• B-CU Board of Trustees to begin search for interim president


    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Following the sudden resignation of President Edison Jackson, Bethune-Cookman University's board of trustees has scheduled a Wednesday meeting to find an interim replacement. 

    Sources close to Bethune Cookman University told Eyewitness News Tuesday afternoon that Jackson has submitted his resignation and that it has been accepted. 

    It’s unclear what prompted the resignation. 

    Jackson came under fire in May after he invited U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to speak at the B-CU graduation.

    Many students protested her visit, walked out of graduation, booed her or didn’t show up at the ceremony. 

    The university also experienced financial troubles, including tax records documenting $18 million in losses the university took between July 2015 and June 2016.

    Alumni who met with the B-CU Board of Trustees told Channel 9 that they didn't want to see school leaders rush to find a new permanent leader.

    Dr. Evelyn Bethune, the granddaughter of B-CU founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, said she was ready to see a change in leadership after Jackson's resignation.

    "My grandmother would be very disappointed in the way that the university has allowed certain things to happen," she said. 

    Calling the DeVos invitation "disruptive to our students," Bethune also pointed to spending that the school couldn't afford as issues that needed to be addressed with the new administration.

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    Alumnus Patricia H. Heard said she didn't agree with the DeVos decision, but believed B-CU was going in the right direction with Jackson at the helm.

    "His work is left unfinished and I'm very, very sorry it happened this way," Heard said.

    Regardless of who is named B-CU president in the end, alumnus Percy Williamson wanted a person in the position who could move the school in better financial direction.

    "I'm hoping the university can pull itself out of a serious financial hold that it's in," he said, adding that he wasn't surprised by Jackson's exit. "I would've loved to have been shocked, but I wasn't."

    The B-CU Board of Trustees plans to meet Wednesday to discuss Jackson's retirement package as well.

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