The trend of administrators unexpectedly, and, perhaps bitterly, departing Brandeis has gone unnoticed for far too long. Since July of 2000, at least 10 high-ranking administration officials, seven of whom served Brandeis for over 10 years, abruptly and inexplicably departed the University. Each one left the University for what, at the time, seemed to be unrelated reasons. Yet careful review points to an unsettling pattern.

Take last semester's sudden departure of Athletic Director Jeff Cohen '64, a mainstay for 19 years. A University press release announced his resignation three days before it was to take place on Jan 31. In spite of the University calling Mr. Cohen's departure a "resignation," comments he made to The Boston Globe make it sound more like a firing.

"When the decision was made, I thought the best thing to do was walk away," Mr. Cohen said in The Globe.

It is hard to imagine that Mr. Cohen left Brandeis 10 days into a semester because he had a premonition that he would move to Colorado Springs over a year later to lead United States Fencing Association.

Mr. Cohen is just one of many. After his resignation, rumors spread that he was asked to leave in the same manner that former Provost Mel Bernstein left a year earlier. Mr. Bernstein, now director of University Programs at the University of Southern California, was silent about his reasons for departure, but we can speculate that they weren't a pleasant one-coming slightly more than a year after his arrival amid rumors of a major disagreement over the University's direction.

Meryl Glatt-Rader, director of Hiatt, was also let go last semester, after 17 years at Brandeis, without explanation. Though the official line with her, just like with the rest of the departures, was that she resigned, it is possible she was asked to leave, considering her lack of future employment.

Some other untimely and poorly explained departures include director of Admissions Michael Kalafatas, director of Facilities Ruth Iannazzo, assistant dean for Academic Affairs and Study Abroad Adviser Deborah Hahn and Director of Telecommunications Mary Bromfield.

While it is not impossible for all these departures to be justified, they have not been thus far.

The University goes to great lengths in the wake of these untimely exits to laud the departing administrator. But if these high-level administrators were as good as their Brandeis obituaries, so to speak, why weren't efforts made to retain them?

The latest example is the departure of Rev. Nathaniel Mays, assistant dean of Student Life and coordinator for Diversity Services. Though we cannot classify his departure as a bitter one, it was surely unexpected.

Perhaps he truly left because he was offered a higher-paying, higher-ranking position at Lesley College. Even so, if he was as valuable to the University as administrators and students claimed he was, why weren't attempts made to retain him? Why wasn't he offered a promotion to associate dean? Or better yet, why didn't Brandeis seek to match Lesley's salary offers?

It has been suggested that these administrators were let go because the University's vision changed, and they no longer fit into it. But if there is a plan for Brandeis that is presumably made with good intentions, then the means to achieve such a plan should not be shrouded in secrecy. As students of this university, we want to be in on the process. If there is some long-term vision, we want a say in it. If these administrators weren't performing their jobs or were short-changing students, we want to know. Or if this abrupt, albeit tactless, restructuring of the administration is financially necessary, then we demand greater transparency.