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Mark DeMoss Explains Why He Resigned from Liberty's Board

05-06-2016

A board member at Liberty University has resigned over the university president's endorsement of Donald Trump, according to Religion News Service. 

Mark DeMoss, a public relations executive with strong ties to the American evangelical community, said he disagreed with the "appropriateness" of Jerry Falwell Jr.'s endorsement of the Republican front-runner.

Liberty officials have emphasized that the university president endorsed Trump personally -- not on behalf of the university, according to The Washington Post.

For many years DeMoss was chief of staff to Jerry Falwell Sr., the founder of the university.
 
"I hope we have not 'fallen out' over this matter," DeMoss said. "I am a Liberty graduate and have been associated with the school for nearly 40 years. Despite our differences on this endorsement, Jerry and I share a love for Liberty University."

DeMoss told The Washington Post two months ago that Trump's campaign, filled with insults, has been in direct opposition to the values Falwell Sr. upheld and Liberty condones.

According to a statement DeMoss made to Patheos blogger Warren Throckmorton, the executive committee of Liberty's board of trustees, in late April, had voted to ask DeMoss to step down from the executive committee, which he served as chairman.

Liberty said individual members of the committee had asked DeMoss to resign, but no vote ever took place, according to Religion News Service. 

"Individual board members have varied reasons for their displeasure regarding Mark DeMoss' comments to the Washington Post, most of which are not related to his disagreement with Jerry Falwell's personal endorsement of Donald Trump or a belief that Mark DeMoss' motivations were entirely political," according to a statement from the university. "Liberty would prefer to not inventory or detail all these reasons."
 
On April 25, DeMoss decided to resign from the board as well, saying there was "a concern about a lack of trust," Religion News Service reports. DeMoss clarified his resignation in an email Thursday.

"While the decision to leave the committee I chaired was not mine, the decision to step down from the board was mine," he said. "The president/chancellor and the board chair and new executive committee chair were suggesting my motive for speaking to the Post was entirely political [that I was a political pawn of rival campaigns], rather than a genuine concern for the reputation of the university we trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to protect. I concluded if they could not accept the reasons I gave them there was not sufficient trust to continue serving together."

DeMoss served as a senior adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
 

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