By Rebecca Panico | Published March 9, 2016
The Board of Trustees voted Monday to let the Kean Foundation, which generally handles scholarships, to operate and manage a new restaurant in the North Avenue building.
“The plan is Au Bon Pain,” said Kean Foundation President Carla Willis, adding that the Foundation hasn’t entered into an agreement with the company yet, pending the Trustees’ approval.
The Foundation generally handles private donations made out to Kean and then disperses them in accordance with the donor’s wishes. Donations usually go towards scholarships or funding other projects around campus.
Willis specified that the Foundation’s functions include a bit more than just awarding scholarships to students.
“We were created to be the philanthropic arm of the university,” Willis said. “In addition we are also structured so we can enter into deals, arrangements and agreements that provide residual dollars that can be used for philanthropic support for the university.”
“If you look at universities in the state of New Jersey, this is not an uncommon scenario” for foundations to “enter into agreements that are challenging for state institutions,” she added.
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According to their bylaws, the Foundation can lease or own property, and make expenditures for the benefit of the university.
Ultimately, Willis said, the money made from the restaurant in the North Avenue building will be channeled back to the Foundation and used for scholarships.
This isn’t the first time the Foundation, a non-profit organization, has entered into a restaurant deal. According to a contract obtained by The Tower from Union Township through the Open Public Records Act, the Foundation entered into a management subcontract agreement with Gourmet Dining for Ursino in 2011. That restaurant has been “temporarily closed” for renovations, university spokeswoman Margaret McCorry said last year.
The contract holder of the new restaurant in the North Avenue building will eventually be in charge of day-to-day operations and management of the restaurant, McCorry said yesterday.
The building, located in the Vaughn Eames parking lot, is set to open this summer.