B-CU President Steps Down Suddenly
Statement from Bethune-Cookman University Board of Trustees Chairman and Vice Chairman
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
The Board of Trustees of Bethune-Cookman University has learned that current president, Dr. E. LabBrent Chrite, announced his resignation this morning to members of his Cabinet during a regularly scheduled meeting.
Dr. E. Labrent Chrite, who resigned unexpectedly Tuesday as president of B-CU, has been named the ninth president of Bentley University, a private university focused on business, located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Bentley has a student population of 5,460, of which 55.4 percent are white and 3.25 percent are black. Notable alumni include Jay Leno. Chrite, who will be the first black president of Bentley, will assume the job on June 1.
Next, Wildcats react:
Justin LaGon - Sophomore
"I liked Chrite as our president. I'm more concerned on who is going to come take his place next and what will happen to our campus."
Camryn Franklin - Junior
"I'm really upset that he resigned without any immediate explanation. It is like a slap in the face"
Tim Moss - sophomore
"I feel neutral and consistent because this is what I have experienced at Cookman. Unless the school is closing down, or any other consequences are coming from this then I'll be concerned. I need to know more FACTS."
Tazion Richie - Junior
"It takes me by surprise. He's only been with us for a year and a half."
Spike in COVID-19 cases prompt lockdown
By Voice staff
Students can head home earlier for the holidays than expected due to a spike in the number of positive cases of COVID 19 on campus. At the same time, all spring athletic competitions has been cancelled, too, apparently out of caution.
In an email sent out campus wide Monday, President E. LaBrent Chrite said face-to-face classes will end effective Oct. 28. After that date, he said, all classes as well as finals will be remote.
At the same time, he said students have the option of heading home now or waiting until Nov. 20 when finals would be finished.
"After discussions with the University's faculty and academic leadership team, we have concluded that it is in the best interest of our community to begin reducing the on-campus density for the remainder of the fall semester," Chrite said. "Because of spikes in COVID-19, the faculty will be pivoting to an on-line modality, utilizing Canvas and integrating Zoom and other platforms, for the remaining three weeks of the semester."
Officials announced last week that almost three dozen students had tested positive for the coronavirus. Some were asymptomatic, according to John Pittman, vice president for fiscal affairs. Pittman said the school has been conducting random testing of about 150 students a week.
The Voice has heard from one student that had been hospitalized early last week.
In addition to allowing students to leave three week earlier than scheduled, Chrite also said all spring athletics have been cancelled. This come just days after officials had announced the spring football schedule.
"The recent spike in COVID-19 positivity rates in the state, across Volusia County and on our campus provides clear and unambiguous evidence, in our view, that now is not the time simply not the time to resume athletic competition," he said. "While the decision to opt out of spring competition is the only responsible one for us at this time, it was not made lightly. We know that this decision greatly impacts our student athletes, our coaching staff, our Marching Wildcats and others."
He said he will be working with Lynn Thompson, vice president of athletics, and his colleagues "to minimize and ameliorate the impact of this decision."
Students that chose to stay on campus for the reminder of the semester must observe an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. They also are discouraged from congregating in groups with more than 10 people.