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

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

The matter when you look at the court instance had been the university’s refusal to enable interracial relationship or wedding among pupils, staff or faculty regarding the college, a guideline it offers since abandoned.

The conservative Christian college dropped its interracial dating ban in 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 evangelist and college creator Bob Jones, apologized for BJU’s past racial discrimination.

However the college hadn’t tried to reinstate its tax-exempt status until 2014 after Steve Pettit took over since the school’s president that is fifth its 90-year history.

“Organizing being a tax-exempt entity is one thing BJU has necessary to do for quite a while,” Pettit stated.

Inside the very first ending up in the university’s Cabinet, Pettit said he thought it absolutely was right for BJU to look for its tax-exempt status considering that the college does not 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 while he announced the alteration into the college Wednesday evening. “We are constructed with one bloodstream.”

Bob Jones University destroyed its income tax exemption after a 13-year fight with the IRS over perhaps the university’s policies against interracial relationship precluded it as a non-taxable spiritual institution that is educational. The college didn’t acknowledge any students that are black 1971, 17 years after Brown vs. Board of Education. After that it wouldn’t acknowledge any students who had been in a mixed-race marriage and developed rules to prohibit pupils from interracial relationship.

The way it is rose into the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1983 that the IRS could revoke the university’s tax-exempt status due to the fact government’s fascination with eradicating racial discrimination from training overrode the university’s First Amendment liberties to spiritual speech that is free.

The actual situation happens to be cited several times through the years. Lately, it arose within an exchange prior to the Supreme Court within the Obergefell vs. Hodges choice, which legalized gay wedding. The IRS commissioner said the agency would not target the tax-exempt status of religious institutions that oppose gay marriage after that decision.

It’s taken two-and-a-half years for BJU to perform the reorganization as it utilized an intricate want to separate its company into two entities utilizing the college dropping beneath the umbrella of their elementary school’s current non-profit status to realize a unique, based on college statements and company documents filed with all the sc Secretary of State therefore the IRS.

That current nonprofit had been 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 several years of expertise in assisting taxation exempt organizations—as well as input from people in the BJU community and our congressional delegation,” Pettit said.

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

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

What it indicates

As yet, if users of the city or alumni desired to subscribe to the college, their gift ideas had been just income tax deductible when they provided to specific nonprofit hands of this university, such as for example its scholarship investment, art museum or athletic foundation.

Donors couldn’t provide gifts that are tax-deductible the university it self to support money promotions or even for college initiatives.

A lot of the big presents to your 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 regarding the college.

Now donors’ presents will soon be tax-deductible, web Page said.

“It helps whenever you’re attempting to raise cash for a business to own a tax-exempt status,” web web Page stated. “That clearly assists your development people, your development people and the ones in the neighborhood – organizations, people, alumni – making it more straightforward to subscribe to a nonprofit.”

The alteration would affect students’ n’t grants or scholarships and wouldn’t influence workers, he stated.

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

It moves BJU from the for-profit university to a nonprofit classification with all the U.S. Department of Education, “which is generally recognized more favorably because of the public,” web web Page stated.

That modification could show essential while the U.S. Department of Education has targeted for-profit universities with additional oversight in the past few years and fined several for-profit systems of universities underneath the federal government, which led to universities like Corinthian university and ITT Technical Institute shutting down.

And although the college runs debt-free and does not want to accept financial obligation, it may possibly save yourself through reduced rates of interest if it decided to undertake financial obligation, web web Page stated.

Exactly just How BJU will likely be structured

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

The university’s assets will effortlessly be split amongst the two businesses.

BJU, Inc. includes the university & most of their facilities, the art museum, elementary college and youngster development center. BJU Press authors will also come beneath 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 in addition to Bob Jones Academy middle and high schools.

The college will be governed by still its 25-member Board of Trustees. The board will appoint an innovative new eight-member board to govern Bob Jones Education Group.

The change procedure started in late 2014 by having research of simple tips to attain income tax exemption. Final might 5, the Board of Trustees authorized the last arrange for pursuing income tax exemption therefore the management happens to be attempting to implement it ever since then.

On top of that, the college happens to be searching for local certification through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The college, that will be detailed as an applicant for certification, notified the payment of their changes that are potential which wouldn’t influence its candidacy, web Page stated.

The university introduced SACSCOC having its proposition policy for income tax exemption and there’s no improvement in governance, stated Pamela Cravey, SACSCOC spokeswoman.

“The action ended up being an IRS matter and would not represent a change that is substantive” Cravey stated,

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

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