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A passion to connect with students and a drive to give back to the community guided Harvey A. Hutchinson III to higher education instruction 20 years ago, and UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) has been fortunate to have him involved in its Accounting and Certified Financial Planning (CFP) programs since 2022.
With a career history of serving in roles including assistant counsel, personal trust officer, tax attorney, and wealth strategist, Hutchinson draws on his own industry experience to find creative ways to ensure his classes stay interesting and relevant. “With my background in law, I can add an additional lens to the field of taxation. We study current issues Congress is facing and have some fun with celebrity case studies.” He also weaves in current issues his clients have encountered, finding that because he serves high-net-worth families and collaborates with their professional advisers, he is offered greater insight into both opportunities and challenges.
No stranger to the classroom, Hutchinson elected to continue his own academic pursuits immediately after completing his undergraduate degree, going on to earn two graduate degrees in business and a law degree before entering the workforce full-time. In addition to contributing to four textbooks which are used in CFP programs nationally, he developed a review course for the CFP Income Tax Planning course offered through SCPS. Hutchinson says he lets his own experience as a student shape him as an instructor, modeling himself after professors he saw take time to foster connections with students.
“The level of students in SCPS classrooms amazes me, and I want to allow their personal opinions to enrich our discussions. I want to hear how an issue impacts them, and I like asking them if they think a ruling or a law is right or wrong,” Hutchinson states.
Hutchinson aims to provide his students with a broad, strategic view of taxation and hopes they walk away not only confident in their understanding of it, but with the courage and curiosity to make a positive difference for themselves and others with their knowledge.
When Hutchinson began instructing at SCPS in 2022, he dreamed of taking his mother and father, a 1960’s era UVA student, back to the place where they had once spent time together. The 2023 summer celebration ceremony for SCPS certificate holders gave him the opportunity to realize a portion of that goal, and he accompanied his father all the way from Alabama for his first trip back to Grounds in over 60 years. Hutchinson fondly recalls watching his dad, who had studied in the School of Architecture, marvel at the new building, and reminisce over the hospital where his late wife worked.
The trip was rife with emotion in many respects, as they also celebrated with SCPS students who completed the Accounting and CFP programs. Hutchinson recollects their testimonies of new doors that had opened in their careers and their appreciation of a new perspective that would serve them as their careers continue to evolve. And, with his eye on the industry, Hutchinson believes that now is an excellent time for others who may be interested in the field. “At the 2023 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conference, I was impressed by the pronounced reach of the IRS in luring professionals to join the agency. Likely a result of increased funding, the IRS is actively seeking to increase its ranks.”
Understanding that taxation is feared and disliked by most, Hutchinson believes those who have the knowledge to help decrease or eliminate tax liability find themselves in positions of power.