country who have stood up to support Dr. Bailey’s loved ones. We’re also thankful to those who are agitating for a stronger Lincoln University – we share your commitment, we are listening, we hear you, and we are more dedicated than ever to strengthening our university.”

An open letter from the Lincoln University board of curators regarding the investigation’s findings can be accessed here.

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