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.”