Amid Public Trustee Infighting, Bethune-Cookman Announces Employee Furloughs, Position Eliminations

Officials at Bethune-Cookman University underscored the institution’s severe financial problems this afternoon with letter announcing plans for employee furloughs and a phase-out of specific positions.

The letter, penned by BCU Interim President Hubert Grimes, outlines the university’s effort to contend with ‘financial exigencies’ as directed by the Bethune-Cookman Board of Trustees.

The letter’s release comes days after BCU Trustee Belvin Perry blasted current board chair Michelle Carter-Scott for failed attempts at firing Grimes, and for a lack of transparency in the university’s tumultuous dorm construction deal which could cost the institution more than $300 million. From the Daytona Beach News-Journal:

Perry alleged an email Thursday from Carter-Scott and trustee Jennifer Adams seeking approval from the board’s executive committee to add three new board members may have broken the law because it was sent to board members who have resigned and can no longer legally vote, Perry said.

Further, he said the move violates the university’s bylaws in that the candidates would need approval from the board’s nomination and governance committee and then a vote by the full board. The email gave the executive committee until Friday — less than 24 hours — to decide whether to add the new board members, Perry said.

“There have been no background checks. There have been no credit checks. There have been no checks at all,” Perry said. “We should learn from our history.”

5 thoughts on “Amid Public Trustee Infighting, Bethune-Cookman Announces Employee Furloughs, Position Eliminations

  1. This is too scary. I have a granddaughter at Bethune. She had been telling me of the University’ financial woes. That was last year. I assumed it was resolved. She is so frustrated with the University. They are giving her financial problems as well. I have to constantly talk to her about not transferring.

  2. About five years ago (July 28, 2014) JL Carter wrote an article about “the Black Billionaires Club” (he admitted except for Oprah, that it did not yet exist) and how HBCUs should be blocs of capital, venture capital was the term used, for “community development” by which was meant Black capitalist development. This is the exact same mentality the crooked trustees and administrators held in the residence hall scam that bankrupted Bethune-Cookman.
    Will HBCU Digest reconsider this article/perspective and admit this outlook was wrong? This perspective is widely held (or many want to enhance it!) and is the basis of the financial bankruptcy of Bethune-Cookman, the layoffs, elimination of positions, starvation wages, inadequate staff to sustain a real curriculum, and the robbing and manipulation of financial aid. It is a pattern at many HBCUs. HBCUs are the resources for our people’s education not real estate development and Big Business contracts.
    Yes PWIs have endowments that allow for many ambitious hangers on to profit — but we are not white, all the melanated HBCU T-Shirts keep telling us. There are racial disparities but there is also a Black misleadership class who cannot curtail their avaricious ways when there is a clear choice of two paths that cannot be reconciled.
    Either our HBCU youth get a modicum of education for their development so they can have a chance in an exploitative world, or others who already live by rents and corporate retainers can continue to be permitted to misrepresent themselves as advocates of Black autonomy. What is wrong with people who are already millionaires and in the name of “Black Power” think they deserve more? Can such really be “vetted”? Is it not wide of the mark mentality to make projections that in order to be equal to PWIs, HBCUs should be the venture capital so a few Black folks can be billionaires? The elites who stole at Bethune-Cookman thought so and instead of lifting as they climb, those who in theory didn’t steal, are further breaking the ladder over our folks’ heads. This they call competent administration. By the way this post is missing something — encouragement of an insurgent rising of B-C students.

  3. I think it is time to stick a fork in BCU. Unfortunately, an old guard running the ship into ground has made BCU another case for why people do not trust Black Americans in leadership position or organizations. I do not that capitalism has not part of the problem. It is weak accountability and poor management by a few who abused their positions. Unless you get fresh young blood who have a strong financial and management background backed by strong ethics, BCU will be on the auction house within three years.

  4. Good article please continue to investigate these folk because they go from one HBCU to another and cause havoc and i quote “There have been no background checks. There have been no credit checks. There have been no checks at all,” Perry said. “We should learn from our history.” let’s look into Virginia Union and Virginia State University now with their leadership from these same scandals.

Leave a Reply