Former Lincoln Foundation Sues University Over Contract Breach
The lawsuit, filed on Monday by the 62nd and 65th Regiments Legacy Foundation, formerly known as the Lincoln University Foundation, seeks to recover all of the organization’s documents, including $667,173.05 withheld by the university.
“All Foundation documents, information, and assets, including the $667,173.05 in Foundation special-purpose funds that the University wrongfully retains in breach of its agreements with the Foundation and donors and in breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” the lawsuit reads.
Court documents allege Lincoln university president Jerald Jones Woolfolk of changing the terms of the agreement, which was first entered in 2015, which essentially made the foundation a primary external fundraising entity for the university and its curators.
The agreement said that the university would provide the foundation with administrative support, in exchange for the foundation providing financial support to the university and scholarship to its students.
In November 2018, Woolfolk sent a letter to the foundation to renegotiate the agreement with the intent of transferring foundation funds to the university. The agreement was terminated the following month.
The president then came up with another Memorandum of Understanding, which asked the foundation to annually earmark 50 percent of its unrestricted funds for use by the president, the lawsuit states.
On February 20, the university issued a “cease and desist” letter, abruptly ending its relationship with the foundation. The suit alleges the university of failing to uphold its obligations, as laid out in the agreement that was signed in 2015.
“University failed to perform its obligations when it unilaterally terminated its agreement with the Foundation and failed to provide the administrative support necessary to transfer the documents and information belonging to the Foundation, as the Foundation requested in letters of March 22, 2019, and April 29, 2019,” the lawsuit alleges.
Meanwhile, the university has shrugged off the allegations and has expressed “surprise” and “disappointment” over the lawsuit.
“We don’t think this litigation is a good use of the University funds held by the Foundation and as to which it is a fiduciary,” Misty Young, a spokeswoman for Lincoln University, told ABC17 News.
“We are not aware of any legitimate basis for such a lawsuit and the University will defend itself and seek to get the suit dismissed,” Young added.