Liberty University says it today paid former President Jerry Falwell, Jr. two years of his base salary as severance. Liberty says in a statement the compensation was dictated by terms of Falwell’s pre-existing employment contract, and there were no changes or adjustments made.
Falwell previously told news organizations his base salary was $1.25 million per year, and he expected an initial severance of $2.5 million. That would equal the “two years’ base salary” that Liberty cites in today’s statement.
It is unclear how much Falwell will receive in the future. Liberty says later compensation comes solely in “accrued retirement payments [that] reflect reasonable terms after 30 years of service to Liberty, with 13 as university president”, but it does provide not a dollar figure. Falwell says future compensation will be about $8 million.
NEWS RELEASE: Today, Liberty University paid its former president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., the severance owed under his employment contract. Media reports regarding the size and terms of the severance to be paid upon the employment separation of Liberty University and Mr. Falwell, Jr. are incorrect. As Liberty University has already stated, Mr. Falwell’s severance compensation was dictated by the terms of his pre-existing employment agreement without any adjustment by the University or its Board.
There was no severance and no retirement negotiated in exchange for Mr. Falwell’s resignation last month. By his pre-existing contract, Mr. Falwell is entitled to two years’ base salary as severance. Additional compensation that Mr. Falwell receives under his agreement following his resignation are only accrued retirement benefits. These accrued retirement payments reflect reasonable terms after 30 years of service to Liberty, with 13 as university president.
Under Mr. Falwell’s tenure, Liberty University has grown from a regional Christian college to a world-class Christian academic institution with a strong financial base, including an endowment of more than $2 billion.