Four members of the Bethune-Cookman University’s board of trustees resigned this week — and more could follow — amid an ongoing financial crisis that’s prompted calls for their ouster from alumni and a protest involving students and employees at a board meeting.
The resignations came from former board chair Joe Petrock, Rafael A. Ramirez Jr., Michael D. Walsh, and Nancy Lohman, according to current board chair Michelle Carter-Scott.
The resignations follow a Tuesday letter from B-CU National Alumni Association President Robert Delancy citing the board’s failures to protect the school’s finances and calling for the resignations of several members, including Carter-Scott and Petrock.
“I’m fed up with it. I’m out of there,” Petrock said. “But it’s not because I did something wrong.”
On Thursday, before B-CU’s board of trustees met, a crowd of at least 40 alumni, students and employees gathered outside the boardroom to protest the board’s activities and support interim president Hubert Grimes.
Delancy said that he and others had heard that an emergency meeting was called to fire Grimes, similar to a meeting the board had just last week. He said he went there to address the board about the need for trustees’ removal.
Why fire someone when we have all these other issues to deal with?” he said.
While B-CU refused to comment or even confirm the resignations, the protesters’ signs made their message clear:
“We support our president.”
“Board chair must resign.”
“Keep our president.”