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.