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

Industry News & Opinion

This semester, the East Quad dining team at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is taking steps to offer more authentic global cuisine , Michigan Daily reports.

The team has partnered with the Office of Student Life to start a conversation with students on how best to create and serve Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. Additionally, the university invited chefs from Japan and India to campus to help its chefs create more authentic recipes.

The school’s push for more accurate global cuisine was partially inspired by an international food event that got cancelled...

Industry News & Opinion
Madison food truck

The Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wis., has partnered with a local organization to debut a food truck that will serve healthy, locally sourced lunch options for Madison high school students, according to The Capital Times .

The truck, which was donated by the Emmi Roth Cheese Co., will visit four high schools Tuesday through Friday, spending a day at each campus. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch can use the food truck as they would the school cafeteria for no-cost or discounted meals.

Members of MMSD and partner organization REAP Food...

Industry News & Opinion

Identifying prospective employees may be less challenging for foodservice operators than getting would-be recruits to complete the hiring process , according to a new study of why job applicants bail.

The report shows that nearly three out of fours applicants (74%) will drop their effort to be hired if they suspect management is racist, and two out of three (62%) will flee if they learn of sexual harassment allegations. Roughly the same proportion (65%) will halt their pursuit if they encounter indications of a gender gap in pay.

About half (45%) of candidates won’t show...

Menu Development
zoodles

Here’s how two operations are spotlighting produce this season.

Oodles of zoodles

Binghamton University underscored its growing focus on plant-based options with a recent zoodle pop-up on campus. The pop-up, which served vegetable noodle bowls in vegan and vegetarian varieties, sold out of the dishes in four hours. The Binghamton, N.Y., school aims to add zoodles to its regular menu in the fall.

A buffet boost

The dining team at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, recently re-evaluated its buffet offerings with an eye toward adding healthy options. It updated the fruit and...

FSD Resources