Skip to comments.Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Response to Alec MacGillis and New York Times Magazine
Posted on 04/23/2018 10:46:00 AM PDT by Kaslin
What youve heard about us is true: We are big.
Liberty University ranks as the largest Christian university in the world, the largest university in Virginia, the second largest non-profit and the fifth largest overall university in the United States. And weve grown most explosively during the past decade: from 38,000 enrolled to over 110,000. Our online programs drove that growth, with the rapid spread of high-speed internet making it possible for everyday people to gain a high-quality education at a low-dollar price point.
When you have this much growth as fast as we have seen it come, it can take a while for the word to get out. But make no mistakewe want Libertys story to spread. Thats why I and a half-dozen of my leadership team recently gave journalist Alec MacGillis as much interview time as he desired. Ninety minutes later, he wrapped up his questions, and a month later we read his piecereleased this week in The New York Times Magazine: How Liberty University Built a Billion-Dollar Empire Online.
As Mr. MacGillis rightly points out in his article, our Lynchburg, Virginia campus has seen constant construction. Seniors attend class in buildings that didnt exist when they were freshmen. Cranes currently litter the skyline, as workers build our new business school and upgrade our football stadium to accommodate our transition into the highest level of the NCAA. The construction dust serves as a testament to our abiding belief that we can always be improving the experience of our students on campus and online.
As part of this philosophy, we welcome all perspectives and feedback and appreciate that the size and scope of our mission will bring warranted complaints about our performance. However, there were several points made in the fact-checking process of Mr. MacGilliss article that markedly misrepresent our mission, including the many ways we have succeeded in serving our remote students.
We are proud of the institution we have created and the minds we have expanded, challenged, and enlightened and take matters questioning our rigor, seriousness, and dedication to education very seriously.
For example, MacGillis quotes an unnamed former employee from our recruitment center as saying Liberty would admit a student with a GPA of 0.5. Thats just not true. The minimum GPA for admittance in good standing is 2.0. And the lowest GPA possible for admittance is 1.5but even those cases are few, involving students who make an appeal and enter with an on caution status with agreed-upon conditions for continuance. So, the 30-year old who a decade earlier skipped algebra class endlessly to step outside and get highwe have a pathway they can walk down to prove themselves worthy of higher education. We make no apologies for this. But admitting a 0.5 GPA student? No.
MacGillis takes pains to explain our business model: We keep costs low, which keeps our tuition low. Prospective students have many options for higher education. They expect both quality and valueand the thoughtful consumer will do diligent research and land at a school that delivers both.
Does Liberty deliver both? 100,000+ current students have decided that we do.
Of course, even with low tuition rates, people will still need financial aid. The U.S. government has been in the business of helping students finance their education since the GI Bill of 1944 sent World War II vets out of combat zones and into classrooms. Liberty has 30,000 students from the military or military families. Last year, we became the first university in Virginia to be designated as a Purple Heart University, in recognition of our support of military members and their families.
The U.S. Government also awards Pell grant money to students based on their financial need. They can take their Pell grant dollars to any accredited school of their choice. Loans and grants are awarded to studentsnot to the university.
What Mr. MacGillis didnt know to report is how many higher education administrators call or come to Liberty to discover our secret. The secret is that there is no secret. People simply want the benefits of quality education. So figure out how to provide them with that product (elitist, Higher-Ed types get ruffled when I use that term). Then, deliver the product to them at a price they can afford, and offer it online so they dont have to disrupt their familys life. Do this and more students will come to your school too.
What youve heard about us is true: We dream big.
My father began Liberty to train champions who would change the world for Christ. In fulfillment of that mission, we will continue our efforts to ensure that education is accessible and affordable to everyone, regardless of personal or financial circumstance, and to provide the highest quality education to all of our students.
Great article. Liberty University is focused on God and He has provided what they need to continue.
So, I remember when he would include tours of the empty fields where the campus would be. He would point to a piece of ground and say, "Here is where the dining hall is going to be." I thought he was completely nuts. He would talk in such grandiose terms about this university and how big it was going to be when he had nothing: No buildings, no students, no faculty, no administration, just a dream.
It seemed so ridiculous. The guy was crazy like a fox. He knew. He had a plan and he knew it would work. He understood 20 years before everyone else had caught on. The liberals were completely destroying education and people were hungry for an alternative. I didn't understand until much later just how smart that guy was. I wish he had lived longer, but I suppose he lived long enough to establish the foundation, and that's what really matters.
Just the name "Liberty" tells you all you need to know about how far out in front Jerry Falwell was. He understood about the pc culture even before anyone had coined the term.
What youve heard about us is true: We are big. Liberty University ranks as the largest Christian university in the world, the largest university in Virginia, the second largest non-profit and the fifth largest overall university in the United States. And weve grown most explosively during the past decade: from 38,000 enrolled to over 110,000. Our online programs drove that growth, with the rapid spread of high-speed internet making it possible for everyday people to gain a high-quality education at a low-dollar price point.
The Fresno State professor
I am 2 classes away from my BS in Business Administration at Liberty. I will be 56 when I graduate. Every class not only instructs, but also glorifies God. You cant ask for a better combination in education.
“Just the name “Liberty” tells you all you need to know about how far out in front Jerry Falwell was. He understood about the pc culture even before anyone had coined the term.”
Not really anything to do with PC. The college is Baptist. One of the Baptist Distinctives is “personal soul liberty”. Liberty is huge for Baptists, so the name makes sense.
Actually, it’s “individual (not ‘personal’) soul liberty”.
Liberty takes a ton of Federal money. That money comes with a price. Sooner or later, that bill will come due.
Dad with two Liberty grad kids. Great school.
"Federal" money is given to students.
They choose their OWN schools.
But I do understand what you're saying.
The gummint TAKES our money in taxes; magically calls it FEDERAL money; and then bribes us with it while removing a big chunk of it for handling fees.
I have a grandson at West Point. Let me tell you about him having to ‘pay the bill’ some day.
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