Last Sunday's New York Times article lauding "quirky" college application questions infuriated me (and what doesn't?). Despite joy at having attention paid to my alma mater for something other than right-wing economics, I couldn't help but notice that these are an example of what happens when nonprofits become more preoccupied with themselves than with the people they've been established to serve. Happily, I got a chance to respond.
Billion-dollar endowments fall in the same category of nonprofits' gazing lovingly at their navels, but somehow exclusionary admissions policies seem even worse. We wouldn't permit a nonprofit to require a profession of faith from a client in order to receive social services; why should we permit it to require a shibboleth, in the form of questions to which only the elect know the answer?