This all happening very quickly. It appears the Board believes Falwell Jr. is hurting the university.
Here is Emily McFarlan Miller at Religion News Service:
(RNS) — Jerry Falwell, Jr., is taking an “indefinite leave of absence” from his role at Liberty University.
The move comes following a request from the Executive Committee of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees, according to a statement from the evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Falwell agreed to that request, effective immediately, it said.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Read the announcement here.
This all we know so far. We will keep an eye on this.
The members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees are:
UPDATE (August 7, 2020, 7:29pm): Religion News Service (RNS) has a quote from Rev. Dwight “Ike” Reighard, a Liberty University board member. In an e-mail to RNS, Reighard said he was “concerned” about “recent events.” The statement, Reighard said, addressed “beginning steps the University Board will more fully address in days ahead.” Reighard’s bio can be found here.
UPDATE (August 7, 2020, 9:09pm): I weighed-in as part of Ian Lovett’s coverage at The Wall Street Journal.
UPDATE (August 7, 2020, 9:31pm): Jerry Prevo, Chairman of the Liberty University Board of Trustees, issued a statement:
In the 13 years that Jerry Falwell, Jr. has served as president of Liberty University, Liberty has experienced unprecedented success, not only academically and financially, with a world-class campus, but also spiritually. As we enter our 50th Anniversary year, we have been blessed to grow to a record 120,000 students, both residential and online, and continue to fulfill our founder’s mission to Train Champions for Christ across the world.
Unfortunately, with this success and the burdens of leading a large and growing organization comes substantial pressure. Today, my colleagues and I on the Liberty University Board of Trustees and Jerry mutually agreed that it would be good for him to take an indefinite leave of absence. This was a decision that was not made lightly, and which factored the interests and concerns of everyone in the LU community, including students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, leaders of the Church, as well as the Falwell family.
To support Jerry through this period, we ask that our entire community lift him up in prayer so he may be able to fulfill God’s purpose for him and for Liberty University.