Firm, faculty recommend that Lincoln University mend relationship with foundation

Report deems court costs 'unnecessary'

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - In the Lincoln University Board of Curators meeting Thursday, Faculty Senate chairman Bryan Salmons expressed concerns from the body over the turmoil between LU and its former fundraising partner.

The longtime working relationship between Lincoln University and The Lincoln University Foundation ended in January, after which the nonprofit was renamed The 62nd and 65th Regiments Legacy Foundation.

Salmons hinted at an official recommendation from the Faculty Senate that the university mend the relationship with the foundation.

"If there's any negotiation, mediation, that could solve this, we urge that it take place," said Salmons.

This recommendation is similar to the contents of a fiscal assessment performed by a Georgia-based accounting firm in June.

The report, the entirety of which can be found by following this link, suggested three things of the university: 

  • Ask the state attorney general's office to get involved as a mediator to resolve the conflict before legals costs mount.
  • Profoundly restructure the foundation's board by asking all the members to resign, dissolve the rule allowing unlimited terms, appoint a more diverse board (with fewer Lincoln University alumni), and add the university president and all LU curators as voting members of the foundation's board.
  • Develop short and long-term plans to address a number of other issues concerning fiscal stewardship, management, and governance.

"This is not an area where the attorney general would get involved," said foundation attorney James Tippin. "That's not what they do. This [LU President Jerald Woolfolk] is a woman who's off on a tangent, misrepresents the facts in order to say what she wants to say." 

The assessment report describes the legal battle as financially burdensome.

"Resources will be unnecessarily consumed in legal expenses and other costs of litigation," said the report.

Salmons said the turmoil between the two entities is not just a financial problem for the university and its students.

"There is a general feeling that things are a little chaotic right now and many students I know are upset," said Salmons. "If there's any negotiation, mediation that could solve this, we urge that it take place."

No scheduled hearings of the foundation's civil case against the university were listed on the state's online records system as of this article's publication.

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