Hah! I once applied for a job at NMSU which turned out to be the most badly-run job search that I've ever known (I had a friend on the SC). I never did get a rejection, and as far as I understand, nobody did. Actually, I didn't get any response - not even a confirmation, just an AA form four months after the deadline. This form was a PDF attached to an email. I was supposed to print it out, fill it out, stick it into an envelope, and send it back. Why they expected any candidate to go to the trouble to do that, I don't know.
Considering that it's NMSU, I would guess that number 16 is really "is from the pile of applications that we handed to the SC member from another department who was never informed of the dates and times of the committee meetings", or "landed on the first three steps of my staircase".
I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your example - I've had plenty of schools never contact me to indicate receipt or rejection of my application.
Now, I can understand people not being notified of the receipt of their application when there are > 100 applications, and somebody has to physically respond to each one. However, NMSU had an email account dedicated to the search, and it would have taken exactly 3 minutes to set up an automated response for each email received. In fact, it would have taken very little time for somebody to physically respond with a mass email, since they did create a list of emails for sending out the AA forms. Notification of rejection is not a big issue, since no contact is essentially a notification but I'd like to know that my application has been recieved, and is not lost among the electrons of the interwebs.
Regarding rejection, when I wrote nobody
, I also include people who were short listed and interviewed. Again, not a big deal, but it was just another little part of of the dysfunctionality of that whole search. Besides, there is a bit of give and take here. If the SC wants applicants to take the time to fill out AA forms, they should be willing to take the time to notify applicants of receipt and rejection, or at least set up an automatic system for this.
The best way, IMO, is the automated application website. Automatic confirmation, and automatic notification of your status, the moment it is OK'ed by HR, and applicants fill out AA forms as they're applying. And all that without any extra time investment by the SC members. Win-win.