Bentley Names Brent Chrite its Ninth President
An experienced leader who believes business can change lives for the better
Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite has been appointed the ninth president of Bentley University, one of the leading business schools in the country. Chrite is the president at Bethune-Cookman University and the former dean of the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business.
The announcement comes after a nationwide search and with input from the Bentley community of students, faculty, staff and alumni on the qualities desired in the university's new president. Bentley's board of trustees voted unanimously to confirm Chrite as the next president.
“Brent Chrite shares our vision and passion for educating ethical leaders who make business a force for positive change,” said Paul Condrin, interim president and chair of the Bentley University board of trustees. “He has dedicated his career to improving business education and expanding economic opportunities across the country and around the world, and I know he will lead Bentley University to greater heights in the years to come.”
Chrite has more than 25 years of leadership experience in higher education. Most recently, as president of Bethune-Cookman, a historically Black university in Florida, he led a process that created a long-term strategy for institutional governance and fiscal integrity, leading the university out of probation and strengthening its academic and administrative leadership teams.
As dean of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, Chrite oversaw the development of a strategic plan aligned with the changing higher education landscape, leading to new programs as well as increased enrollment, student satisfaction and revenues. He also served as dean of the Feliciano School of Business at Montclair State University, where he increased graduate enrollment by 24 percent, led the creation of a center for entrepreneurship, and partnered with the cities of Newark and Paterson to invite inner-city high school students to campus and introduce them to careers in business.
Throughout his career, Chrite has viewed business as a force to improve society and change lives for the better. He has worked to strengthen economic conditions and improve business education opportunities for residents around the world, including in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Namibia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and for the Tohono O’odhom Nation on the Sells Reservation in Arizona.
“I believe the beauty of business lies in its ability to create solutions to human problems,” said Chrite. “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.”
Trustee Nick Stavropoulos ’79 led the search for a new president, which included listening sessions with students, faculty, staff and alumni to incorporate the community’s input into the process.
“Now more than ever, Bentley needs a president who will lead with vision, inspiration and collaboration,” Stavropoulos said. “Brent Chrite stood out from a group of talented candidates as the right person to guide Bentley into our next era of excellence.” Chrite, who grew up in Detroit, has a PhD from the University of Michigan, MS from the University of Missouri-Columbia and BA from Michigan State University. He will be the first Black president in the university's 104-year history. Brent and his wife Phyllis will join the Bentley community on June 1, 2021.