Weekend Reading for College Executives: January 2020 Edition

As different as chalk and cheese

A recent headline from Inside Higher Ed magazine caught my eye. In an effort to protect students from hate speech, the university restricted anyone who is not a member of a registered group from “chalking” on sidewalks.

If I hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t believe it – yet another minefield in the free speech landscape for administrators to navigate. Thank goodness for rain, the universal solvent.

To me, this news echoes the sentiment that I hear from many college executives about the boundless responsibilities of the profession. Most high level executives I know are frankly overwhelmed by the challenge of having to manage not only the business aspects of the institution but the legal and political aspects as well. College president is as much an administrative role as an exercise in acting as a jack of all trades, master of many realms most of which are as varied from one to the next as chalk and cheese.

Secure Act

Now for some financial commentary. You may have seen the recent news regarding the passage of the SECURE Act and it’s impact. While the ramifications of this law are not obvious until we see how it plays out, as the act becomes put in force in 2020 here’s what we can expect to see:

  • The most significant element is the removal of what used to be the stretch capability for both IRAs and qualified plan assets. Those assets must now be paid out to non-spousal beneficiaries within 10 years of the death of the original owner. Ironically, for those people who thought they were doing smart planning by stashing away money into stretch IRAs to be passed down over 20 or 30 years, that benefit has now been eliminated.
  • For people with large balances, this could potentially create a significant tax liability.
  • The role of charitable remainder trusts is elevated as these vehicles move to the forefront as a conduit for bringing back this stretch element. However, legal and administrative costs could make this quite a cumbersome solution.

What questions do you have about the SECURE Act and it’s impact on your wealth? Send me a line and let me know.

Make room on the SOFA!

secure act impact

In 2020 we’re rolling out a new iteration of our popular SOFA educational workshops and we’ll be focusing on wealth management and retirement planning for college executives. We can conduct these seminars over videoconference or will even travel to your college to present in person to your team.

Contact us for more information.


Anderson, Greta. (2020k January 9th). Inside Higher Ed. Sidewalk Politics. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/01/09/iowa-state-university-policies-stifle-free-speech-lawsuit-says


This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.