Higher education institutions are at a crossroads, facing fundamental changes in the way higher education is delivered and perceived, against a backdrop of ever-increasing regulatory scrutiny, legal complexity, and uncertainty in the economic and funding environment.
Davis Wright Tremaine, Clark Nuber, and the Independent Colleges of Washington co-hosted this half-day conference to address these and other pressing legal and financial issues higher education institutions face today.
9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Featuring a session on "The Organizational Squeeze on Ethical Behavior," by keynote speaker Jeff Van Duzer, Provost of Seattle Pacific University
HR Nightmares: Legal Issues That (Should) Keep You Up at Night
Presented by Mary Drobka, Partner, and Sarah Bhagwandin, Of Counsel, Davis Wright Tremaine
Out-dated employee handbooks, improperly calculated overtime pay, key executives and their benefits and compensation challenges--these are just a sampling of situations that may contribute to "HR nightmares." In this session, DWT's Employment and Employee Benefit attorneys will discuss these and other reoccurring challenges' facing today's HR professionals and provide suggestions on how to respond and/or avoid these issues.
Federal Tax Update
9:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Presented by Sara Elizabeth Hyre, Clark Nuber
Learn about IRS initiatives focusing on colleges and universities, and find out which issues are being raised in audits. We will also discuss recent tax legislation from the "fiscal cliff" compromise that impacts higher education.
Break & Refreshments
10:15 - 10:45 a.m.
Presented by Dana Reid, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine
Recent legislation on the state and federal levels has fundamentally changed the dynamics of planned giving, creating challenges for realizing the goals of both institutions and donors. The Wall Street Journal has called the 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) the "largest tax increase in the past two decades." Washington's Marriage Equality Act and federal tax law as applied to same-sex couples raise new issues that institutions must take into account. DWT Trust & Estates and Tax-Exempt Organizations partner Dana Reid will address the implications of these laws and other changes affecting planned giving programs.
Liquidity Risk: Strategies for Measuring, Managing and Monitoring
10:45 - 11:15 a.m.
Presented by Rhona Kwiram, Clark Nuber
In our current economic reality, having sufficient liquid reserves is of prime importance. In this session, we will discuss how to measure liquidity, including off-balance-sheet sources and uses, and how to determine how much liquidity is enough. We will also explain the recently issued FASB draft standard on new ways to disclose liquidity in audited financial statements.
Panel: Forces That Shape the Future
11:15 - 12:15 p.m.
- Dr. Les Steele, Executive Vice President, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and former Vice President for Academic Affairs at Seattle Pacific University
- LaVerne Woods, Partner & Chair, Tax-Exempt Organizations practice, Davis Wright Tremaine
- Violet Boyer, President & CEO, Independent Colleges of Washington
- Moderator: Rhona Kwiram, CPA, Clark Nuber