Intelwars Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty lawsuit Liberty University Sues falwell

Liberty University sues disgraced former President Jerry Falwell Jr. for more than $10 million

Liberty University has filed a lawsuit against its scandal-ridden former president, Jerry Falwell Jr., accusing him of breaching “various fiduciary duties” he contractually owed to the prominent evangelical institution while serving as its president.

Falwell, the son of the university’s beloved founder, became engulfed in controversy last year after reports surfaced alleging his wife, Becki Falwell, had engaged in a years-long affair with a former business partner and pool attendant for the couple — and that Falwell would often watch.

In response, Falwell acknowledged that the affair happened but denied any personal involvement. Instead he claimed that his wife’s paramour, 29-year-old Giancarlo Granda, attempted to extort him and his family by threatening to expose the relationship.

Eventually, after a messy and often confusing back-and-forth — which included Falwell suing Liberty for defamation — the former president agreed to resign.

In the lawsuit filed on Thursday in the circuit court in Lynchburg, Virginia, and obtained by Politico, the university argued that Falwell injured the university by withholding damaging information from its board of trustees even while negotiating a favorable new contract in 2019.

Had the university known the “full circumstances of Granda’s extortion of Falwell,” it would not have agreed to renew Falwell’s contract, the lawsuit states.

In the 38-page complaint, the school cites several other scandals with which Falwell was involved in that appear to run counter to its conservative Christian standards of conduct. Examples include Falwell’s decision to party at a Miami-area night club, exercise with two young women, and post a picture on a yacht with his arm around a female friend and his pants unzipped.

The lawsuit also accuses Falwell of failing to disclose “his personal impairment by alcohol, which … led Falwell Jr. to actions and courses of conduct detrimental to the spiritual mission of Liberty.”

As a part of the lawsuit, the university is now seeking more than $10 million in damages, claiming Falwell’s conduct has “induced injury to Liberty’s enrollment, impacted its donor base, disrupted its faculty” and “damaged Liberty’s reputation.”

In a statement to Politco, Liberty University spokesperson, Scott Lamb, said that the “University’s only word on the subject is the lawsuit itself.”

The news outlet tried to reach Falwell for comment, but he reportedly declined, stating, “I haven’t even seen the lawsuit.”

Damage reputation Falwell jr Falwell sues liberty Intelwars jerry falwell Liberty University

Jerry Falwell Jr. sues Liberty University, arguing the school damaged his reputation

Jerry Falwell Jr. has sued Liberty University for defamation and breach of contract, arguing the prominent evangelical institution where he used to serve as president needlessly injured and damaged his reputation through a series of public statements after forcing him to resign.

What are the details?

In the complaint filed Wednesday in the Virginia Circuit Court in Lynchburg, Falwell also claims that university officials accepted what Falwell alleges are false claims about his involvement in an extramarital affair between his wife and a former business partner without investigating the matter.

“When Mr. Falwell and his family became the targets of a malicious smear campaign incited by anti-evangelical forces, Liberty University not only accepted the salacious and baseless accusations against the Falwells at face value, but directly participated in the defamation,” the lawsuit says, according to the Associated Press. “This action seeks redress for the damage Liberty has caused to the reputation of Mr. Falwell and his family.”

The AP reported that the lawsuit even alleges that “Liberty’s actions are antithetical to the teachings of Christ.”

“We attempted to meet several times with the Liberty University Board of Trustees Executive Committee but were unsuccessful in doing so. Thus, we were forced to seek remedy for Mr. Falwell’s ongoing injuries and damage to his reputation through the Court,” Falwell’s attorney, Robert Raskopf of Quinn Emanuel, added in a news release.

Falwell added in the news release: “Other than God and my family, there is nothing in the world I love more than Liberty University. I am saddened that University officials, with whom I have shared so much success and enjoyed such positive relationships, jumped to conclusions about the claims made against my character, failed to properly investigate them, and then damaged my reputation following my forced resignation.”

Liberty spokesman Scott Lamb told the AP that the school would formally respond to the matter after reviewing the complaint.

What’s the background?

Falwell stepped down from his university post in August after former pool attendant turned Falwell business partner, Giancarlo Granda, went public with allegations of an affair with the former president’s wife, Becki Falwell. Granda claimed that he engaged in regular sexual encounters with her over the course of several years — and that Falwell would often look on.

Falwell admitted the affair happened but has denied any personal involvement in the matter. He also accused Granda of attempting to extort him for years prior to the public accusation.

Pressure had been mounting for Falwell to resign even before the allegations, however. He agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence in early August after making headlines for a since-deleted Instagram post showing Falwell with his arm around his wife’s assistant as both of them displayed their pants partially unzipped.

Falwell captioned the post, writing, “More vacation shots. Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht. I promise that’s just black water in my glass. It was a prop only.”

Shortly after Falwell’s departure later that month, the university announced it was opening an independent probe into his tenure as president.

Intelwars Investigation Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University Tenure

Liberty University orders investigation ‘into all facets’ of operations during Falwell’s tenure as president

Liberty University announced Monday that it has hired a top firm to conduct a “forensic” investigation “into all facets” of its operations during the tenure of its former president, Jerry Falwell Jr., who agreed to step down last week amid a sex scandal involving his wife and former business partner.

What are the details?

Falwell resigned after Reuters published an interview with a former pool boy and business partner, Giancarlo Granda, came forward claiming he had an affair with Falwell’s wife, Becki, and that Falwell would watch the two have sex. Both Falwells acknowledged Becki’s relationship with Granda but denied Jerry had any involvement.

Falwell was already on leave from his leadership duties at the institution he had run for nearly 13 years following an uproar over a picture he posted to social media showing him with his arm around another woman while both their pants were undone.

In a statement posted to Liberty University’s website, the evangelical institution wrote of Falwell:

Some may say that all the signs were there for a long time before last week. It’s certainly fair to say that there were questionable comments made, worrying behavior, and inappropriate social media posts, but all the signs were not there until the start of last week. While we still didn’t know the full scope of the matter, we have learned enough about the past to know that we had no choice but to take the leadership of Liberty University in a new direction.

The school then announced:

We are also committed to learning the consequences that have flowed from a lack of spiritual stewardship by our former president. One of the leading forensic firms in the world has been retained by Liberty University’s Board of Trustees to conduct a thorough investigation into all facets of Liberty University operations during Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s tenure as President, including but not limited to financial, real estate, and legal matters.

Liberty’s statement did not mention Mrs. Falwell, who was also accused last week of performing a sex act on a former student in 2008 when she was an employee of the university.

The Associated Press noted that “A number of Falwell’s family members have worked for the school, including his son Trey Falwell, who on Monday was still listed on Liberty’s website as the vice president of university support services.”

In a statement on Sunday, the Falwells told the outlet they “welcome any inquiry as we have nothing to hide.”

Becki falwell Intelwars Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University Sex student

Former Liberty University student claims Becki Falwell performed sex act on him at her home

A former student of Liberty University says Becki Falwell — the wife of the evangelical school’s former president, Jerry Falwell Jr. — pursued him romantically and performed oral sex on him while he was staying at the Falwell residence following a band practice with the couple’s son, according to an exclusive report from Politico.

What are the details?

The former student, who is now 34, claims that Mrs. Falwell began “grooming” him when he would attend practices at the Falwell residence ahead of the alleged sexual encounter in 2008, when he was 22 years old and she was still an employee of the university.

He also provided text messages and social media exchanges purportedly indicating that she persistently continued to contact him for years afterward.

From Politico‘s extensive report:

‘One night [in August or September], we were up till one or two, and we went back to his room. We had a decent amount of Jack Daniels,’ the former student said. He remembered walking into the guest room, just as he’d done many times, closing the door behind him, and preparing the bed.

‘I’m laying in the bed and I hear, like, giggling to the side of me on the floor. And, pardon my French, but I was like, ‘What the f*** is that?’ I look over and it’s Becki,’ he said. “Just, you know, in my room. I’m like, ‘You can’t be in here. This can’t happen.’

After some prodding, he coaxed Falwell into leaving. He slept, woke up and acted like things were normal.
A few nights later, he stayed the night again. Again, Falwell came into the guestroom where the then-student was in bed.

This time, she was more aggressive. The former student remembers that Falwell climbed into bed with him, and quickly took down his pants.

‘I was like, ‘uh, what are you doing?” the former student said. Falwell then proceeded to give him oral sex.

The report comes off the heels of Jerry Falwell Jr. resigning as president of Liberty University after the Falwells’ former pool boy and business partner, Giancarlo Granda, claimed he and Becki had an affair over the span of 7 years and that Mr. Falwell would watch the two have sex.

The Falwells have both acknowledged Becki’s affair with Granda, but denied that Jerry had any involvement.

The unnamed student, who chose not to allow his story to be told until the allegations from Granda were revealed, says he was left with an immense amount of guilt, shame and depression over the alleged incident. He did not come forward before, he said, because he respected the university’s mission and that of its founder, Jerry Falwell, Sr. He also explained, “I don’t want to be a homewrecker.”

In response to Politico’s request for comment, the Falwells issued a statement saying:

It is unfortunate that the coverage of our departure has turned into a frenzy of false and fantastic claims about us. These false and mean spirited lies have hurt us and our family greatly and we will respond fully with the truth at an appropriate time. At this time, however, we think it is best to move on and help the Liberty community focus on its very bright future.

Giancarlo granda Intelwars Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University Pool boy Predator student

Pool boy claims Jerry Falwell Jr. shared a pic of ‘a female Liberty University student exposing herself’

The former pool boy and business partner of Jerry Falwell Jr. has lodged further accusations against the former president of Liberty University, accusing Falwell of being “a predator” and sending him a picture of a female student of the evangelical institution “exposing herself.”

What are the details?

In a Reuters report released Monday, Giancarlo Granda, 29, alleged that the affair with Falwell’s wife, Becki, began when he was 20 and a pool attendant, and it lasted for several years. He also claimed that Jerry Falwell Jr. would watch as the two had sex.

The Falwells have both acknowledged that Becki engaged in the affair, but denied Jerry’s involvement and accused Granda of attempting to extort them. Jerry Falwell Jr. confirmed his resignation Tuesday from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

On Tuesday evening, Granda released a statement accusing the Falwells of lying and attempting to “discredit” him, and denied he had any financial benefit for coming forward before making further accusations against Falwell, a well-known Christian leader who co-founded a think tank called the Falkirk Center for Faith and Liberty with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.

Granda wrote:

The Falwell’s (sic) would have you believe that I seduced Becki into an affair, without Jerry’s knowledge, and then spent the intervening 7 years trying to extort them. Of course, the truth is, they approached me. She invited me to their hotel room. They offered me an equity partnership in a property venture. They brought me on multiple trips and vacations, including to their family farm in Virginia. And as recently as last year, participated in video calls where Mrs. Falwell was naked and Jerry was watching.

The reality is Jerry Falwell is a predator. I know this because he sent me an image of a female Liberty University student exposing herself at their farm. This is not appropriate conduct for someone who up until this week, has been charged with overseeing the well-being of thousands of vulnerable and impressionable students.

What about Falwell’s ‘compensation’?

Ahead of Granda’s statement, Falwell — who was already on an indefinite leave of absence from Liberty University over another scandal — told The Wall Street Journal, “I didn’t break any rules — I get my full compensation.”

The outlet reported that a source familiar with Falwell’s contract estimates the former university president is looking at a golden parachute estimated at around $10.5 million over the next two years.

Falwell, 58, confirmed that amount to The Washington Post, disclosing that he would receive $2.5 million over the next two years, and roughly $8 million in retirement after that.

Free at last Intelwars Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University Pool boy Relieved Resign

‘Free at last’: Jerry Falwell Jr. says he’s ‘relieved’ after resigning from Liberty University amid scandal

Jerry Falwell Jr. says that he is “relieved” after resigning as president of Liberty University, telling a newspaper he is “free at last.”

What are the details?

On Monday, Reuters published an interview with a former business partner and “pool boy” for Falwell, Giancarlo Granda, who told the outlet he had a yearslong affair with Falwell’s wife, Becki Falwell, and that Jerry Falwell would watch the two have sex. Granda, 29, claims he has evidence to support his story.

Falwell, 58, confirmed Granda and Becki’s affair to The Washington Examiner, but denied having any part in it himself.

The same day, Liberty University put out a statement saying that Falwell had agreed to resign as president of the Evangelical institution based in Lynchburg, Virginia, but Falwell denied the school’s claim.

By Tuesday morning, Falwell told a Lynchburg newspaper, The News & Advance, that he had indeed agreed to step down.

“It’s a relief,” he told the outlet, “The quote that keeps going through my mind this morning is Martin Luther King Jr: ‘free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last.'”

He went on to disclose that the university’s board treated him “very, very generously.”

Liberty University released a statement Tuesday explaining that “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.”

The news release noted that “Falwell’s severance compensation was dictated by the terms of his pre-existing employment agreement without any adjustments by the University or its Board.”

According to the Daily Mail, Falwell received a $1 million annual salary through Liberty University, but the board did not disclose the amount he would be paid upon departure.

Anything else?

Falwell was already on an “indefinite leave of absence” as president of the university, after agreeing earlier this month to take a break from his leadership positions at the board’s request amid calls for Falwell’s resignation over a social media post.

Falwell — a well-known conservative and ally of President Donald Trump — had received waves of criticism over a now-deleted Instagram post from his yacht showing him with his arm around a woman as both of them showed off their pants being unzipped.

The Christian leader dismissed the photo as harmless fun, but some prominent Republicans were not impressed.

GOP Rep. Mark Walker (N.C.), a former preacher, tweeted at the time, “Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling. 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.”

Intelwars jerry falwell leave Liberty University photo

Breaking: Jerry Falwell Jr agrees to take ‘indefinite leave of absence’ from Liberty University

Liberty University announced Friday that Jerry Falwell Jr. has agreed to step down from his leadership positions at the institution for an “indefinite” amount of time, after he made headlines for a now-deleted Instagram post earlier this week.

What are the details?

The university issued a statement Friday, saying:

The Executive Committee of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of the full Board, met today and requested that Jerry Falwell, Jr. take an indefinite leave of absence from his roles as President and Chancellor of Liberty University, to which he has agreed, effective immediately.

The school’s brief announcement did not cite the reason behind the Board of Trustees’ request, but Falwell received a great deal of bad press this week after posting a vacation photo to social social showing him with his arm around a woman as both of them showed off their pants being unzipped.

Falwell quickly deleted the post, as backlash poured in from critics accusing him of hypocrisy for appearing to flout the standards expected of the leader of an Evangelical school

Falwell’s announced departure comes the day after GOP Rep. Mark Walker (N.C.) — a former pastor with links to Liberty University —
publicly called for Falwell to step down, calling his behavior “appalling.”

Walker tweeted, “Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling. 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.”

This is a breaking story that will be updated.

Intelwars jerry falwell Liberty University Rep. mark walker

GOP rep: Jerry Falwell Jr should step down as Liberty University president over ‘appalling’ behavior

A Republican congressman with links to Liberty University declared Thursday that Jerry Falwell, Jr. should resign his post as president of the institution, citing his “ongoing behavior” which the lawmaker called “appalling.”

What are the details?

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), a former pastor, tweeted, “Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling. 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 did not get into specifics regarding what “behavior” he was referring to, but Falwell raised eyebrows earlier this week with a quickly-deleted Instagram post showing him with his arm around a woman who is not his wife. Both were posing with their pants’ zippers undone and Falwell was holding a dark-colored drink.

In the caption accompanying the photo, Falwell wrote, “More vacation shots. Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht. I promise that’s just black water in my glass. It was a prop only.”

At the time, Falwell took heat from conservative pundits including “The View’s” Meghan McCain, who tweeted, “How is this Jerry Falwell Jr. photo even real? Also if you’re running the largest Christian university in America maybe don’t put photos of yourself on social media with your pants undone on a yacht – with random women in bad wigs. So gross, so hypocritical.”

But Republican politicians have largely remained mum regarding the controversial photo posted by Falwell, who is an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.

Politico reported that Falwell addressed the controversy on Wednesday during an interview with a radio station in Lynchburg, Va., which is his home town and where the private Evangelical university is located.

“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Falwell told WLNI-FM, “And I’ve promised my kids I’m going to try to be — I’m going to try to be a good boy from here on out.”

Falwell said that the woman he posed with for the photo is his wife’s assistant, and that the picture was “just in good fun.”

“She’s pregnant so she couldn’t get her — she couldn’t get her pants up,” Falwell explained. “And I was like, trying to like — my — I had on a pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get my zipped either. And so, I just put my belly out like hers.”

Coronavirus Coronavirus lockdown COVID-19 Intelwars Liberty University Liberty university outbreak pandemic reopen america

Liberty University, once accused of being reckless for reopening during pandemic, finishes semester — with 0 coronavirus cases

Liberty University, once criticized for choosing to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, finished its spring semester without a single confirmed case, The College Fix reported Tuesday.

In March, the Christian university came under heavy fire for its decision to resume classes.

What are the details?

In the early days of the pandemic, college President Jerry Falwell Jr. announced that the school would reopen for students with a necessity to remain in campus housing.

In a year-end note to students, Falwell wrote, “We are thankful to God that nobody who lived in a campus residence hall or who worked in a campus office tested positive for the virus. No positive COVID-19 test anywhere in our region was linked to Liberty students who returned to their dorms after Spring Break.”

Falwell pointed out that the only COVID-19 cases that the university community saw were as a result of employees working from home.

“[T]heir infections were all traced to contacts in the local community with persons infected with COVID who were not related to Liberty,” he added.

Falwell opted to reopen the campus amid the pandemic and criticized an “overreaction” to the disease.

“We think it’s irresponsible for so many universities to just say ‘Closed, you can’t come back,’ push the problem off on other communities and sit there in their ivory towers,” Falwell said in March. “We’re conservative, we’re Christian, and therefore we’re being attacked.”

What else?

Falwell made similar statements about the overall health of the Virginia campus in May.

Falwell hit out at media misinformation following a contentious New York Times report that alleged “nearly a dozen” college students were “sick with symptoms that suggested COVID-19.”

In an interview with Glenn Beck, Falwell insisted that there were just a “couple of off-campus cases, like bus drivers.”

The university plans to reopen at full capacity for its fall semester.

College Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University

Falwell Jr. claims Liberty had no on-campus COVID-19 cases after students returned — and he’s suing NYT for its report

Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University in Virginia, said there were no new cases of COVID-19 among people living on campus after they returned to campus following spring break — and he’s suing The New York Times for its report on the situation.

Falwell made the decision in late March to invite students back to the Liberty University campus around the same time the state was implementing tight restrictions and closing schools to slow the spread of the coronavirus. He said he made the decision to accommodate students who could not access online courses or who were not able to move back home. Falwell said about 1,200 people returned to campus.

What NYT said: The New York Times, citing Dr. Thomas Eppes, who it identified as “the physician who runs Liberty’s student health service,” reported that “nearly a dozen” Liberty students were “sick with symptoms that suggested COVID-19.”

The report said “three were referred to local hospital centers for testing. An additional eight were told to self-isolate.” NYT reported that as of 8 p.m. on March 29, one of those students tested positive, one tested negative, and a third was still awaiting results. The report currently states that “the student who tested positive for COVID-19 lives off campus.”

What Falwell says: In an interview with Glenn Beck on Friday morning, Falwell said the university has “no choice” but to sue because the Times said “there were 12 COVID cases on campus.” In reality, Falwell said, there were no new cases of COVID-19 on campus. The Times did not report that there were 12 cases, and did not specify whether or not the one student who tested positive lived on campus.

He conceded that Eppes said there were “11 or 12” cases of Liberty students. coming in with “upper respiratory colds and allergies and different things.” He said Eppes does not officially work for Liberty University, but he has a medical practice in Lynchburg.

Falwell said there were “a couple of off-campus cases, like bus drivers” with COVID-19. When those cases were identified, Falwell said, the person stopped working and those who had been around the infected person isolated themselves.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University Lynchburg Virginia

Liberty University reopened its campus after spring break, and now there’s a potential coronavirus outbreak

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. reopened the campus to students and faculty after spring break last week, despite many schools nationwide remaining closed as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

Now, at least one student has tested positive for the virus, and others have been isolated with COVID-19 symptoms, The New York Times reported.

The current situation: Dr. Thomas Eppes, who runs the Liberty University student health service, told the Times that 11 Liberty students had reported symptoms consistent with potential COVID-19 infections. Three students have been tested. One test was positive, the other negative, and one more is pending. The other eight are self-isolating.

Four students who returned to Liberty from New York were asked by the university to self-isolate, along with two of their roommates. None of those six people has exhibited COVID-19 symptoms.

About 1,900 students returned to campus after spring break, but 800 of them have now left. More students may have returned to off-campus housing, but Falwell said he doesn’t know how many.

Concerns about spread: The university implemented rules to force students to practice social distancing on campus, but the Times reported that many students chose to disobey those rules:

On campus, the administration says it is adhering to Virginia’s public health mandates, but students are flouting them. While security guards appear to be enforcing state advisories requiring a six-foot distance from others and gatherings of no more than 10 people, students are still assembling in closer proximity to eat, play sports, study and use dormitory restrooms. Decals slapped on furniture that say “Closed for Social Distancing” have wound up on laptops and car bumpers. Study tables are farther apart, but shared computer terminals remain. While some students are trying to adhere to social distancing guidelines, they live in group houses, pile onto city buses and crowd the few businesses that remain open in Lynchburg.

As a result, there’s no certain way to tell how widely the virus may have spread throughout the campus community until students begin exhibiting symptoms and potentially get tested.

Why did they reopen the campus? Falwell is on record criticizing a general “overreaction” to the coronavirus pandemic, and has suggested that the political and religious positions of Liberty are driving criticism of the decision to open the school again.

“We think it’s irresponsible for so many universities to just say ‘closed, you can’t come back,’ push the problem off on other communities and sit there in their ivory towers,” Falwell said Wednesday on the “ToddCast Podcast,” hosted by Todd Starnes. “We’re conservative, we’re Christian, and therefore we’re being attacked.”

The mayor of Lynchburg, Virginia, where Liberty University is located, feels differently.

“We had a firestorm of our own citizens who said, ‘What’s going on?'” Mayor Treney Tweedy told the Times.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University Virginia

Liberty University invites students back to campus, requires faculty to report to work

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, is going against the trend of many schools in the nation, inviting students to return to campus after spring break despite the threat of the coronavirus spreading, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

On Monday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) ordered all nonessential businesses to close by Wednesday, and Virginia public schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. One day earlier, Falwell said as many as 5,000 students could return to Liberty’s campus.

“I think we have a responsibility to our students — who paid to be here, who want to be here, who love it here — to give them the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they’ve already paid for and to not interrupt their college life,” Falwell said, the Times-Dispatch reported.

Other universities in the area have closed residence halls to everyone except those with nowhere else to go and have ordered their faculty to work remotely. According to the Times-Dispatch, the University of Lynchburg has just 19 students still living on campus, while Randolph College has only five.

Liberty students will still be receiving online instruction, even if they choose to return to their dorms. Faculty will be required to work on campus even though they won’t be teaching in-person classes. The university has not updated its COVID-19 information page to address whether the governor’s order for closures will impact these plans.

Although students will be able to return to campus, there will still be restrictions. Gatherings of more than 10 people will be prohibited, and dining services will be take-out only. Campus visits have been suspended.

Falwell believes that the university has taken the correct measures to protect students, and that a majority of the student population is not at high risk of being severely impacted by the virus anyway. At least one Liberty professor, who is transitioning to a new university in the fall, disagrees.

“Lives are at stake,” Marybeth Davis Baggett, an English professor, said, according to RTD. “I think this decision is a recipe for disaster and I have been trying to push that as much as I have been able to internally.”