Princeton University lawsuit

The suit states the university is claiming exempt status for non-academic buildings.

I came across an interesting article last week regarding a lawsuit filed against Princeton University that could have some impact on the Dining Services department. The suit claims that the university is claiming exempt status for buildings that do not serve an academic purpose, in violation of state law.

A group of residents in Princeton Borough lodged the complaint after their property taxes rose as much as 30% in a recent reassessment. The group listed 20 buildings in the suit, including the Frist Student Center, where Dining Services operates several retail outlets, and the university’s infirmary.

The residents are arguing that their property taxes would not be so high if the university paid its fair share of taxes on buildings that should not be exempt.

In 1987, when I worked at Food Management, I wrote a cover story entitled “When Fair Isn’t Fair.” The article focused on “town-gown” relations in a number of college towns and the battles that sometime ensue when local businesses object to universities operating foodservice “businesses” such as catering or pizza restaurants.

This story has a different feel to it, in that it is residents suing over property taxes, rather than local business people going after what is known as unrelated business income tax. But the effect could be similarly deleterious for foodservice departments should the courts rule in favor of the plaintiffs and include buildings where Princeton Dining Services has operations.

I’ve not yet spoken to Dining Services Director Stu Orefice about the potential effects of the suit; I’m not sure he’ll even be able to comment at this time. But I believe this is case that will bear watching, because it could affect future consideration of where a foodservice department can set up shop, not just at Princeton but at schools all over the country.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

Industry News & Opinion

James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., recently hosted a weeklong program called Weigh the Waste, which aimed to show students how much food gets wasted in dining halls, The Breeze reports.

Throughout the week, students placed food they were about to throw away on a scale located near the trash bins at one of their dining halls. At the end of the week, the school tallied the waste and saw that 817 pounds of food had been wasted.

School officials hope that the annual program, which it’s hosted since 2015, will remind dining hall patrons to only take as much food as...

FSD Resources