'All Facets' of Falwell's Reign at Liberty Under Investigation

Evangelical university considers adding a spiritual leadership position
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2020 4:38 PM CDT
'All Facets' of Falwell's Reign at Liberty Under Investigation
Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks shortly after becoming president of Liberty University in 2007.   (Jill Nance/The News & Advance via AP)

An outside firm will conduct a sweeping investigation of Jerry Falwell Jr.'s presidency of Liberty University, the evangelical school announced Monday. Falwell resigned last week, taking $10.5 million in severance with him, after a business associate said that he'd had an affair with Falwell's wife, Becki, and that her husband sometimes watched them have sex. Pressure had been building for the school to investigate Falwell's tenure, which began in 2007, the AP reports. Liberty's board addressed that in a statement. "Some may say that all the signs were there for a long time before last week," the board said. "It's certainly fair to say that there were questionable comments made, worrying behavior, and inappropriate social media posts, but all the signs were not there until the start of last week."

The investigation will cover "all facets" of Falwell's administration, including legal, real estate, and financial issues, the board said, adding that it's "committed to learning the consequences that have flowed from a lack of spiritual stewardship by our former president." One possibility is a new position in the school's leadership that would be charged with making sure top administrators "live out the Christian walk expected of each and every one of us at Liberty." Part of the criticism has been that Falwell's personal behavior wouldn't have been tolerated among students; Falwell said, "I never broke a single rule that applies to staff members at Liberty, which I was." The Falwells issued a statement saying they "welcome any inquiry as we have nothing to hide." (Read more Jerry Falwell Jr. stories.)

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