Lincoln University VP of Student Affairs dead after suffering workplace bullying: Report

Photo: Lincoln University

The vice president of student affairs at a historically-Black university in Missouri has died by suicide after she lodged several complaints alleging workplace bullying and harassment, enraging alumni and stoking calls for the university president’s termination.

KRCG received documents and emails that detailed the final thoughts of Dr. Antoinette “Bonnie” Candia-Bailey, the Vice President of Student Affairs at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, as well as her complaints about school leadership. In these statements, the administrator claims she suffered “stigmatized bullying” from University President Dr. John Moseley and the Board of Curators after disclosing her mental health struggles.

Candia-Bailey, who graduated from the university in 1998, said she was “intentionally harassed and bullied” after getting a poor evaluation. When she reportedly asked for help from Moseley about this, the president allegedly “ignored requests (failing to respond to emails), or when face-to-face, danced around the topic.”

The vice president of student affairs also contacted the Board of Curators about Moseley’s alleged behavior, and the board president responded in part, “Please be advised the Board of Curators does not engage in the management of personnel issues for Lincoln University and will not be taking further action related to this issue.”

Reporters reviewed the Board of Curators’ bylaws, and it’s unclear whether they can take on issues relating to personnel or human resources.

In an email sent on the day she took her own life, Candia-Bailey requested someone else speak with her family on behalf of the administration.

“You are not to have any contact,” she wrote. “You’ve caused enough harm and mental damage.”

Outraged members of the LU Alumni Association took to social media to express their anger, demanding Moseley’s firing or resignation. They even started a hashtag, #FireMoseley, to bring attention to the incident.

“Dr. Antoinette Bonnie Candia-Bailey’s tragic loss to suicide calls us to action. Join us in solidarity with Lincoln University of Missouri to demand accountability and stand against the silence surrounding mental health and bullying,” Alexis Anginette Wells, a Lincoln University alumna, wrote on Instagram Thursday (January 11). “Together, we can spark a movement for a safer and more compassionate world.”


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Candia-Bailey’s loved ones described her as a positive and generous person with a radiant personality. Shaunice Hill, a close friend of the LU graduate, said she noticed a change in Candia-Bailey after she accepted the position as Vice President of Student Affairs in May 2023.

“I was literally just with her at homecoming and she was like ‘I’m just trying to make it through.’” Hill told KRCG. “Her whole demeanor had changed. Yes, she was still smiling, but you could tell that something was off – something was different.”

The news station reached out to Lincoln University leaders for comment, but they declined the request. The Board of Curators is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Friday (January 12) with a partially open session agenda.

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