Liberty University, the evangelical school in Lynchburg, Virginia, said Wednesday it’s beginning a formal search for a new president.
The move comes almost two years to the day after the Aug. 25, 2020, resignation of then-president Jerry Falwell Jr., son of the school’s founder the late Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr.
Mr. Falwell, an attorney who was a principal ally of President Donald Trump, quit after a sex scandal.
Interim President Jerry Prevo, a Baptist pastor from Alaska who previously headed the school’s board of trustees, will continue in the role until a new president is named. Liberty said it hopes to have a new president “prior to the 2023-2024 academic year.”
“Liberty University will always be indebted to President Prevo for stepping out of retirement for these three years to serve Liberty tirelessly and sacrificially,” trustees Chairman Tim Lee said.
The university said executive search firm CarterBaldwin would conduct the recruiting process.
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“During this season of institutional transition, Liberty University has benefited tremendously from a combination of stabilizing leaders with vast institutional experience and some of the nation’s best outside experts,” search committee Chairman Gilbert “Bud” Tinney said in a statement.
He said the choice of CarterBaldwin was a demonstration of the school’s “ongoing commitment to excellence.”
Price Harding, the search firm’s chairman who also is co-leader of its academic and non-profit practices, said he was “excited” about the assignment.
“Liberty University isn’t just one of the world’s largest institutions of higher education, it is also a unique institution with unique characteristics and nonnegotiable values,” Mr. Harding said in a statement.
Founded in 1971, Liberty has 15,000 students at its 7,000-acre campus in Lynchburg and 110,000 students taking online classes.
It has hosted speakers as diverse as Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, at convocations attended by thousands.