Bob Jones University regains nonprofit status 17 years after it dropped policy that is discriminatory

0 comment

Bob Jones University regains nonprofit status 17 years after it dropped policy that is discriminatory

BJU entrance (Picture: File)

In a move that is been a lot more than couple of years when you look at the creating, Bob Jones University announced Wednesday it could regain its federal tax-exempt status on March 1, significantly more than three years following the IRS stripped its nonprofit status following a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The issue within the court situation ended up being the refusal that is university’s enable interracial relationship or wedding among pupils, staff or faculty associated with college, a guideline it offers since abandoned.

The conservative Christian college dropped its interracial ban that is dating a nationwide televised interview with previous president Bob Jones III on CNN’s Larry King reside in 2000. In 2008, last President Stephen Jones, great-grandson of university and evangelist founder Bob Jones, apologized for BJU’s past racial discrimination.

Nevertheless the college hadn’t desired to reinstate its tax-exempt status until 2014 after Steve Pettit took over once the school’s 5th president in its 90-year history.

“Organizing as being a tax-exempt entity is one thing BJU has had a need to do for a long time,” Pettit said.

Inside the meeting that is first with university’s Cabinet, Pettit said he thought it had been suitable for BJU to get its tax-exempt status as the college doesn’t think the roles it once held about battle.

Pettit called the university’s racist policies an issue that is social had not been biblical.

“The Bible is extremely clear,” Pettit stated as he announced the alteration to your college Wednesday evening. “We are constructed of one bloodstream.”

Bob Jones University destroyed its taxation exemption after having a 13-year fight with the IRS over perhaps the university’s policies against interracial relationship precluded it as being a non-taxable religious academic organization. The college didn’t acknowledge any black colored pupils until 1971, 17 years after Brown vs. Board of Education. After that it wouldn’t acknowledge any pupils who have been in a marriage that is mixed-race developed guidelines to prohibit students from interracial relationship.

The scenario rose towards the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1983 that the IRS could revoke the university’s tax-exempt status as the government’s curiosity about eradicating racial discrimination from training overrode the university’s First Amendment legal rights to spiritual free message.

The scenario happens to be cited several times through many years. Lately, it arose within an change prior to the Supreme Court when you look at the Obergefell vs. Hodges choice, which legalized marriage that is gay. From then on choice, the IRS commissioner stated the agency will never target the tax-exempt status of spiritual organizations that oppose homosexual wedding.

It’s taken two-and-a-half years for BJU to perform the reorganization since it used a plan that is complicated divide its company into two entities because of the college dropping underneath the umbrella of the elementary school’s current non-profit status to obtain a unique, in accordance with college statements and company documents filed using the sc Secretary of State while the IRS.

That nonprofit that is existing called Bob Jones Elementary class, Inc. until final might, with regards to ended up being renamed BJU, Inc.

The restructuring arrived after “consultation with lawyer and accountants with several many years of expertise in assisting taxation exempt organizations—as well as input from users of the community that is BJU our congressional delegation,” Pettit stated.

The alteration didn’t need IRS approval because its primary college had been a nonprofit, although the college had correspondence that is formal conversations with all the IRS, stated Randy web Page, BJU spokesman.

The college happens to be detailed being a 501()( that is c) nonprofit in the IRS site, stated Michael Dobzinski, IRS spokesman.

What it indicates

As yet, if users of the city or alumni wished to contribute to the college, their presents had been only income tax deductible when they provided to particular nonprofit hands for the university, such as for example its scholarship investment, art museum or athletic foundation.

Donors couldn’t provide gifts that are tax-deductible the college itself to aid with money promotions and for college initiatives.

All of the big gift suggestions into the college recently, like a $500,000 present through the Sargant Foundation in December and a $1 million gift that is anonymous final November, went toward its BJU Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit entity associated with the college.

Now donors’ presents will likely be tax-deductible, web Page stated.

“It helps when you’re attempting to raise cash for a company to own a status that is tax-exempt” web web web Page stated. “That obviously helps your development people, your development folks and people in the neighborhood – organizations, people, alumni – making it better to contribute to a nonprofit.”

The alteration would affect students’ n’t financial aid and wouldn’t affect employees, he stated.

The change amounts the playing field involving the college as well as other sis organizations whenever trying to get funds, he stated.

It moves BJU from the college that is for-profit a nonprofit category with all the U.S. Department of Education, “which is generally recognized more positively by the public,” Page stated.

That modification could show crucial once the U.S. Department of Education has targeted for-profit universities with additional oversight in the past few years and fined a few for-profit companies of universities underneath the national government, which lead to universities like Corinthian university and ITT Technical Institute shutting down.

And although the college runs debt-free and does not intend to accept debt, it may potentially save your self through reduced interest levels if it decided to accept financial obligation, web web Page said.

just just How BJU will undoubtedly be organized

On March 1, Bob Jones University, Inc. is supposed to be renamed Bob Jones Education Group, Inc. and certainly will remain the university’s entity that is taxable will donate about half its assets to your non-taxable BJU, Inc.

The university’s assets will effortlessly be split involving the two organizations.

BJU, Inc. includes the university & most of the facilities, the art museum, primary college and youngster development center. BJU Press article writers will also come underneath the umbrella of BJU, Inc.

The arm that is for-profit of college – Bob Jones Education Group, Inc. – should include the BJU Press, University Cleaners as well as the Bob Jones Academy center and high schools.

The college will be governed by its 25-member Board of Trustees. The board will appoint a brand new board that is eight-member govern Bob Jones Education Group.

The change process began in belated 2014 with research of how exactly to attain taxation exemption. Final might 5, the Board of Trustees authorized the plan that is final pursuing taxation exemption therefore the management happens to be attempting to implement it since that time.

The university has been seeking regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at the same time. The college, that is detailed as an applicant for certification, notified the payment of the prospective modifications, which wouldn’t influence its candidacy, web web web Page stated.

The college provided SACSCOC using its proposition arrange for income tax exemption and there’s no noticeable improvement in governance, stated Pamela Cravey, SACSCOC spokeswoman.

“The action had been an IRS matter and failed to represent a substantive modification,” Cravey stated,

SACSCOC has considered the college as a not-for-profit, she stated.

Share this:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.