PAC Alert 12-2017

PAC Alert 12-2017

Consider charitable giving before end of year to receive potential tax benefits

A quick tip from the MUM PAC (Professional Advisory Committee):

MUM donors may be able to benefit from tax advantages available through charitable giving if done before the end of the calendar year, due to changes that are expected in tax law.

A few helpful facts:

  • Under the new rules, most families won’t get as much tax benefit next year, since they will not be able to itemize deductions
  • By giving this year, most families will be able to write it off as part of an itemized tax return
  • Deductions will probably be worth more this year over next year or into the future
  • If you’re considering donating stocks to MUM or another charity, and you’ve bought stock from the same company at different prices, consider donating it this year for important tax savings
  • With the recent rise in the stock market, you might want to use appreciated stocks for your donation. That way you’ll get the full deduction on the current value of the equities.

Prior to December 31 may be an ideal time to make a charitable gift to MUM and other organizations. To learn more, and to make a gift, contact the MUM Development Office.

Read this informative article to learn more about these important changes.

* The Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) supports MUM’s Legacy Giving campaign and serves as a resource for potential donors and their advisors. This newly established committee is composed of lawyers, accountants, financial planners, trust officers, life insurance professionals, commercial and residential real estate brokers, and others who specialize in estate planning.

MUM Faculty and Admins Hone Academic Assessment Practices at Chicago Conference

MUM Faculty and Admins Hone Academic Assessment Practices at Chicago Conference

Conference attendees, from back row, left: Craig Pearson, Sue Brown, Jane Schmidt-Wilk, Isabel Matzkin, Paula Armstrong, Mark Ellinghaus. Front row, from left: Janice Denton (Assessment Academy Scholar and mentor to the group), Chris Jones, Amine Kouider.

A team of eight MUM faculty and administrators, led by Professor Chris Jones, attended a conference in Chicago in late October focused on student academic assessment. The event was sponsored by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of colleges and schools.

The HCL is the agency responsible for the accreditation of colleges in the north-central U.S., which includes MUM.

The University gratefully thanks donors whose contributions helped make MUM’s participation possible.

The conference, called the Assessment Academy, is offered to institutions which are committed to creating comprehensive assessment systems with the aim of improving student learning (the Assessment Academy, however, is not officially a part of the accreditation process).

The ‘Quality Initiative’ Project

“What the Academy attempts to do is help institutions improve their assessment practices,” said Professor Jones, leader of the MUM team. At the event, faculty and administrators shared ideas and insights, and benefited from colleagues and experts in the higher learning community, many of whom brought significant experience in assessment.

Photo by Amine Kouider

Assessment is the focus of MUM’s Quality Initiative project, which is required as part of the University’s next accreditation visit, in 2020. “The purpose of this initiative is to improve student learning on campus by better equipping our faculty and administrators to assess outcomes,” said Professor Jones.

MUM began the four-year project two years ago and, in the most recent training session, team members evaluated their original plan and reported on progress made.

Three Levels of Improvement

The Quality Initiative project aims to improve the assessment of learning outcomes on three levels: in the classroom, in academic programs, and at the institution level.

Over the past two years, with the help of students, faculty, and administrators, the team has begun gathering evidence on student learning outcomes and, among other initiatives, introduced a student learning chart that will eventually become part of every class syllabus.

Nine essential learning outcomes were identified, which undergraduate students are expected to acquire by graduation. They are: the development of consciousness, health, holistic thinking, creativity, critical thinking, communication, problem solving, teamwork and leadership, and local and global citizenship.

Photo by Amine Kouider

“We want to make sure every course in every program supports these learning outcomes, through what we’ve called the curriculum map,” said Professor Jones. “By the end of the project, we want every program to have an assessment plan, which is their plan for measuring outcomes at the program level.”

The ultimate goal of the initiative is to help students make substantial progress in the achievement of the nine essential learning outcomes, as well as advance in other outcomes necessary for their academic program.

“The main point of this initiative is to improve student learning on campus by better equipping our faculty and administrators to assess student learning,” said Professor Jones. “You can’t ‘improve’ what you aren’t able to measure. Assessment is all about measuring learning. We look forward to continuing to improve at raising standards and improving student learning on campus.”

IRA opportunity

IRA opportunity

Articles like this: The Tax Advantages of Qualified Charitable Distributions From IRAs can be very informative for people who are approaching the age (70.5) where they must take mandatory distributions from an IRA account.

Recently Brad Mylett, MUM Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations sent out a letter describing  this opportunity:


“Your support, along with that of so many others, has been the foundation of the growth of Maharishi University of Management all these years. While the MUM Annual Fund is the core fundraising mission of the University, we are also now engaged in the vital business of building our endowment to secure the long-term future of the University.

As you have most likely seen from our recent mailings, there are many ways that universities build their endowments. Legacy giving, in all its different forms, is a key component of any school’s endowment fund.

I want to bring to your attention one effortless, effective, and timely way in which you could provide additional support for MUM. Usually, beginning at age 70½, anyone who holds a Traditional IRA or 401K and no longer works must take an annual required minimum distribution (RMD) from their account. This distribution is taxable income.

One option is to transfer this distribution — or a portion of it — directly from your retirement account to MUM and avoid paying taxes on the increased income. Doing this may help to lower your income, social security, and capital gains taxes. In many cases, it can be a win-win situation. We have enclosed a small brochure that explains in more detail how this can work.

If you have a plan with a current required minimum distribution and would like to explore this option further, please fill out the back of this brochure and return it to us, give me a call directly at (641) 919-6063, or contact our office at (641) 472-1180.

We hope that you will consider this effortless approach to supporting MUM — the home of Consciousness-Based Education — with an end-of-the-year philanthropic gift.

Brad Mylett

NOTE: If you can’t print out and send in the form on the brochure or prefer a web form, use this:

IRA Opportunity Form