Last May 5, the Board of Trustees approved the final plan for pursuing tax exemption and the administration has been working to implement it since then.
At the same time, the university has been seeking regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Most recently, it arose in an exchange before the Supreme Court in the Obergefell vs. After that decision, the IRS commissioner said the agency would not target the tax-exempt status of religious institutions that oppose gay marriage.
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The board will appoint a new eight-member board to govern Bob Jones Education Group.
The transition process began in late 2014 with a study of how to achieve tax exemption.
The case rose to the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1983 that the IRS could revoke the university’s tax-exempt status because the government’s interest in eradicating racial discrimination from education overrode the university’s First Amendment rights to religious free speech.
The case has been cited many times through the years.
The university, which is listed as a candidate for accreditation, notified the commission of its potential changes, which wouldn’t affect its candidacy, Page said.
The university presented SACSCOC with its proposal plan for tax exemption and there is no change in governance, said Pamela Cravey, SACSCOC spokeswoman."The action was an IRS matter and did not constitute a substantive change," Cravey said, SACSCOC has considered the university as a not-for-profit, she said.
Now donors’ gifts will be tax-deductible, Page said.“It helps when you’re trying to raise money for an organization to have a tax-exempt status,” Page said.
“That obviously helps your advancement folks, your development folks and those in the community – companies, individuals, alumni – to make it easier to donate to a nonprofit.”The change wouldn’t affect students’ scholarships or grants and wouldn’t affect employees, he said.
“We are made of one blood.”Bob Jones University lost its tax exemption after a 13-year battle with the IRS over whether the university’s policies against interracial dating precluded it as a non-taxable religious educational institution.
The university didn’t admit any black students until 1971, 17 years after Brown vs. It then wouldn’t admit any students who were in a mixed-race marriage and created rules to prohibit students from interracial dating.
The change levels the playing field between the university and other sister institutions when applying for grants, he said. Department of Education has targeted for-profit colleges with added oversight in recent years and fined several for-profit networks of colleges under the Obama administration, which resulted in colleges like Corinthian College and ITT Technical Institute closing down.