RICHMOND, Va. (NewsNation) — Jerry Falwell Jr.’s resignation from his role as Liberty University’s President and Chancellor is official, the university announced Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement obtained by NewsNation, the Liberty University Board of Trustees accepted Falwell’s resignation from its Board of Directors effective immediately. The Executive Committee met Tuesday morning and voted to accept all the resignations followed by a conference call with full Board to unanimously voted to affirm the decision.
“After agreeing yesterday to immediately resign then reversing course, Falwell, through an attorney, sent the resignation letter late last night to members of the Board’s Executive Committee pursuant to the terms of his contract of employment,” according to the statement. “Falwell’s severance compensation was dictated by the terms of his pre-existing employment agreement without any adjustment by the University or its Board.
Acting Board Chairman Dr. Allen McFarland, said, “I am so encouraged by the unity of Christ that I saw exemplified by our Board today. Liberty University’s future is very bright and in capable hands of leaders who are committed to being good stewards of what the Lord has entrusted!”
Several news reports on Monday evening suggested Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned as president of Liberty University amid allegations related to his wife’s sexual encounters with a much younger business partner while two other conflicting reports by Politico and Virginia Business said the resignation reports are false.
On Sunday, Falwell issued a statement to The Washington Examiner publicly disclosing that his wife had an affair and saying the man involved had been threatening to reveal the relationship “to deliberately embarrass my wife, family, and Liberty University unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies.”
Reuters reported that Falwell knew of his wife’s affair and participated in some of the liaisons as a voyeur.
In Falwell’s statement Sunday, he said he was seeking mental health counseling after dealing with fallout from the extramarital affair. He said he was not involved in the relationship.
“Over the course of the last few months this person’s behavior has reached a level that we have decided the only way to stop this predatory behavior is to go public,” the statement said.
Falwell had already been on an indefinite leave since early August as president and chancellor of the Lynchburg university founded by his late father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr.
He took the leave after an uproar sparked by a photo he posted on social media that showed him with his pants unzipped, stomach exposed and arm high around the waist of his wife’s pregnant assistant. Falwell has said the photo was taken at a costume party during a family vacation.
Critics of the photo said it was evidence of hypocritical behavior from the leader of a university where students must follow a strict code of conduct that includes modest dress and a ban on alcohol consumption and premarital sex.
Falwell was the fourth president of Liberty University, assuming the role after his father, Liberty founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., passed away in 2007.
Jerry Prevo, who will stay on as Acting President, said, “Our students are ready to be world changers as Champions for Christ. Their spirit is strong as they look to the future. I intend to do all I can to nurture their spiritual side as they grow academically and enjoy all our campus has to offer.”