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Distance Learning Program changes name, leadership

November 4, 2008 : Ron Brown

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. recently named four new vice presidents and two new admissions heads, including changes in resident recruitment and LU’s rapidly growing online education program.

As part of the administrative changes, Falwell announced that the school’s distance learning program will be renamed Liberty University Online.

Falwell said the new name much more accurately describes the experience of students in the program today.”

Liberty’s non-residential students take coursework via the Internet.

“I have met many students who moved to Lynchburg to attend Liberty University but soon transferred to the online program in order to meet employment and family obligations,” Falwell said. “Many online students are not distant from Liberty at all. They simply require more flexibility in their lives and are not able to attend traditional classes during the workday. It is no longer a distance learning program.

It is an Internet-based online educational experience. The new name is much more descriptive of the student experience.”

Liberty Vice Chancellor Ronald S. Godwin said the changes were triggered in part by the resignation of Ron Kennedy, the current executive director of distance learning and graduates studies. Kennedy recently accepted a similar position at Myers University in Ohio.

As of Oct. 27, LU’s online enrollment stood at 24,500. School officials project growth to 37,000 students by the end of the fiscal year in June.

To fill the void left by Kennedy’s departure, Falwell Jr. decided to promote Resident Recruitment Executive Director Chris Johnson to the new post of Vice President for Enrollment Management.

“In this capacity, he will assume oversight for both resident and online education,” Godwin said.

Johnson’s current executive director’s post will be assumed by Larry Hoezee.

Kennedy’s executive director post in Liberty University Online will be filled by John Donges.

Unrelated to the enrollment management changes, Dwayne Carson and Johnnie Moore, both campus pastors, will also be promoted to vice president positions.

Carson becomes vice president of spiritual development.

Moore assumes the role of vice president of executive projects and media relations.

“These title changes have been made to more accurately represent the duties and responsibilities for which both these men are already responsible,” Godwin said.

Ron Brown will be promoted to the position of vice president of University Advancement.