VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman University’s president resigned Tuesday, according to the university’s board of trustees.
Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite announced his resignation Tuesday morning during a regularly scheduled meeting with his cabinet. Chrite will be leaving at the end of the academic year to serve as President at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
“Serving as president of this historic Black university has been a remarkable and rewarding experience and one I will always cherish,” Chrite said in a statement. “Thanks to the extraordinary work, strength and experience of the leadership team and Board of Trustees, B-CU is stable and will continue providing transformational opportunities to students from across the country and around the world.”
The board accepted Chrite’s resignation and said in a statement they were not previously made aware of his decision.
“Growth is about change. Dr. Chrite arrived during a time of great change and challenge at B-CU, including addressing an unprecedented global health crisis,” Board of Trustees Chair Belvin Perry, Jr. said in a statement. “Much has been accomplished under his leadership, and now a new and exciting opportunity has presented itself to him and his family and I respect his decision to pursue a new opportunity. I join the Board of Trustees, faculty and students in thanking him for his service to B-CU and the impact he made with students, alumni and the Daytona community. We wish him great success at Bentley University.”
Chrite became president of B-CU in July 2019, as the university struggled with financial records. The university was at risk of losing its accreditation in October 2019.
Last year Gov. Ron DeSantis allocated more funding for historically black universities and colleges, after a push from state Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee). Bracy had started an initiative prior to the pandemic, aiming to secure additional funding for Florida’s HBCUs after leaders at Bethune-Cookman University expressed financial struggles.
Approximately $123.2 million from the state’s budget was allocated to Florida’s HBCUs. Bethune-Cookman received an increase of $13 million.