Lincoln University President Resigns

Robert Jennings had been under fire for his comments on sexual assault

Robert R. Jennings. Photo | Lincoln University

Robert R. Jennings. Photo | Lincoln University

Under fire for recent comments on sexual assault — and with students and faculty increasingly unhappy about his handling of other issues, as well — Lincoln University President Robert Jennings has resigned.

The announcement came from the chair of Lincoln’s board of trustees, in an open letter to the campus:

November 24, 2014<
Dear Members of The Lincoln University Community:

This morning, The Lincoln University Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of President Dr. Robert R. Jennings.

The Board of Trustees is committed to the University’s stakeholders and to advancing Lincoln’s great legacy. Toward that end, the Board plans to strengthen engagement with all members of our community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and parents.

We are pleased to announce that the University’s General Counsel, Valerie Harrison, has agreed to serve as Acting President while the Board carefully considers its options for a long-term interim president and begins its search for the 14th president of the University.

Valerie brings more than 15 years of higher education experience to the position. Prior to joining Lincoln’s leadership team in 2013, she served as Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel at Arcadia University, a nationally recognized leader in international education. Before that she served as Associate University Counsel at Temple University for 13 years, where she was also an adjunct professor.

An alumna of the Morgan Lewis Labor and Employment Practice and a former senior counsel to Joseph E. Seagram & Sons and ARCO Chemical Company, Ms. Harrison came to academia inspired by her desire to connect young people to educational opportunities.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia, her juris doctorate from Villanova University School of Law, a master’s degree in liberal arts from Temple University, and has completed all of the requirements for her doctor of philosophy degree in African-American Studies at Temple University. We look forward to her degree conferral on December 18, 2014.

The future is bright for Lincoln. We ask that you join the Board of Trustees and the Administration of the University as we continue to focus on our mission of educating future leaders.

Kimberly A. Lloyd, ‘94

Chair, The Lincoln University Board of Trustees

The Inquirer adds: “Jennings nearly three-year tenure became rocky in recent months. He has been the subject of no-confidence votes by both faculty and alumni, who are concerned about dropping enrollment, lagging fund-raising and high turnover in administrative positions.”