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Liberty University's Falwell taking leave of absence

Posted at 5:14 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 18:28:27-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Jerry Falwell Jr. has agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence from his role as president and chancellor of Liberty University.

That's according to a one-sentence statement the private Virginia university issued Friday.

The statement said the Executive Committee of Liberty’s board of trustees, acting on behalf of the full Board, met Friday and request that Falwell take leave, “to which he has agreed, effective immediately.”

Falwell has served since 2007 as president of the Lynchburg university founded by his father, the late evangelist the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

No reason was given for the leave, though the announcement came after Falwell apologized for a photo he posted on Instagram of himself and a woman, not his wife, with both of their pants unzipped while on his yacht, CNN reported.

Earlier this year, Falwell came under fire for a May tweet that included a racist photo that appeared on Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page decades ago.

Falwell said his effort to make a political point had been offensive.

Nearly three dozen black alumni denounced him, writing in a letter that his rhetoric has “repeatedly violated and misrepresented” Christian principles.

He later deleted the tweet and apologized for any hurt that it may have caused, especially among African Americans.