Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Jerry Falwell and a resignation gone wrong.
Jerry Falwell Jr. agreed to resign as president of Liberty University on Monday, according to the university’s general counsel, after a series of scandals that rocked the school he has led since 2007.
A passionate defender of President Trump, Falwell took over the Christian university his father helped found to evangelize the world in 2007. His leadership dramatically increased the school’s growth and clout. But critics increasingly worried that he had lost sight of the university’s spiritual mission.
Falwell did agreed to resign from the school’s presidency and board of directors Monday but then reversed course, according to a statement from David M. Corry, the university’s general counsel, telling his attorneys not to tender the letter for immediate resignation.
The school’s executive committee met Monday and plans to meet again Tuesday morning, followed by a conference call with the full board of trustees.
Opposition to his presidency had been growing but then after two new reports about a young man Falwell and his wife befriended at a Florida pool, went into business with and who allegedly was sexually connected to the couple, it became too much for the University to handle which is why the board wants Falwell to resign. One report painted Falwell as the victim of an obsessive affair, the other as an eager participant manipulating a naive young man. On Monday night, Falwell said that a Reuters report, which described him as having watched his wife having sex with another man, is false.
Falwell said late Monday, in response to the university’s statement, that he did resign but that “it’s still up in the air.”
Falwell was placed on paid leave Aug. 7 after he posted a provocative picture of himself and his wife’s assistant on social media. Both had their zippers partially down, and Falwell was holding a dark beverage he joked was nonalcoholic and “a prop only.” Drinking or being around alcohol as well as sexual promiscuity are banned for students under Liberty’s personal code of conduct. Liberty board members had said in a statement Friday that they were investigating.
A series of scandals increased concern among some graduates, students and other supporters of the university.
During a Liberty convocation in 2015, Falwell said the San Bernardino, CA, shooting that year could have been prevented if people had concealed carry permits and had guns to “end those Muslims before they walked in killing.”
In May, Falwell tweeted a photo of a face mask decorated with an image of a person in Ku Klux Klan robes and another in blackface, in an attempt to taunt Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) over his blackface scandal in connection with a medical school yearbook. Falwell deleted the tweet and apologized, but several students and staff members left the school in protest.