Alumni Publicly Issues “No Confidence In Chair of the Board” of HBCU Lincoln University, PA

September 15, 2015
Dear Alumnus/Alumna,
Robert Ingram
After much thought, deliberation and attempts to meet and work with the leadership of the Board of Trustees, I regret to inform you that the Executive Committee of the AALU is expressing No Confidence in Chairlady Kimberly Lloyd and is requesting the immediate resignation of the Chair and the entire slate of officers who serve in her cabinet at her pleasure and the approval of Lincoln University’s Board of Trustees.
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Many would agree that the direction of Lincoln has been in question since the beginning of the current Board under Chairlady Lloyd’s leadership. As a result of the continuing decline in stakeholder relations and lack of communications, a newly-formed Coalition of Students, Alumni, Parents and Faculty recently sent a letter to Ms. Lloyd and Interim President Dr. Richard Green requesting a meeting to address concerns, seek information and hopefully find common ground to develop positive solutions to the numerous challenges and time-sensitive issues affecting each group of vitally important university stakeholders.
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The Chairlady chose not to respond at all. Interim President Green responded in a manner that did not grant the coalition’s request to meet and discuss matters but rather, stated that the Coalition’s list of major concerns were premature to a review of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan which is underway.  Furthermore, the Coalition has been denied a requested opportunity to be included on the agenda in the public portion of the Board of Trustees meeting on September 19, 2015. We believe this action is a material violation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Sunshine Laws.
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The direction of the university under the leadership of the current Chair of the Board of Trustees is of primary concern to many alumni and we feel duty bound to speak out and forestall any further erosion of alumni engagement and relations. We believe that it is critical that the pattern of disregard, disengagement and disrespect of alumni of Lincoln University, that has been characteristic of this Chair, be halted now. The alumni of Lincoln desire not to be viewed and treated as an ATM, or competitors to university administrators, particularly the Office of Alumni Relations and some Trustees on the Board.
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Among the many issues we find necessary to prompt our call for new leadership on the Board of Trustees are:

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  • Refusal even in the face of overwhelming alumni support to reconsider and turn back Alumni Class Reunions to May. October Reunions have been a failure. Acting President Harrison had signed-off on a measure to restore the Reunions to May prior to her departure, yet qualified and informed sources indicate that the Chair sought to turn back that decision and thus we continue to pursue failed and undesirable policies with no justification or accountability;

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  • Refusal to take graduation back to Sunday from Friday, even though alumni, students and family are unable to fully and freely participate in the Friday Commencement and each group along with many in the faculty desire a return to the traditional day;

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  • The lack of desire and neglect to keep alumni and all stakeholders informed as to process of the Presidential Search and overall leadership succession as well as input and inclusion as the university is in a time of great transition and challenge;

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  • Refusal to include alumni in the process to determine and designate Lincoln University on the National Register of Historic Places even though it was the alumni, themselves, who made early contact and got the process started as a result of stopping the Chairlady and the former University President from demolishing historic Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall (circa 1867);

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  • Questionable accounting and fund-raising practices that minimize the impact of and discourage alumni giving;

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  • The Chairlady has blocked the Alumni Association from the use of unused and unimproved vacant space on the 3rd floor of Alumni House–claiming through a high-level administrator (we have the email) that she personally reserved that space for her discretion and use. This would be in addition to the apartment suite that the Chairlady holds exclusive access in the Marshall Center. We believe this to be a clear conflict of interest;

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  • Inability to demonstrate effective oversight of the University and its resources. The Board of Trustees has accepted or acquiesced in the management of the university to temporary, acting or interim personnel at the most responsible positions. The Interim President, Interim VP for Institutional Advancement and the Acting Provost are all cabinet level, temporary personnel. This was a large factor in the downgrade of Lincoln’s investment and economic status by Moody’s last year which identified too many vacancies in cabinet level positions as a factor in their rating;

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  • Consistent pattern of ignoring and not answering emails and letters that is indicative of a pervasive culture at the university that lacks attention to customer service as well as professionalism;

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  • Support of an alumni relations office and mindset that continues to encroach upon and ignore alumni traditions while enacting programs and policies with little or no alumni input in the planning or programming; and

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  • A lack of accountability and an airing of the facts surrounding the departure of our last permanent President as well as his hiring under the recommendation of the search committee chaired by Ms. Lloyd who expressed unequivocal support for that President, even in the face of a global, viral onslaught and outcry impacting negatively upon Lincoln University’s reputation while all else knew the final outcome.
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In closing, it is time to right the ship and seek out and find leadership that builds bridges not fox holes for a fight. The alumni of Lincoln University are among the most successful and resourceful professionals in the world and it is time to bring them back en masse to move Lincoln to and beyond its next 160 years. To our Chairlady’s credit, she stepped up when others did not or would not. There are a number of fair and talented professionals on our Board of Trustees.  We believe it is time for those individuals to now step up and move our university beyond this tumultuous period.

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In service,
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.
Robert Ingram ’76
President
Alumni Association of Lincoln University

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