After Benny Hinn Flap, Liberty University Reins In Provost's Duties

Ronald Godwin
Liberty University Provost Ronald Godwin appears with Benny Hinn and Dan Reber in a video announcing a supposed 'partnership' between the university and Hinn's ministry, which the provost and Liberty University now affirm was mistaken. (YouTube)

Earlier this month, Charisma News reported on Liberty University's official statement regarding a controversial video that was uncovered, showing Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Ronald Godwin appearing on televangelist Benny Hinn's television show.

Liberty University amended its statement late last week with the following update, explaining that Dr. Godwin's responsibilities have been scaled back in light of the oversight:

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell announced Friday that Dr. Ronald Godwin’s duties and responsibilities will be focused solely on academic matters going forward.

Since late 2010, Dr. Godwin has served as Liberty’s Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs.  In the last two years, Dr. Godwin has also assumed responsibilities associated with a varied array of initiatives designed to leverage Liberty University’s strengths with new and innovative educational projects external to the University.  These projects included new programs and strategic alliances to deliver Liberty’s educational services both domestically and internationally.

“The incident with Benny Hinn Ministries convinced me how incompatible the two roles are,” President Falwell said.  “I also realized it was not humanly possible for any one person to perform all the tasks necessary to do both jobs well. Dr. Godwin and I met early today and discussed which of his two roles he should continue to serve. After a lengthy discussion, we decided that Dr. Godwin should focus solely on Liberty’s academic programs in his role as Provost.”

Dr. Godwin, 76, explained the background context for the move.  “A dear friend of mine believed he had a contract that permitted him to use Liberty University’s name and materials in a way that I now realize he did not.  I should have verified this but instead trusted in his recollection,” said Dr. Godwin.  “I have apologized to President Falwell for this error and am grateful that I can continue to contribute to Liberty University’s health and success.”

Dr. Godwin’s refined role will help ensure the error does not repeat itself, according to President Falwell.  “The University will continue to rely on Dr. Godwin’s breadth of academic and administrative experience.  He will spend the next few years grooming his successors and guiding the team responsible for Liberty University’s pending ten year accreditation reaffirmation report.”

“Dr. Godwin has served at Liberty since 2004.  I greatly value his contributions during that time,” President Falwell said.  “Dr. Godwin was instrumental in helping my father implement a very aggressive enrollment growth plan for Liberty beginning ten years ago when Liberty had just emerged from a decade of financial struggles and while many thought it imprudent to incur the risks inherent in growth.  Three years ago, he stepped in as Provost and created efficiencies and academic quality controls to effectively manage Liberty’s robust growth.  I am confident that Ron will be even more effective now as he is deployed in this more focused role.”

Dr. Godwin added, “I welcome this opportunity to focus my efforts on the Provost duties, which, at the world’s largest Christian university, is more than enough for anyone to say grace over.”

In the controversial video, Hinn was shown discussing what appeared to be a new "partnership" with Liberty University's current provost, Dr. Godwin, and Dan Reber of Liberty Home Bible Institute.


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