An investigative report by the Daytona Beach News-Journal revealed that historically Black Bethune-Cookman University had nearly a $18 million operating loss in the fiscal year that ran from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. This was 12 times the operating loss that had occurred in the previous year. The information was obtained by the newspaper from IRS documents.
The report found that salaries at the school increased from $41.5 million to $49.2 million. Fifty employees were paid at least $100,000, according to the IRS documents. The previous year, only eight employees earned more than $100,000.
The documents also showed that the university’s investment portfolio had a 11 percent loss during this period. During the same period stock indexes were up 3 percent.
A report by Fitch Ratings service, which had more up-to-date financial information, said that the university had reined in expenses, increased enrollments, and improved retention. The report concluded that Bethune-Cookman University “expects to finish the fiscal year with break-even or better results.”