The students of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania have spoken. The student government association (SGA) is standing in solidarity with the schools 14th president, Dr. Brenda A. Allen who served for three years before her contract ended on June 30, 2020.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, “After more than three hours of private deliberation, the Lincoln University board of trustees on Friday voted narrowly against retaining president Brenda A. Allen, despite a campaign that drew much support from faculty, alumni, and students to keep her…No explanation was given for the board’s decision, which was made in executive session while more than 250 people waited during a Zoom meeting Friday night. Upon returning from the private session, board president Theresa Braswell said the vote had been 52% against negotiating a new contract with Allen, and 48% in favor. A board secretary had said earlier in the meeting that 21 of 23 trustees were present.

The SGA’s response includes the following post made to Instagram. The students also launched a new petition that ends by saying, “If Brenda A. Allen does not have her contract reconsidered, we will NOT be returning back to Lincoln and each signature on this petition will reflect that!” Another petition that began 2 months ago from “The Lincoln University Community,” currently has more than 14,500 signatures lobbying for Allen’s contract renewal. Accomplishments Lincoln University experienced under Allen’s leadership are highlighted, such as improved retention rates, alumni giving increasing by 34% and the number of donors almost doubling.

“Lincoln has gone through many different presidents in the last 20 years that have stripped us of some of our cherished traditions. The revolving door is not conducive to establishing a consistent  structure for Lincolnites, both current and former  students. It is vital that a University President be given the appropriate time to make sure their vision is being implemented so that the school can achieve its academic goals. This is not the time to gamble with the progress that has already been achieved through Dr. Allen’s hard work. In addition, the pandemic has done a lot of damage to our current students’ college experience. It is imperative to have Dr. Allen at the helm of leadership in order to keep our students positive about the future of their education and to keep the confidence of the students, faculty and Alumni during this trying time, says the petition.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, trustee and ’83 alumna Rosalie Hornbuckle shared, “If you are acting to remove the president, under Lincoln bylaws and the Sunshine Act, you cannot hold a vote in an executive session…That vote must be held in public session. You can go into executive session to discuss issues privately, but then you have to come out and have a roll call vote.”

When questioned, the board’s vice chair Dimitrius M. Hutcherson, stated “We thank Dr. Allen for her service, and I can’t get into anything else.” A press release from the university on July 11 stated, “the Board of Trustees will name an interim president within the next few days.”