August 5, 2011

Colleges and universities represent one of the largest nonprofit sectors in the country. Add to the scenario coaches with multimillion dollar contracts, alumni and fans with passion and fervor for their favorite schools and teams, a multitude of unrelated businesses, and the result is increased scrutiny by the IRS and Congress. That leaves colleges and universities functioning in an increasingly complex, challenging and sometimes mysterious law environment.

As students head back to campus this fall, Polsinelli Shughart lawyers have co-authored a book on the nonprofit issues facing the nation’s higher learning institutions. Lawyers Bruce R. Hopkins, Virginia C. Gross and Thomas J. Schenkelberg collaborated on the book Nonprofit Law for Colleges and Universities. The publisher, Wiley, calls it “an essential, practical guide, written in easy-to-understand English.”

“Colleges and universities are under intense scrutiny by the IRS and Congress,” said Hopkins, who is considered a leading authority on nonprofit law. “It is deeply rewarding to be able to assist individuals who devote their lives to higher learning. The laws governing nonprofits are complex and ever-changing.”
The book covers every “hot issue” in nonprofit law today that directly involves institutions of higher education, both public and private. They include:

• What are the federal tax law rules concerning maintenance of tax exemption by private colleges and universities?
• What is the role of the governing board of a college or university?
• Is a college or university allowed to pay revenue-based compensation?
• Will the conduct of one or more business by a college or university jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the institution or subject it to taxes?
• What charitable deductions are available in the higher education context?

Polsinelli Shughart is one of the nation’s leading providers of legal services to nonprofit organizations. The Nonprofit Organizations practice group consists of more than a dozen attorneys in Kansas City, Overland Park and St. Louis who are recognized leaders in their field.

“The publication of this book further demonstrates our lawyers’ dedication to the industry in which they serve,” said Polsinelli Shughart Chairman Russ Welsh. “We've made a commitment to grow the nonprofit law practice, particularly in the area of higher education, as the firm recognizes the need for our services and sees the value these institutions provide to the community.”

About the authors

Bruce R. Hopkins is a senior partner and is considered a leading authority on nonprofit law and tax issues. He works with nonprofits to establish and qualify for tax exemption and to establish and operate charitable and fundraising programs. Hopkins is the 2007 Recipient of the Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer – Vanguard/Lifetime Achievement Award, American Bar Association, Nonprofit Corporations Committee. He is selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-08, 2010-present, Nonprofit Organizations/Charities Law, and named as the “Kansas City, Missouri Best Lawyers Non-Profit/Charities Lawyer of the Year” for 2011. He is AV Rated Martindale Hubbell.

Virginia C. Gross is a shareholder who concentrates on tax matters and nonprofit organizations law regarding their structure, operations, fundraising, unrelated business income planning, and joint venturing and partnering. She counsels many nonprofit boards of directors on governance matters. Recognized in her field, she was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2008 -present, Nonprofit Organizations/Charities Law. Gross is also involved as a volunteer with several nonprofits. She is currently on the National Board of Trustees for Camp Fire USA, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Council on Philanthropy, 2005-2008 and the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation, 2002-2005.

Thomas J. Schenkelberg is chair of the Nonprofits Organizations practice group. An attorney and certified public accountant, his clients include national hospital systems, research organizations, private foundations, colleges, universities, and associations. He is selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-08, 2010-present, Nonprofit Organizations/Charities Law and is a frequent writer and speaker on nonprofit law.

For more information contact Public Relations Manager Heather McMichael, 816-395-0618,

About Polsinelli Shughart

With more than 540 attorneys, Polsinelli Shughart ( is a national law firm that is a recognized leader in the areas of business law, financial services, real estate and business litigation. Serving corporate, institutional and individual clients, Polsinelli is redefining the business of law by sharing ideas, goals and outcomes with its clients. The firm builds enduring relationships by creating value through our legal services - with passion, ingenuity and a sense of urgency. The firm has offices located in Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Edwardsville; Jefferson City; Kansas City; Los Angeles; New York; Overland Park; Phoenix; Springfield; St. Joseph; St. Louis; Topeka; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, DE. In California, Polsinelli Shughart LLP.