In a stern letter addressed to Bethune-Cookman University Board of Trustees Chair Michelle Carter-Scott, leadership of the university’s national alumni association has demanded the immediate resignation of several board members.The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports on the association members’ outcry which cites mounting debts, accreditation and bond rating downgrades and leadership chaos among several reasons they say a change must happen immediately.
Just to refresh the memory of board members, let me point out just a few of your accomplishments,” wrote BCU National Alumni Association President Robert Delancy.
- Took the school’s bond rating from A+ to junk status
- Are directly responsible for the school being placed on probation by the school’s accrediting association
- Are directly responsible for getting the school embroiled in lawsuits costing thousands of dollars a month in legal fees
- Denied alumni representation on the Board of Trustees resulting in a lawsuit filed against the board by the school’s alumni association
- Are directly responsible for the school being over $120 million dollars in debt
- Are directly responsible for alumni placing restrictions on funds they donate to the school because of a lack of trust and the lack of ownership of a problem you created
- Are directly responsible for building dormitories the school cannot pay for
A former Internal Revenue Service agent and frequent critic of the BCU board, Delancy sued its membership last spring after they refused to seat him as a member. The case was dismissed last June.
The demand comes less than a month after school officials successfully petitioned a circuit court to keep records associated with the controversial dormitory construction deal from becoming publicly reviewable, and less than two weeks after streaming network Netflix debuted a new docu-series featuring the university’s marching band.
According to recent financial audit documents, Bethune-Cookman’s five-year payment schedule for building leases beginning this year ranges from $6.2 to $6.5 million annually towards a total obligation of more than $303 million. In 2017, total expenses outpaced revenues at the university by $24.8 million.