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Bethune-Cookman University lost nearly $18 million in the fiscal year that ended in June 2016, more than 12 times the loss of the previous year, reported The Daytona Beach News-Journal, based on tax records filed by the private, historically black college. During the year covered by the most recent tax report, salaries increased by nearly $8 million to $49.2 million. Further, the 13 top leaders' salaries averaged $207,000, compared to the previous year, when there were only eight executives earning an average of $175,000. Investments took an 11 percent loss for the year, and the college borrowed $7 million from its endowment, about 13 percent of the total.

Joe Petrock, chairman of the college's board, released a statement to the newspaper: “As you know, Bethune-Cookman University is a private educational corporation governed by a Board of Trustees. Like any other private company, we are not required nor is it our policy to discuss our fiscal or other affairs in the public. As a board, we are focused on making B-CU a top-ranked university, doing what is best for our students and the university at all times. We are always working diligently to address and improve our financial matters.”