President Trump Taps Jerry Falwell Jr. As Head of Education Task Force

February 4th 2017

Lucy Tiven

The president of Liberty University has accepted President Donald Trump's offer to serve as the head of an education reform task force. Jerry Falwell Jr. aims to limit federal regulations on higher education, including campus sexual assault investigations, Liberty spokesperson Len Stevens told CNN.

"[Falwell] has an interest in eliminating what he feels are overreaches by the federal government, particularly the Department of Education, as pertains to colleges and universities across the country," Stevens said in an email to CNN.

"Title IX is one of the areas he mentioned where there is over-regulation," Stevens added.

The evangelical leader believes campus sexual assault investigations are "better left to police, attorneys, judges," Stevens reportedly said in the email. Stevens declined to comment to ATTN:.

The Obama administration issued guidelines on the federal nondiscrimination statute Title IX pertaining to sexual assault allegations at college campuses and universities. These guidelines outlined standards for responding to accusations and supporting victims, but since it wasn't issued via executive order, the Trump administration could issue replacements that would effectively nullify it.

In November, Falwell was widely criticized over Liberty's decision to hire former Baylor football coach, Ian McCaw, after he resigned from the school in May following a sexual assault scandal.

Liberty University

Former Baylor student Jasmin Hernandez sued Baylor and the school's athletic director, McCaw, claiming he was aware that she was sexual assaulted and repeatedly failed to protect her or discipline the athletes.

Law firm Pepper Hamilton found after an independent investigation of Baylor, "a failure to identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player, to take action in response to reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, and to take action in response to a report of dating violence," the Chicago Tribune reports.

Falwell is also widely associated with far-right, anti-LGBT and anti-science positions.

“Jerry Falwell Jr. espouses an extreme anti-LGBTQ and anti-science worldview," Mark Daniel Snyder, Equality Federation spokesman, told the Advocate. "He poses a real threat to our community, especially young people who should have a fair opportunity to learn free from discrimination and prejudices. It is deeply troubling that Mr. Trump has surrounded himself with the ‘who’s who’ of homophobic, racist, and xenophobic leaders. We will resist any attempt to poison our educational system with anti-LGBTQ and anti-science extremism.”