Jerry Falwell Jr. to Take ‘Leave of Absence’ from Role at Liberty University

Jerry Falwell Jr. speaking with attendees at the 2nd Annual Turning Point USA Winter Gala at the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

President and Chancellor of Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr. has agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence after a request to do so from the Executive Committee of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees.

Falwell’s leave of absence comes amid backlash from a photo he shared to Instagram from a vacation earlier this month of himself and a woman with their pants unzipped. According to Falwell, during a radio interview, the woman in the photo is an assistant to his wife and was pregnant, preventing her from zipping her pants up.

“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Falwell said during the interview, which was conducted by phone. “And I’ve promised my kids I’m going to try to be — I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.”

Falwell was also met with discontent from North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker, a former Liberty University faculty member who serves on the school’s advisory board.

“Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling,” Walker wrote in a tweet. “As a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor @LibertyU, I’m convinced Falwell should step down.”

“None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni and @LUPraise deserve better,” Walker added. He told CNN:

We cannot look the other way with this kind of behavior where you have this strict code — one that I don’t disagree with in many cases — but you’re out here promoting and talking, speaking with undertones and being smug about even the Instagram posts that I’m going to try to be a better boy from now on.

“There’s no penitent heart in that,” Walker added. “And, and I would hope that he could do better. I’m not here to try to attack him, but I am saying this is not the design of the university or his founding father who literally blood, sweat, and tears created this on the side of a mountain.”

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