Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) has acknowledged that it "is moving towards establishing a Direct Support Organization'' and has asked its current National Alumni Association to dissolve.
The request was made in a letter to the National Alumni Association (NAA) dated Sept. 17 from B-CU's attorney, Michelle Bedoya Barnett.
The letter is in response to one sent to B-CU last week from Willie J. Walker of the Walker Law Offices, an attorney for the NAA. In that letter, Walker was seeking mediation so both sides could meet to hammer out their differences.
Barnett's letter to Walker states that the university "does not find it necessary to engage in mediation.'' She also stated that the Board of Trustees approved the dissolving of the NAA earlier this month.
"Please understand that B-CU appreciates the efforts of its alumni and is appreciative of the support its alumni have afforded over the years. However, as B-CU works to ensure that there is uniformity in its practices and that B-CU's records are appropriately maintained, B-CU is moving towards establishing a Direct Support Organization program to support the efforts of alumni affairs and other auxiliaries that represent the B-CU,’’ the letter states.
The letter further states, “As it relates to the National Alumni Association of Bethune-Cookman University, Inc. ("NAA''), at the board meeting on September 1, 2021, the Board unanimously approved a resolution stating that it is in the best interest of the University that the NAA in its current form be dissolved. To the extent that it is not dissolved and continues to exist as a Florida nonprofit corporation or other 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, the NAA should cease any mention or representation that it acts in any manner on behalf of B-CU.’’
Barnett’s response adds that the NAA "is not sanctioned by B-CU and for this reason, it is not legally authorized to use B-CU's name, likeness, logos, facilities or to represent itself publicly as being associated with B-CU in any way.''
The Daytona Times was unable to reach Walker for response by the newsletter’s Tuesday afternoon deadline. An updated story will appear later online as well as in the Times’ next print issue.