Liberty students protest in wake of reports about Falwell

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Students at Liberty University in Virginia have gathered to protest in the wake of news reports containing allegations that school president Jerry Falwell Jr. "presides over a culture of self-dealing" and improperly benefited from the institution.

The News & Advance reports the students gathered Friday at the private evangelical university in Lynchburg. Photos show students holding signs calling for accountability and an investigation.

Following the publication of a Politico Magazine article, Falwell Jr. told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wants the FBI to investigate what he called a "criminal" smear campaign orchestrated against him by several disgruntled former board members and employees.

Liberty was founded in 1971 by Falwell's father. It boasts an enrollment of more than 100,000, including those in its massive online education program. It's also an influential hub of conservative politics.