Is it unethical to donate to Harvard?
Randy Cohen, the NYT’s ethicist, without hesitation or equivocation, says, “Do not donate to Harvard.”
To do so is to offer more pie to a portly fellow while the gaunt and hungry press their faces to the window (at some sort of metaphoric college cafeteria, anyway). Even after last year’s losses, Harvard’s endowment exceeds $26 billion, the largest of any American university,greater than the G.D.P. of Estonia. By contrast, among historically black colleges and universities, Howard has the largest endowment, about $420 million, a mere 1.6 percent the size of Harvard’s. (Donors gave Harvard more than $600 million just this fiscal year.) The best-endowed community college,Valencia, in Orlando, Fla., has around $67 million, or 0.26 percent of Harvard’s wealth. This is not to deny that Harvard does fine work or could find ways to spend the money but to assert that other schools have a greater need and a greater moral claim to your benevolence.
More on this topic can be found here.