BJU Press writers also will come under the umbrella of BJU, Inc.The for-profit arm of the university – Bob Jones Education Group, Inc.
That existing nonprofit was called Bob Jones Elementary School, Inc. The restructuring came after “consultation with legal counsel and accountants with many years of experience in assisting tax exempt organizations—as well as input from members of the BJU community and our congressional delegation,” Pettit said.
The change didn’t require IRS approval because its elementary school was already a nonprofit, though the university had formal correspondence and conversations with the IRS, said Randy Page, BJU spokesman.
In his first meeting with the university’s Cabinet, Pettit said he believed it was appropriate for BJU to seek its tax-exempt status because the university doesn’t believe the positions it once held about race.
Pettit called the university’s racist policies a social issue that was not biblical.“The Bible is very clear,” Pettit said as he announced the change to the university Wednesday night.
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.
It also moves BJU from a for-profit college to a nonprofit classification with the U. Department of Education, “which is frequently perceived more favorably by the public,” Page said. And though the university operates debt-free and doesn’t plan to take on debt, it could potentially save through lower interest rates if it chose to take on debt, Page 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.
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.
It’s taken two-and-a-half years for BJU to accomplish the reorganization because it used a complicated plan to split its organization into two entities with the university falling under the umbrella of its elementary school’s existing non-profit status to achieve its own, according to university statements and organization documents filed with the South Carolina Secretary of State and the IRS.
In 2014 only 29% of African Americans were married compared to 48% of all Americans.