DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite will become the seventh president of Bethune-Cookman University, following a national search. He will take office effective July 1, 2019.

According to a press release from the University, Chrite will be stepping down as dean at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business in June. He previously served as dean at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and has held leadership positions at the University of Arizona-Tucson and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Chrite also is an independent director of Gordon Food Service, a $15 billion privately held company, where he chairs the risk committee.

“I am tremendously honored to assume the presidency of Bethune-Cookman University, an academic institution with a storied history; great faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends; and a bright future,” said Chrite. “We face some serious challenges, but we have so much that’s outstanding in our community and traditions – and I have every confidence that together we will make exciting things happen. I am passionate about Bethune-Cookman and am thrilled to be a part of its community.”

“The board chose Dr. Chrite as President of Bethune-Cookman University because his global experience in leadership, business, policy and academic transformation will serve as the foundation for setting a new course for our beloved college. We look forward to working together to create a new and robust educational institution that preserves our history while taking us into the future.”

At Daniels, where he headed a faculty and staff of 220 serving more than 3,000 students, Chrite led the College through a major strategic shift – overhauling the academic portfolio, expanding the global footprint, creating a new generation of teaching and learning approaches matched to the demands of the 21st-century economy, and growing the faculty.

“Dr. Brent Chrite served as dean with deep integrity and great intelligence,” said Gregg Kvistad, the provost who hired Chrite. “His visionary, collaborative leadership is respected by colleagues across the University. His most lasting legacy, however, may be his singular focus on academic excellence and inclusion. Bethune-Cookman University is extremely fortunate to have landed Dr. Chrite as its next president.”

In addition to his leadership positions, Dr. Chrite has taught strategic management, leadership and international business to students and executives at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona and at universities around the world.

“Brent Chrite is a leader who has demonstrated an innovative approach to complicated issues in education today,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North American and a member of the Daniels Executive Advisory Board. “His keen intelligence combined with a passion for both faculty and students is a true asset for Bethune-Cookman University.”

Chrite is an expert on how to build individual and institutional economic capacities in challenging emerging markets around the world. He has worked on behalf of the World Bank to build education and business assistance programs across sub-Saharan African, and on behalf of the Eurasia Foundation to strengthen the private sector in Uzbekistan. He recently completed a three-year engagement to improve business education and entrepreneurship in Afghanistan, working under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and engaging Daniels faculty.

He is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He and his wife, Phyllis, have three children and one grandchild. He complete his undergraduate work at Michigan State University, earned an M.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

About Bethune-Cookman University

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.  

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As the countdown begins to the most controversy moment of the year, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) organization stands in support of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivering the commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday, May 10th at 12 noon.

The 11th U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

There are a mass number of disagreement towards the commencement address speaker. Conversely,  I came to an understanding of everyone’s reasoning. Notwithstanding, neither do I agree with the outroar of individual’s reaction towards DeVos nor President Jackson and his administration decision. I also do not agree with the comparison of DeVos and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. What Dr. Bethune left is her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service and that’s what exactly should be accountable during this exhilarating moment of excellence. As you come to your milestone of celebrating an accomplishment that is another tremendous step in life, DeVos as a speaker should be the one less thing in mind at that given time.

Yes, DeVos said historically black colleges and universities were pioneers of school choice but students, alumni, and supporters know exactly what the historic background of HBCU’s are and what they stand for as of today. HBCU’s current relied on the federal support such as from the Department of Education either you like or not and they also are institutions that are open to all races no matter of the founding background. Accordingly, to what Dr. Jackson stated, Dr. Bethune relied on support from leaders in order to get the institution off the ground regarding their feelings of what type of institution it is. As we move through the millennial that federal support is more crucial than ever, it’s very vital that HBCU leaders continue to invite political leaders to their institution’s state and federal. Even Dr. Bethune once worked in federal as an advisor on minority affairs in the Roosevelt Administration, was given a chance to organize two national conferences on the problems of black Americans.

Leaving us her last will & testament, she left us racial dignity, stating that we must learn to also share and mix with men (and women too). We must make an effort to be less race conscious of individual and human values. Consequently, I take it in as to be mindful of what DeVos said regarding HBCU’s but continue to grow and learn from it as well as relying on the institutional support from these individuals. If they are uneducated regarding an HBCU, let’s educate and school them, lead them in the correct direction of what an HBCU serves in academic excellence.

As referring to life lessons, God forgives and gives his children second chances repeatedly and DeVos deserves a second chance in stepping on an HBCU campus and serving as commencement speaker at Bethune-Cookman University. You never know, what she has in store as a speech and may even be regretful of her comment towards HBCU’s. Enter to learn, Depart to serve is a motto of what Dr. Bethune founded more than 145 years ago, which she left the responsibility to young people that are to not be discouraged from aspiring toward greatness, for they are to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Expand beyond your horizons. Let this be the most forgettable commencement no matter the outcome of DeVos speech, walk across the stage, grasp your degree with eagerness and step into the world with faith, dignity, ambition and responsibility as career seekers of a high-skilled paying jobs. Do not forget to support your HBCU forevermore and to give, give, give back in support. Nevertheless, for future college-seekers DeVos as a speaker should not take a toll on your admission decision to BCU. Continue your dream and the legacy because the legacy Dr. Bethune relied on faith and without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, January 13, 2017, five (5) historically black colleges and universities were honored as an White House healthy campus by President Barack Obama. As part of Obama’s Administration’s ongoing efforts to reach the remaining uninsured, the White House launched the Healthy Campus Challenge in September, hoping to engage college and university campuses in enrollment efforts.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act 20, 20 million more Americans have gained coverage, and the nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever. Access to affordable, quality health care is critically important for young people as they reach adulthood and enter the job market. It gives them peace of mind that allows them to focus on their studies, helps them stay healthy as they join the workforce, and is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class.

More than 350 campuses from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico participated in the Challenge and carried out some enrollment activities, with nearly 100 campuses completing all the criteria. Out of that 100 campuses, 5 HBCU campuses made the list.

  • Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • Bowie State University (Bowie, MD)
  • Florida Memorial University (Miami Gardens, FL)
  • Livingstone College (Salisbury, NC)
  • Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA)

This past Friday (Jan. 13), nearly 60 leaders of those campuses attended the Healthy Campus Challenge Day at the White House, which was presided by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Congratulations to the following HBCU campuses who were designated as an White House Healthy Campus and we hope that your success continues in remaining to keeping HBCU students healthy and insured for the future years to come!

To read the full White House Healthy Campus Challenge Day press release, click here.