The University said that it disagreed with an Aug. 23 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board to allow graduate students at private universities to BARGAIN COLLECTIVELY. “At Princeton, graduate students teach and engage in research as an integral part of their graduate education,” the University said, and should not be considered employees or be able to unionize.
A New Jersey Tax Court trial was scheduled to begin Oct. 6 in a legal challenge by a group of Princeton residents to the University’s TAX-EXEMPT STATUS. The 5-year-old litigation originally sought to overturn the tax-exempt status of about 20 University buildings; the scope has widened to about 170 buildings. The residents also claim the University is not entitled to a property-tax exemption at all on the basis that it patents and licenses technology developed by faculty members and shares some of the resulting income with them, among other claims.
Robert K. Durkee ’69, vice president and secretary of the University, said he sees no chance that Princeton would lose its overall tax-exempt status, which he said would require a finding that Princeton conducts its business for the purpose of making a profit. The University’s royalties from the anti-cancer drug Alimta — which Durkee estimated will total about $740 million when they end this fall — “have colored the case but are very far from the norm,” he said. Federal law requires payments to faculty inventors when their research was supported by federal funding, he said.