HBCU president cleared of wrongdoing in Black administrator’s suicide

Photo: Lincoln University

The president of a historically Black university has been cleared of bullying and harassment in the suicide of a Black administrator following an independent investigation, according to NBC News. Lincoln University’s Board of Curators said President John Moseley will keep his position after investigators found no evidence he bullied Dr. Antoinette “Bonnie” Candia-Bailey.

Candia-Bailey, 49, was an alumna of the HBCU and served as the school’s vice president of student affairs before her death in early January. She reportedly lodged several complaints alleging workplace harassment and bullying at the hands of Moseley in a letter, sparking intense backlash and protests from students and alumni.

“For us, this report is not the end of a process, but rather the beginning of one,” Victor Pasley, president of the university’s Board of Curators, said in a Thursday (March 21) statement. “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.”

Candia-Bailey’s parents told NBC News Moseley allegedly fired their daughter days before she took her own life. Her close friend, Monica Graham, previously claimed the administrator felt depressed and unsupported at her job. Candia-Bailey also detailed her mental health struggles in her final letter.

During the investigation, Moseley was placed on paid leave as many called for his termination. The university president addressed the findings in Lincoln University’s statement, saying his “thoughts and prayers have been and continue to be with Dr. Bailey’s family, friends, and our campus community.”

“The Board advised me of the report’s findings a week ago, and I’ve had time to reflect and to discuss my future and that of the University with my family and members of the Lincoln University community,” Moseley stated. “I care deeply for this University, its mission, our students, staff and faculty and I look forward to returning from administrative leave to resume my duties as President.”

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