Liberty provost's duties reduced following mix-up

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Liberty University Provost Ron Godwin's duties have been reduced following a mix-up involving a biblical studies certificate program.

Godwin, 76, will no longer serve as vice president of academic affairs, Liberty said in a statement posted on its website.

Godwin appeared recently on televangelist Benny Hinn's show with Dan Reber, operator of the Liberty Home Bible Institute. Godwin said in the statement posted Friday that he believed Reber was authorized to market the university's Liberty University Institute of Biblical Studies courses on Hinn's show.

He said he later learned that Reber didn't have that authorization.

"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," Godwin said. "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."

Liberty said it had turned over operation of the Liberty Home Bible Institute, a non-accredited studies program, to Reber in 2009 and granted him certain licensing rights to use the university's name "because the Liberty name was deeply imbedded in LHBI course materials." Liberty has maintained ownership of the program.

Any cooperative venture with Hinn regarding Liberty's properties violated the university's agreement with Reber and his company, Internet Marketing and Communications, LLC, Liberty said.

Liberty told Benny Hinn Ministries earlier this month to remove all unauthorized uses of the university's trademark and intellectual property from its website, The News & Advance ( ) reported.

Liberty President and Chancellor Jerry Falwell said the incident convinced him that Godwin's two roles were incompatible.

"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 (Friday) 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," Falwell said in the university's statement.

Godwin had served in both roles since late 2010, and later assumed responsibilities associated with initiatives that included new programs and strategic alliances.

Falwell said Godwin will focus solely on academic matters and will guide the team responsible for Liberty's pending 10-year accreditation reaffirmation report.



Liberty University statement:


Information from: The News & Advance,

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