DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After a long, nationwide search, Bethune-Cookman University has chosen its next president.

Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite will take office July 1 as the school's seventh president, the university said in a news release. He'll take over from interim President Judge Hubert Grimes.

"I am tremendously honored to assume the presidency at Bethune-Cookman University, an academic institution with a storied history; great faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends; and a bright future," Chrite said in the release. "We face some serious challenges, but we have so much that’s outstanding in our community and traditions — and I have every confidence that together we will make exciting things happen."

Chrite takes over a university that has faced a series of financial, legal, and academic challenges in the past few years.

B-CU was placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in June 2018. The commission said B-CU had failed to comply with the board's characteristics, financial resources, financial responsibility, and control over finances.

Amid ongoing financial and academic troubles, President Edison Jackson resigned in 2017. Members of the Board of Trustees followed.

In October 2018, students held protests and walkouts on campus, demanding that the university address the financial, scholarship, leadership, and accreditation issues.

Judge Belvin Perry was named chairman of the university's Board of Trustees in January.

Although B-CU is private, it receives partial public funding for its students. It's one of three historically black colleges in the state of Florida.

Chrite is dean at the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business. He previously served as dean at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He is a Detroit native who earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite (handout image)
Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite (handout image)