A new test question?

November 16, 1990

A lawmaker critical of political contributions from university foundations came up with a new college entrance test question for one Maryland university president last week.

College Park President William E. Kirwan inspired the question when he observed that $1,000 worth of tickets to a gubernatorial fund-raiser might not violate the law against political contributions from tax-exempt accounts because of the way the invitation was worded. The question came from Sen. Julian L. Lapides, D-Baltimore, who said he heard a rumor that a new multi-choice question might be added to next year's Scholastic Achievement Test:

Was Dr. Kirwan's comment in regard to a $1,000 contribution from the University of Maryland Foundation "A) Stupid? B) Dishonest? C) Naive? D) All of the above?" the senator asked in a letter to the president Nov. 2. "I am curious how you would answer the question," he wrote.

Dr. Kirwan's retort? "I told him I don't like multiple-choice questions. I prefer essays."

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