Bethune-Cookman University names new president

Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite to take office in July

Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite
Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Nearly two years after the last president retired early, a new president has been named for Bethune-Cookman University.

The school announced Tuesday that Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite will take office on July 1 to become the university's seventh president.

“I am tremendously honored to assume the presidency at Bethune-Cookman University, an academic institution with a storied history; great faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends; and a bright future,” Chrite said.

Chrite will be vacating his role as dean at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business in June. His prior positions include dean at Montclair State University in New Jersey and leadership positions at the University of Arizona-Tucson and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

“The board chose Dr. Chrite as President of Bethune-Cookman University because his global experience in leadership, business, policy and academic transformation will serve as the foundation for setting a new course for our beloved college. We look forward to working together to create a new and robust educational institution that preserves our history while taking us into the future,” university officials said in a news release.

In July 2017, former president  Dr. Edison Jackson announced that he would retire early amid financial problems at the school. Around that time, The Daytona Beach News-Journal exposed tax documents  that pointed to an operating loss of almost $18 million while salaries continued to rise for staff in leadership positions.

Jackson was earning $410,000 before his departure.

Since then, Hubert Grimes has served as interim president.

Chrite acknowledged in a news release that the university has hurdles to overcome.

“We face some serious challenges, but we have so much that’s outstanding in our community and traditions — and I have every confidence that together we will make exciting things happen. I am passionate about Bethune-Cookman and am thrilled to be a part of its community," Chrite said.

As of January, B-CU officials were still trying to determine what happened to $25 million set aside to build student dormitories.

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