Bethune-Cookman University President Edison O. Jackson told the school’s board of trustees he will be retiring as president — ending his term about a year before his contract is set to expire.

Board members accepted Jackson’s early retirement, which will be set at a later date, during a meeting at the school’s Performing Arts Center Tuesday, B-CU board chair Joe Petrock said.

Jackson would not comment on his retirement. But Petrock said that Jackson “noted it’s an opportunity for him that presents itself now.”

Jackson’s departure comes in the wake of consecutive stories by The News-Journal that investigated B-CU’s troubling finances, including that it suffered increasing operating losses because of spending and mounting debt from the financing of its newest dorm, which will cost the school more than $306 million over 40 years. For more than two years, a small group of alumni and former trustees have raised questions about the dormitory’s cost, which originally was projected to be $72.1 million and actually has amounted to $85 million.

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