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College, university — whatever name, it’s overrun with administrators

Deirdre Fernandes is correct that many colleges, even small ones, have been converting into universities in an (often frantic) effort to increase enrollment (“Colleges giving it the old university try,” Page A1, Aug. 19). In particular, they hope to make their institutions more attractive to families who can pay full freight for their children to attend.

However, it would be useful for Fernandes to focus on the factors that are responsible for a major portion of the escalation of tuition and fees in recent years, an acceleration that has seen the costs of college rise well in excess of the cost of living.

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A close look at the causes for that escalation would reveal that the vast expansion in the numbers of campus administrators sucks up an ever-increasing number of a college or university’s dollars. I would love to see precise statistics on the increase in administrative costs in higher education, and then a study of why so many more administrators are needed each year. Why does every dean need an associate dean, and every associate dean need two assistant deans, and so forth? Such a study might appropriately be titled: “What do they do all day?”

Perhaps the Globe Spotlight Team will read my letter.

Harvey A. Silverglate

Cambridge

Can we all play colleges’ name game?

According to Deirdre Fernandes’s article “Colleges giving it the old university try,” Lasell College is changing its name to Lasell University. The school’s president, Michael B. Alexander, calls it “the next step in a natural evolution.”

He’s right. Many colleges have done the same thing in recent years — Bentley, Simmons, Salem State. The list goes on.

But why stop there? If it’s good for colleges, why not high schools? Think about it. Boston Latin College sounds terrific. Andover College. Notre Dame (in Hingham) College. Better courses. Smarter students.

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Then keep the evolution going. Instead of elementary schools, we could have 6-year-olds entering high school. Zowie.

What’s in a name, you ask? Evolution, that’s what. And it’s ours for the taking.

Jack McDonough

Tewksbury