Bethune-Cookman University President Pleads for Help From Alumni

In a letter to alumni, E. LaBrent Chrite, president of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, declared that the university needed their help in order to secure the future of the university. In the letter, President Chrite stated that “2020 will be a pivotal year in the history of B-CU. It will be the year our beloved university prepared to close its doors or it will be the year we turned a corner and began moving toward an exciting future.”

The university is in its second year of probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It has an $8 million budget shortfall that needs to be addressed to assure the accrediting agency that the university is on sound financial footing. Adding to the problem is the fact that there are 2,072 students on campus this semester, down 20 percent from a year ago.

Dr. Chrite said that the budget shortfall had been reduced from $20 million when he took office to the current $8 million and he wants alumni to help him close the remaining gap. He asked the school’s 15,000 living alumni to contribute $100 a month.

Dr. Chrite was named president of the university in 2019, A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Chrite is a graduate of Michigan State University. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Related Articles


  1. Something is inherently and distinctly wrong with this article and picture on numerous levels. First, BCU would not be in this fiscal predicament if it wasn’t for Misguided, Colorism, Groupism, Corrupt, Selfish, and Egotistical so-called Black administrators. Second, this fiscal mismanagement has been going on for years at BCU in which it was allowed to run rampant via the incompetent Board of Trustees. Third, now the president want the BCU Alumni(a) to donate more money to save the university for which it will be in the hands of the same incompetent BCU administrators. In essence, if BCU did receive the estimated $8 million dollars they same type of negatively skewed thinking will still be the dominant paradigm.

  2. Bethune Cookman University, is a main stay in the HBCU world, the students who matriculate there should be afforded the opportunity to graduate without being concern about the potential of closure. So lets not put the students through a conspiracy theory about why they need funds to maintain there accreditation, lets just participate in giving. My prayers and thoughts go out to the wildcat nation.

    • I agree with Rolle. Regardless of how we got here, it would be a blow to Dr Bethune and the students to allow the demise of the university. Alumni giving needs to increase, and I’m hoping for the best as the parent of a Wildcat alum.

  3. Clearly, Dr. Chrite is NOT one of the individuals characterized by Mr. Blakely above since he has successfully reduced the deficit by more than half during his short tenure there. He and all of the many people who have helped him accomplish this feat are to be congratulated, and strikes me as a sure sign that highly competent people are in charge and deserve our support!!!

    • Donald,
      You totally misinterpreted my initial comment along with failing to specifically address any of my points. I wonder why. Let’s be clear. Similar claims can be made to most HBCUs for which you’re in complete denial or an active participant. Explain why many HBCUs consistently hire persons who were administrative low performers at their prior place of employment or individuals who were exploited at PWIs to decades and suddenly want to work at an HBCUs. In my view, HBCUs do not need any of them.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs