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(Slate)   Today's first world problem is brought to you by a college instructor who is upset students call her by her first name because she isn't a professor or a doctor   (slate.com) divider line 47
    More: Dumbass, teachers, Flagler, Inside Higher Ed, Dead Poets Society, University of New South Wales, colleges, professors  
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6693 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Mar 2014 at 7:05 AM (23 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-03-14 07:40:32 AM
6 votes:
Could just be me, but I was raised to always refer to someone by their title (if you know it, if you don't it's Mr. or Ms.), and that includes calling someone doctor ______ if they have a MD or PhD unless they ask you to address them otherwise. I had a few professors that said "you don't have to refer to me as doctor" and others that preferred to be referred to as doctor. It's up to the individual, but have respect for them and address them by their title and last name until they instruct you to do otherwise.

/dnrta
2014-03-14 07:44:16 AM
5 votes:
Look if you have a Ph.D. related to your job then at work your title is Dr. Xxxxxx. Which is for formal communications, such as between student and teacher.

People in this thread who think that's pretentious will call all PhDs something else. That's Ok but it could also instantly identify you as someone who has a chip on their shoulder about degrees.
2014-03-14 07:30:13 AM
5 votes:
She IS in fact a PhD.http://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/about-us/people/katrina-gulliver/ , and teaching a class.  She isn't a TA.  That entitles her to the honorific of "Dr".

I work around a lot of PhDs.  I have also hung around in college for a few decades past getting my bachelors degree, scoring a masters and just taking classes.  IMHO, the general rule is that in the workplace, you call a PhD "Dr" until they tell you to knock it off.  In a university setting, I tend to use "professor" to indicate someone who is actually teaching a class, as opposed to pursuing work in their field.  Professor can be extended to instructors without doctorates, some of my instructors at community colleges have masters degrees.

A small amount of courtesy won't kill you, for heavens sake.  This is a university classroom, not the effing salad bar at Wendys.
2014-03-14 07:23:38 AM
5 votes:

assjuice: If you're not an MD you shouldn't be called 'doctor'. And in this day and age you shouldn't expect much respect from any student you aren't providing an assistantship to.


Nope. Academics had the title "doctor" first. I'm Dr. PCoC, a physicist. The person who fondles my balls once a year (no, I'm not talking about Mrs. PCoC) is a physician.
2014-03-14 02:55:51 AM
5 votes:

HotWingAgenda: I don't blame Dr. Gulliver for being annoyed; I myself feel rankled when someone who knows full well I have an earned doctorate refers to my male peers as "Professor" or "Doctor" yet calls me "Ms. Schuman." It happens all the time, and I often hear a sneer in the "izzzzz."

Oh, for f*ck's sake.


Yeah, it's pathetic.  If she were fully confident in her ability to direct the course of study and energize the students through discussion, she would not need to rely on enforced verbal cues that puff her up and emphasize the inferiority of the students.
2014-03-14 12:31:33 AM
5 votes:
Every TA I've ever been taught by has asked to be called by their given name
Some of my professors with Doctorates expected to be called Dr., some were ok with Professor, a couple even went by their given name
Those with Masters Degrees usually went by their given name or Professor

However, EVERY SINGLE ONE expected a respectful, professional tone when talking to them.  It wasn't what you called them, it was how you said it that mattered.
2014-03-14 12:25:50 AM
5 votes:
FTFA: I myself feel rankled when someone who knows full well I have an earned doctorate refers to my male peers as "Professor" or "Doctor" yet calls me "Ms. Schuman." It happens all the time, and I often hear a sneer in the "izzzzz."

Not a doctor or professor? Submitter failed reading comprehension. And what she says is very real. I have female colleagues complain that former students of mine in her classes will refer to me as Dr. _______ when talking to her and then casually address her by her first name when they damn well know that she is Dr. _______. I see it with my female colleagues and African-American colleagues of both genders all the time.

Different colleges have different cultures. I once taught at a small liberal arts college where students and professors were encouraged to be on a first name basis. I never liked it but I played ball. At the larger institutions, you walk in and tell them up front you are Dr. so and so or Prof. so and so. Any rank, whether Lecturer, Assistant, Associate or otherwise, is entitled to be addressed as "Professor" when s/he is the "Instructor of Record" and thus responsible for the class to the registrar and department.
2014-03-14 09:57:08 AM
3 votes:
It's a matter of common courtesy and manners.
If you are in a business or professional setting (and that includes the classroom), don't use a person's first name until they invite you to do so.
2014-03-14 07:34:21 AM
3 votes:
I used to teach college courses as an adjunct. I have a master's but not a doctorate. And I didn't give a rat's ass what my students called me. Mostly they called me by my first name.

It's college. Everyone there is an adult.

To me, this professor sounds like someone who is so insecure that she clings to her position and her credentials as some sort of validation of her worth as a person, and regards any failure to properly recognize her position and credentials as some sort of personal affront.
2014-03-14 07:32:59 AM
3 votes:
Oh get over yourselves. If I'm paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to take your courses, you work for me and I'll call you what I'm comfortable calling you. Miiizzzzzz. Schumann. I'm not paying big bucks to stroke your ego.

/so glad I got out of that college town
2014-03-14 07:23:49 AM
3 votes:
I really think Slate is just trolling us. I read half the article. At that point I realized that it was discussing a group of people who need therapy for what happened to them early in life.

When a student calls me "Mister," I do not correct the student because I am focused on his or her concern or idea or question. Maybe those teachers in the article would have a better position at university if they focused on the important things.

/professor
//tenured
///you can call me Steve if you like
2014-03-14 04:28:24 AM
3 votes:
A few months ago I started a new job at a large university and I continually have to look up email signatures or titles in our directory to get things right, and it's almost absurd because I'm not anyone's student.  However, it did lead to an amusing exchange with one of my staff members who recently got his PhD.  We've been trying to get a 1,200 node grid off the ground and the research chair who is first in line to use it spends most of his days harassing the staff about when it's going to be set up.  My lead engineer, who I'll call Thomas, has been butting heads with the chair, who I'll call Dr. Richard Antsypants.

All three of us were in the data center last week troubleshooting.  I've been on a first name basis with Richard since the beginning and we're talking like we usually do.  Thomas is explaining that no one can submit jobs yet because the Qlogic cards aren't working correctly and he calls Dr. Antsypants 'Richard', at which point Richard says "I'm a doctor."  Without missing a beat, Thomas said "So am I, but it doesn't seem to help for this particular issue."

I waited for a pissing contest to break out, but Richard laughed and now everyone is on a first name basis.  Students should defer to their instructors, but outside of that relationship you have to be a real jerk to start throwing titles around.  I don't make people call me Director LSherm at work and Thomas sure as hell doesn't make anyone call him Dr. Thomas.  In a formal setting, like during first introductions?  Sure, the title is appropriate.  If you're going to be working with someone who isn't your student for an extended period of time?  Be reasonable.
2014-03-14 02:22:08 PM
2 votes:

August11: I really think Slate is just trolling us. I read half the article. At that point I realized that it was discussing a group of people who need therapy for what happened to them early in life.

When a student calls me "Mister," I do not correct the student because I am focused on his or her concern or idea or question. Maybe those teachers in the article would have a better position at university if they focused on the important things.

/professor
//tenured
///you can call me Steve if you like


Steve,
congratulations on being a tenured professor.

As a non-tenure track (overworked, underpaid) faculty member at a respectable state university, I'm calling you on your sassy, privilege-filled "if they were better teachers/researchers/people, they'd be in a secure position like me." It makes you sound like that Wall Street elite who argue that anyone could have become CEO or hedge fund manager and made multi-millions per year, but most people are lazy, ignorant, farks who just want to play video games and smoke crack and that why there's wealth inequality in the world. That attitude emboldens and facilitates the administrative legions who are taking over universities and reducing (even further!) the number of tenure-track positions available for the increasing numbers of hard-working, smart, hopeful grad students who succeed in completing a PhD and dare to dream of enjoying both job security and academic freedom.

Regards,
misanthropologist, Ph.D.
2014-03-14 10:33:22 AM
2 votes:
Who in the world would refer to a professor by their first name?  That's absurd.   It's "Prof. Soandso", or in some cases, its just "Soandso" (usually when I was angry, like "Soandso's test really screwed me").   I never use the first name.

It's the same reason I would call my friends parents Mr and Mrs Whatshisname when I was young.  Now that I am older its a bit more confusing, but I still usually just default with the Mr/Mrs.   Its also why I get rankled when a salesman calls me by my first name.   You don't know me.   You call me Mr. Uptight.

But anyways, its just common decorum.  There's nothing really clever or rebellious about ignoring it, its just ignorant and disrespectful.   That said feel free to call your TA's whatever you want, and try and get drunk with them if you can
2014-03-14 10:04:31 AM
2 votes:

Langdon_777: Pretty sure most of her students are over 18 and no one should call an adult anything but their first name.

Unless if they are in an inferior position to them, eg. military, etc.   I would never call my boss's by anything but their first name, I am not their servant.

She complains too much.


Why do you consider that if you don't call someone by thier first name, that you're thier servant?  If someone has a title, it's usually proper to address them by it unless they request you don't.  The use of Sir, Miss, Ma'am is just common courtesy.  I don't do it because I feel inferior to them. I do it because I try to be a gentleman.  I find it strange that  some people feel that showing common courtesy/respect for others is considered a sign of  inferiority?
2014-03-14 09:33:14 AM
2 votes:
Depends on where you live.

At UC Boulder, I was a grad student teaching a class, and I told my kids not to call me professor.  They all went with my first name, except one who called me professor dave just to annoy me (he was alright, though).

In South Dakota, I'm still a grad student.  Kids ALWAYS call me professor [last name].  Doesn't matter if I tell them not to or what.

Also, fark off, Will Miller (guy in the article).  Damn near anyone who has actually listened to women TAs or professors about their experience knows that it's much, much, MUCH easier to cultivate a "cool, casual, but still respected" attitude as a male instructor.

Nobody's ever come up to me at the end of the first day of class and told me how to do my job better, and frankly, sometimes they probably should.
2014-03-14 09:15:16 AM
2 votes:
I am a woman, I teach freshmen algebra.  I try to get my students to call me by my first name.  Most of my students are terrified of math and I want them to not be intimidated by me.  Most of them can't bring themselves to call me by my first name.  I did have one semester where two students in my class already knew me from before the class and called me Zanni.
2014-03-14 08:33:58 AM
2 votes:

van1ty: If you aren't a medical doctor, you aren't a farking doctor.


Punkin', if they're medical doctors, they're just physicians who've adopted the pre-existing convention of referring to people who hold advanced degrees (PhD) as "Doctor."  Historically, physicians were "barbers" who got enamored of the titles the smart kids gave themselves and glommed on.

So if you are a medical doctor, you aren't a doctor.  You're a barber.
2014-03-14 07:32:53 AM
2 votes:
Any teacher with a PhD. should be addressed as Dr by students. If you have a Ph.D. and work in a regular job, expect to be Mr. or Ms.
2014-03-14 07:13:36 AM
2 votes:
If you're not an MD you shouldn't be called 'doctor'. And in this day and age you shouldn't expect much respect from any student you aren't providing an assistantship to.
2014-03-14 07:10:56 AM
2 votes:
Start referring to her as "Dr.," but then deliberately get her last name wrong.

"Yes Dr. Sherbert."
"Here's my assignment Dr. Sherman."
"Sorry I was late Dr. Shortshiat."
"When's the next quiz Dr. Shoobie-doobie-doo?"
2014-03-14 06:16:12 AM
2 votes:

Lsherm: A few months ago I started a new job at a large university and I continually have to look up email signatures or titles in our directory to get things right, and it's almost absurd because I'm not anyone's student.  However, it did lead to an amusing exchange with one of my staff members who recently got his PhD.  We've been trying to get a 1,200 node grid off the ground and the research chair who is first in line to use it spends most of his days harassing the staff about when it's going to be set up.  My lead engineer, who I'll call Thomas, has been butting heads with the chair, who I'll call Dr. Richard Antsypants.

All three of us were in the data center last week troubleshooting.  I've been on a first name basis with Richard since the beginning and we're talking like we usually do.  Thomas is explaining that no one can submit jobs yet because the Qlogic cards aren't working correctly and he calls Dr. Antsypants 'Richard', at which point Richard says "I'm a doctor."  Without missing a beat, Thomas said "So am I, but it doesn't seem to help for this particular issue."

I waited for a pissing contest to break out, but Richard laughed and now everyone is on a first name basis.  Students should defer to their instructors, but outside of that relationship you have to be a real jerk to start throwing titles around.  I don't make people call me Director LSherm at work and Thomas sure as hell doesn't make anyone call him Dr. Thomas.  In a formal setting, like during first introductions?  Sure, the title is appropriate.  If you're going to be working with someone who isn't your student for an extended period of time?  Be reasonable.


I worked at a university for 8 years, and you could always tell who the insecure assholes were by how they demanded to be addressed. After one of them attempted to humiliate me by dressing me down in public for not calling him "doctor" I said "tell you what, Chuck, I'll address you as 'doctor last name' if you address me as 'mister last name' because as far as I'm concerned we're here on an equal basis."
Of course he wouldn't do that, because it was all about asserting his superiority and stroking his fragile ego.
2014-03-14 05:27:24 AM
2 votes:

hardinparamedic: namatad: What's wrong with HEY F*CK HEAD?

Because the moment you call your collage instructor that to your face, you'll end up hearing "I told you I wanted fries with that, asshole." for the rest of your life?


As long as you're still paying tuition, it's nigh impossible to get kicked out of school, absent criminal activity or severe cases of cheating.
2014-03-14 04:05:36 AM
2 votes:
What's wrong with HEY F*CK HEAD?
Seriously, if your teacher is so bent out of shape by a label, might as well drop the class, they will suck as a teacher.

Professor or Teacher.
TADA

Teacher works for ALL of them.

For the TA slaves? 
Whatever - who cares.
Sucks to be them no matter what you call them.
Buy them lunch and a beer and they will love you.
2014-03-14 02:59:02 AM
2 votes:
And worse yet, at some institutions, such as Mr. Jefferson's Universitah, there has long been a tradition of professors with doctorates going by "Mr." and "Ms."

Someone get out the fainting couch for Mizzzzzzz Schuman!  I'm sure the educators at UVa suffer so much in the respect department by not being called "professor" at one of the leading institutions of higher learning in the entire country.  I mean, it's no UC-Irvine, but you know what I mean, toots.  Holy crap, the title thing is a big deal to you because you made it that way with this weirdly repressed arrogance.  If you want your students to call you professor, make that known on day one and don't act like you're life will be ruined if they screw it up.  If they call you something else, save the hissy fit for your poor husband.
2014-03-14 12:24:22 AM
2 votes:
Listen, Doc. You put in a lot of work for your doctorate and I'll refer you as sic. I won't, however, respect you because of this pointless tirade. I doubt you'll call me Reverend even thoug I'm an ordained minister of a recognized church.

/Internet church.
//Friend wanted me to perform her wedding.
2014-03-14 04:07:16 PM
1 votes:

misanthropologist: August11: I really think Slate is just trolling us. I read half the article. At that point I realized that it was discussing a group of people who need therapy for what happened to them early in life.

When a student calls me "Mister," I do not correct the student because I am focused on his or her concern or idea or question. Maybe those teachers in the article would have a better position at university if they focused on the important things.

/professor
//tenured
///you can call me Steve if you like

Steve,
congratulations on being a tenured professor.

As a non-tenure track (overworked, underpaid) faculty member at a respectable state university, I'm calling you on your sassy, privilege-filled "if they were better teachers/researchers/people, they'd be in a secure position like me." It makes you sound like that Wall Street elite who argue that anyone could have become CEO or hedge fund manager and made multi-millions per year, but most people are lazy, ignorant, farks who just want to play video games and smoke crack and that why there's wealth inequality in the world. That attitude emboldens and facilitates the administrative legions who are taking over universities and reducing (even further!) the number of tenure-track positions available for the increasing numbers of hard-working, smart, hopeful grad students who succeed in completing a PhD and dare to dream of enjoying both job security and academic freedom.

Regards,
misanthropologist, Ph.D.


I reread my comments and I must agree with you. It comes off just as you describe. I took aim at the article's medieval focus on what I see as a trivial part of our academic lives and our students' experience. And I missed. Instead, I corroborated the myth that those without security or status on our campuses are in their situation due to a particular personal flaw. And this is not the case. I rescind.

Let me try again. This attention to title on college or university campuses gets in the way of any promised learning. (I know universities are more about creating knowledge than transferring it, but universities do promise measures of teaching as well.) Poor professing on either campus confuses the authority of knowledge with professional authority. This confusion builds walls between those who know and those who do not yet know. My title pries open grants nicely but It does very little for my students.  And my students' learning is really all that matters.
2014-03-14 01:16:03 PM
1 votes:
I think there's a line that's getting blurred in the comments here.  In day to day, or even most professional settings, there's little to no reason to call someone a Dr.   People who get stuck on that are likely pricks.  The exception would be talking to a Med Dr at a hospital, there's an important reason to call him a Dr there.

But schools are very different.  Assuming you are at a good school then you are dealing with one of the top experts in the field they are teaching, and by top I mean best in the world (I can only speak to this in technical programs).   And they are there teaching undergrads the most elementary aspects of their fields.  I can't see a single reason to not show due respect to these people.   I've taken classes with Nobel Laureates, I sure as hell would not talk to them like I was a peer.
2014-03-14 01:10:51 PM
1 votes:

bralanko: Take another look. The author does not advocate the elimination of PowerPoint, or addition, or hammers, or any other potentially useful tool. She recommends not misusing it.


I disagree. Her slideshow is all about eliminating the use of PowerPoint until about halfway through, when she switches to giving (mostly bad) advice about how to improve slideshows.

Quotes are from her slideshow:

Digital slideshows are the scourge of higher education.
If she meant "bad digital slideshows" instead of "digital slideshows", she should have said so.

There is little else in the university landscape that is so immediately deleterious to the dissemination of knowledge.
Again, she's referring to the earlier statement that does not specify "bad" or "poorly constructed" slideshows.

The ostensible purpose of a slideshow is to provide illuminating visual aids or illustrate an important quote, rule, or formula. Only problem is this almost never happens.
Sure doesn't sound like she's highlighting a subset. Sounds like she's talking about the vast majority of slideshows.

Now, I generally forbid slide shows by students altogether.
This is not someone who thinks that people should learn to create better slideshows. This is someone who wants people to stop using them. If she wanted to teach people to make better slideshows, she would be doing so.
2014-03-14 01:04:31 PM
1 votes:
Sort of long CSB:

Seven years ago I was selling new cars, and I relied heavily on customer referrals to stay busy. I prided myself on being a respectful, easy-going guy who wasn't so much a sales person as much as a "consultant" to make sure folks got what they needed and understood everything about the vehicle they were buying. One weekend I helped a lady special order a Prius - her first brand new car. Six weeks later when it came in, I had a bottle of wine for her to take home with her car (rules against consuming alcohol within a car dealership - obvious reasons). She was elated and said she'd had such a great experience she would send her husband in to look at new trucks - he apparently needed one but didn't like dealing with sales-y guys so hadn't done anything. She told me his name - let's call him Henry - and had him give me a call. When he called, he said he was "Dr. So-and-So" at such and such vet clinic, and had odd hours, so could I accommodate. I called him at home the day before our appointment just to confirm, and greeted him by his first name.

He came in the next day, did not ask for me (I didn't know what he looked like), and bought a truck from the first salesman who greeted him. When I called him the next day to re-schedule (thinking he just skipped out), he told me he changed his mind about buying. I followed up with his wife about her Prius a few weeks later, and she said Henry loved his new truck. I was like WTF?! She said "Oh...you don't know...he's sort of a pr!ck about the "Doctor" thing, and was so upset you called him by his first name he decided he didn't want to deal with you. Sorry I didn't warn you."

Would have been nice to know up front that he was such an ass that even outside the context of his profession he insisted on people calling him Doctor. That's the kind of guy that turns out to be such a PIA you regret selling them the car anyway. Oh well.

/ end sort of long CSB
// still see that lady cruising her Prius around town
2014-03-14 12:26:21 PM
1 votes:

bralanko: draypresct: bralanko: Check out the recent one about the use of PowerPoint in college classrooms (sorry I don't know how to link to it), which is clever, humorous, and right on target.

She tries to show that a tool is bad by mis-using the tool. She supports her opinions with no data. It's as clever and on-target as someone who insists that hammers are bad by deliberately hammering their own thumb again and again.

Her insisting that the slides should not make sense is particularly ludicrous. I shouldn't label the axes on my graph because I'll mention them during my presentation? That makes my talk a way to punish people for spending a few seconds thinking about what I'm saying, not a way to communicate.

Thanks for the tip re: posting links.  I think her article is clever and it made me smile.  This sort of piece doesn't call for "data," but the reason I liked it so much is that I've seen firsthand so many examples of precisely the type of PowerPoint abuse she cites.  You haven't, I guess?


I've seen PowerPoint used extremely poorly. I've seen addition used extremely poorly as well (e.g. X% of the sample were male, Y% had the disease, so (X+Y)% were male and/or had the disease). Finding examples of poor use doesn't mean that you should stop using either PowerPoint or addition.

Her presentation didn't address the problem she raised, and her tips for improving your presentations would actually make them much worse. Real communication has a bit of redundancy built in.

This sort of piece doesn't call for "data,"

If the purpose of her piece was to entertain, then you're right, she doesn't need data (after all, I read "Cracked"). If the purpose was to inform, then she should have spent a couple of minutes on Google first.
2014-03-14 11:57:05 AM
1 votes:
I grew up in an academic family.  As Somacandra mentioned, all instructors in higher education regardless of rank may be addressed as Professor, regardless of their job title.

The article references the Mr and Ms custom at the University of Virginia, but I am also familiar with the University of Chicago's longstanding tradition of addressing doctorate-holding faculty as Professor.  This is somewhat equalizing, insomuch as getting to teach at U of C ipso facto means you are qualified to do so, even if you are doing so on an MA - or if your field is one in which the doctorate is not commonplace such as fine arts (as the article mentioned) or library science (in which I hold a degree, though I work outside the profession right now).

I taught accounting one semester before I transferred over to doing graduate work in history instead - I asked my students to address me as Mr. Lastname (I was technically a part-time instructor, but I conceptualized the arrangement as a de-facto overload on my graduate research assistantship, and that was the norm for graduate assistants at that school).  Some called me Professor anyhow, and that was fine, since I was the instructor.


(Disclaimer: my wife is an employee of an institution named above)
2014-03-14 11:17:47 AM
1 votes:
Where I teach, the custom is that the folks standing in front of the classroom are called "Professor" by the undergrad students, especially in the larger classes.  Well, they actually call me "pruhfessuh", what with the accent and all.  I've told them they can call me by my first name (I'm an ABD grad student), but most don't.  [shrug]

The foreign students tend to be quite formal - I've received emails addressed to "Most esteemed professor" and the like.  It's actually embarrassing. I feel like I'm reading email for someone else.
2014-03-14 10:54:28 AM
1 votes:

MythDragon: Met someone at some Christmas party where I didn't know anyone

Me: Hi, Mr Lastname. Nice to meet you.
Ass: Actualy it's 'Doctor'
Me: Are you in internal medicine or surgery?
Ass: I'm not that kind of doctor. I am a doctor of arts.
Me: So...you like...heal paintings?
Ass: ...No. I study them.
Me: And I should call you doctor because...?
Ass: I earned it.
Me:Yeah? Well, tell you what. As soon as you start calling me Staff Sergeant, I'll call you by your title.
Ass: You're not in uniform.
Me: Neither are you.

Then it was time to find a drink.


He might have been a pretentious asshole, but you were being a dick too
2014-03-14 10:16:12 AM
1 votes:

Danger Mouse: Langdon_777: Pretty sure most of her students are over 18 and no one should call an adult anything but their first name.

Unless if they are in an inferior position to them, eg. military, etc.   I would never call my boss's by anything but their first name, I am not their servant.

She complains too much.

Why do you consider that if you don't call someone by thier first name, that you're thier servant?  If someone has a title, it's usually proper to address them by it unless they request you don't.  The use of Sir, Miss, Ma'am is just common courtesy.  I don't do it because I feel inferior to them. I do it because I try to be a gentleman.  I find it strange that  some people feel that showing common courtesy/respect for others is considered a sign of  inferiority?


I actually just read some websites addressing proper address etiquette in the modern, technical world and the old sir/madam at the top of professional correspondence is apparently now considered antiquated to the point of an insult. Apparently, people believe they are being called "old" or something similar to an unnecessary cog in the process with these addresses. Calling people with titles like "Mr./Mrs./Miss" is also considered insulting in the modern world, because we are not treating them like individuals. Only medical doctors and college professors apparently get to use a title, because we don't use titles with our lawyers either. What used to pass for common courtesy is now a display of superiority or dismissive, apparently. I find it very confusing compared to the way I was brought up where everyone got that extra level of respect, however I guess it's not much of an issue for most people today.
2014-03-14 10:11:08 AM
1 votes:
CtrlAltDestroy


....
You can't force respect. It must be earned.  .


Usually I think just the opposite, that respects is autmaticaly given until some one does something to the countrary.,

/well not here on FARK of course...
2014-03-14 09:55:05 AM
1 votes:

LemSkroob: "It's hard not to come off as uptight, and some students seem genuinely surprised. Other times it's clearly an attempt to rile me with some disrespect (typically coming from male students who like to undermine female authority)."

Oh jesus christ. Its 2014. I doubt very much you get many males at college age that have a problem with women in charge (especially a teacher, since they've likely had female teachers since first grade).

Stop looking for oppression that doesn't exist and try to not make yourself out the victim all the time. You only hurt your cause.


lol.

Have you taught college?
2014-03-14 09:02:56 AM
1 votes:
None of my professors at university in my undergraduate course gave two shiats if we called them "sir/ma'am", "Professor ([Last Name]), "Doctor ([Last Name])" or their first name, Most of them actively encouraged us to use their first names.

Chances are if a student doesn't respect you, insisting on using your title isn't going to help. And if they do respect you, then you should know that referring to you by your first name or your title doesn't change that.
2014-03-14 08:51:18 AM
1 votes:
I teach as part of my job.  I don't care what they call me- Dr. Hero, Mr. Hero, Professor Hero, Glockenspiel, etc, all I ask is that they pronounce my (tricky) last name correctly.  Ironically, most end up calling me Professor which is the one title that's not correct- I'm staff even though I have a Ph.D.  Every year I get a couple who call me by my first name- you can tell it's sort of a "I'm not in high school anymore- can I get away with this?" thing, which is fine by me.

A few years back we had a visiting ABD (All But Doctorate) professor from Africa who refused to call anyone anything other than "Dr. XXXX", even his coworkers in social situations.  He explained that where he came from folks with the title had earned it and that it was only proper courtesy.  There was a minor celebration at one faculty lunch when it was announced that his thesis was accepted and he could start using our first names.
2014-03-14 08:46:51 AM
1 votes:
At least in my department, there really isn't much consternation about such things -- just possible ignorance by the students as to what the correct salutation is.

For undergraduates in classes:

If your title includes the word Professor (be it Assistant, Associate or Full), you go by "Prof. Lastname"
If your title does not include the word Professor, but you have a Ph.D., you go by "Dr. Lastname"
If you do not have a Ph.D., and therefore are not qualified to be a professor, you go by "Mr./Ms. Lastname"

The last option includes TAs officially, although many of them go on a first name basis due to the almost zero age difference between themselves and their students.

For members of a research group:

If graduate students are present, the group tends to be on a first name basis. If it's a primarily undergrad institution, then it can be a bit more formal, but possibly just calling the Professor as "Boss" or "Lastname" only.
2014-03-14 08:41:32 AM
1 votes:

whizbangthedirtfarmer: As a college instructor ... but seriously, if she doesn't like them calling her something, she can establish it on the first day.  I know, for some people, especially those new to teaching, that being "tough" is difficult, but starting strong and staying that way makes all of the difference.  One of the newest trends I've noticed is that students are trying to call me just by my last name, with no Mr. or Dr. or anything associated with it.  That got slapped down quickly.

"

Most students, then, have no idea what to call us, so it's up to us to let them know, immediately. On the first day of class, and in the syllabus, say: "I'm Dr. Schuman." Or, "I'm Martika." Or, "I'm Count von Count." Whatever you want to be called, name yourself this thing in person and on the syllabus-and if the students don't catch on, don't be afraid to correct them (even if, in Gulliver's case, you have to do this over and over). And here's one for the ladies: If you ever get called "Miss," don't be afraid to tell them that if they're going to treat you like a dance teacher, they'd best be ready to plié."
2014-03-14 08:34:13 AM
1 votes:

OhioUGrad: Could just be me, but I was raised to always refer to someone by their title (if you know it, if you don't it's Mr. or Ms.), and that includes calling someone doctor ______ if they have a MD or PhD unless they ask you to address them otherwise. I had a few professors that said "you don't have to refer to me as doctor" and others that preferred to be referred to as doctor. It's up to the individual, but have respect for them and address them by their title and last name until they instruct you to do otherwise.

/dnrta


For a lot of people, it seems simple courtesy is too much effort.
It's sad, really.
2014-03-14 08:12:43 AM
1 votes:
Are you in an academic environment? Play by the academic rules. Students use the titles of instructors. Colleagues are equals.
2014-03-14 08:05:24 AM
1 votes:

All Latest: "Today's first world problem"

Wrong. It's a USA problem, because of their obsession with stupid titles and passive agressive "politeness". The rest of the world got rid of that crap several decades ago.


New South Wales is in the US?
2014-03-14 07:53:04 AM
1 votes:

namatad: For the TA slaves?
Whatever - who cares.
Sucks to be them no matter what you call them.
Buy them lunch and a beer and they will love you.


I was always nice to the teaching assistants.  It doesn't hurt to have someone in your corner when trouble crops up.  Hell, I had one TA talk a hardass professor into giving me a make-up when I slept through the final exam.
2014-03-14 07:20:33 AM
1 votes:
"Do me a favor, could you say 'professor' instead of 'ma'am?' It's just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it, yes, thank you."
2014-03-14 12:52:19 AM
1 votes:
I don't blame Dr. Gulliver for being annoyed; I myself feel rankled when someone who knows full well I have an earned doctorate refers to my male peers as "Professor" or "Doctor" yet calls me "Ms. Schuman." It happens all the time, and I often hear a sneer in the "izzzzz."

Oh, for f*ck's sake.
 
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