Bentley University has appointed E. LaBrent Chrite, former leader of Bethune-Cookman University, as its next president. He is the first Black president in the Waltham college’s 104-year history.
Chrite, a Detroit native who also served as the dean of the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, was appointed after a nationwide search following the departure last year of Alison Davis-Blake, who held the post for two years. Chrite will start June 1.
Davis-Blake left last year for what the trustees said were personal reasons. Board chairman Paul Condrin has been interim president since June.
Bentley, which has about 4,000 undergraduates, 1,000 graduate students, and a 90 percent graduation rate, is known for its business programs. Chrite also served as dean of the Feliciano School of Business at Montclair State University, where he increased graduate enrollment significantly, according to Bentley.
In a statement, Condrin said Chrite has dedicated his career to improving business education and expanding economic opportunity.
“Brent Chrite shares our vision and passion for educating ethical leaders who make business a force for positive change,” Condrin said in the statement.
Chrite joined Bethune-Cookman, a historically Black university in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2019. He resigned earlier this week.
He led Bethune-Cookman out of a period of academic probation by accreditors and also significantly increased state funding to that college, according to news reports.
“I believe the beauty of business lies in its ability to create solutions to human problems,” Chrite said in a statement. “A Bentley University education weaves together business skills with the arts and sciences and empowers students to transform business, society, and their communities. I’m excited to join Bentley and build upon this mission.”
Chrite holds a doctorate in education and management from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in community health services from Michigan State University.
Bentley trustee Nick Stavropoulos, who led the search, said that the school now “more than ever” needs “a president who will lead with vision, inspiration, and collaboration.”
“Brent Chrite stood out from a group of talented candidates as the right person to guide Bentley into our next era of excellence,” he said in a statement.