This is the latest prediction on the future of colleges. Chester Finn proposes replacing theCarnegie system for classifying colleges with the new NSPI classification that divides collegesinto 3 types: " brand-name"," massprovider", and "convenience" institutions. Brand-name campuses are selective, high status places who cater mostly to full-time students from traditional age groups and have a ommitmnet to trational academic values, a liberal-arts,core, publication-minded facult ymembers, governance by the professoriate - and a reputation of high quality. Most of their studentgraduate in four years- examples, Duke, Williams, Berkeley Mass-provider institutions, enroll millions of students of all ages,educational backgrounds, and career aspirations - many of whom attend part-time. These campuses may lack status but they award a lot of traditional degrees in th ehumanities, social sciences, and natuarl sciences, as well as all manner of technical and professional fields. They subscribe to academic freedom, a faculty- prescribed curriculum and a traditional professorial career path. e.g., Central Michigan and the University of Dayton. Convenience institutions, are celebrated for their user- friendliness and market- responsiveness rather than their lineage to Oxford. They are a mix of public, non-profit, and proprietory instiutions including most community colleges and technical institues and include the profit-making U. of Phoenix, Motorola University, distance education etc. They are unconventional providers of just about any set of skills and credentials that anybody wants at just about any time of day or night through just about any medium of instruction. They serve job- minded adults - former school drop-outs , career changers and people looking for a path in life. Finn warns that at mass-provider schools schizophrenia will set in as traditional faculty members won't be flexible enough to adapt to the changing market and more p/t and non-tenured faculty will be hired. Convenience colleges are truly flexible, cost less to attend, and operate like businesses. They will continue to expand -- the U. of Phoenix with 100,000 students claims it hasn't reached one percent of their potential student population. Finn predicts that the bachelor's degree will lost its economic edge unless it comes from a prestige institution where competition for admission will stiffen. In other words, Neiman Marcus and Price Club will do well but the middle institutions like Pennys and Sears will be adrift in red ink. Teh faculty inm mass provider schools will need to stress teaching as effectively and efficiently as possible and not be torn by the research/ teaching split. In other words, they must acknowledge that they were put on earth to impart knowledge not create it. Finn predicts that the surge in enrollment from the baby boom echo will only last about a decade then"mass provide" colleges will have trouble filling classrooms as there aren't many populations left once the convenience colleges enroll most of the returning adults. To offset the problems and reduce costs, Finn suggests that colleges should unite - i.e. one prestige institution should merge with 30 ass providers thus cutting down the need for duplicate chemistry departments, deans, liraries, and administrtors, etc. . Note: Chester Finn was formerly with the US Office of Education and is now at the Hudson Think Tank. Ref: Finn, C. E., Jr. Today's academic market requires new taxonomy of colleges. Chronicle of Higher Education, January 9, 1998, B4 &5. Martha M.