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Offline agrobert

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Addressing a Professor
« on: November 12, 2007, 10:40:52 PM »
If you email a professor and address them as Professor ___ or Dr. ___ and they respond and close with their first name is it acceptable to reply back to them addressing them by their first name?
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Offline enahs

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2007, 11:12:31 PM »
I would say no. Some professors are cool with that, but still it is good to show respect for their position and hard work.

Keep in mind that e-mails are typically informal, and it might just be a habit for them to sign the e-mail with their first name. Or, they might not even actively sign the email, it might be part of their automatic signature block (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signature_block).


Maybe the professor was attempting to be more personal, which is cool, but I would wait play it safe. Not like it is all that hard to type Dear Dr., or whatever.


Offline Mitch

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 04:48:41 PM »
Undergraduates should always address a professor as professor so-and-so. Unless, specifically instructed otherwise.
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Offline constant thinker

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 08:46:14 PM »
I would always use Dr. If they put it in all that time and effort then they deserve the title.
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Offline Mitch

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 04:50:06 AM »
I would always use Dr. If they put it in all that time and effort then they deserve the title.
Never address a professor as Doctor, always use professor.
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Offline agrobert

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2007, 05:14:20 AM »
Why do you think professor is better? 
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Offline enahs

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2007, 09:14:32 AM »
Saying Doctor or Professor is better will be a highly regional thing, I think you might find.

Around here, they tend to prefer Doctor. Well, at least the ~5 or 6 professors I have asked said they prefer Doctor over Professor.


Offline Borek

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2007, 02:20:17 PM »
In Poland you can be professor by President's nomination - for obvious reasons you will prefer to be called Prof over Dr in such a case :) I believe we have several thousands professors nominated this way (per 40 millions population). In a way it is similar to tenure.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 05:23:39 PM by Borek »
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Offline hmx9123

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2007, 01:47:06 AM »
I was chastised by one of our German students for calling a professor 'doctor'.  He said it was insulting.  I thought he was full of it.  The professor thing is a regional thing.  Out here on the left coast, it appears that 'professor' is preferred.  In the midwest, we called everyone 'doctor'.  Apparently, from what I've learned (and from what Borek says) 'professor' is more appropriate in Europe (though I haven't taken a survey of all of the EU).

As for addressing the prof, I wouldn't address them by their first name unless told to otherwise specifically.

Offline Borek

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 03:57:33 AM »
In Germany Professor is a title just like Doctor, so it could be insulting, nothing strange about it. Same in Poland. Difference lies in the fact that - AFAIK - in US there are no nominated professors. You can be professor of a given school, but outside you are "just" Ph.D. In Poland and Germany when you are nominated professor you ARE professor, no matter what you do :) To make things more difficult in Poland you can be also "only" professor of a given school :)
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Offline enahs

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 09:23:56 PM »
Around here, even if they are faculty members that have been at the institution for 20 years, if they do not have a Ph.D. they are not called professors.

I have also had professors who said not to cell them professors or doctors because they did not have a Ph.D. in the field they were teaching. Example, one of my math professors said not to call him Dr. or Professor. simply because his Ph.D. was in Physics but he was teaching in the math department, just call him Mr. . He was not the only one either.





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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2007, 04:17:21 AM »
Over here your a doctor if you have a Ph.D.  If you are a lecturer then you are still just a doctor (assuming you have a Ph.D. otherwise it is Mr.). Professors is a higher title still, earned by being head of a department or having a certain number of publications or success in research - the title is rewarded to you based on position within the faculty or by success in your area of research.  Therefore Prof is a much higher title than Dr.
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Offline Mitch

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2007, 02:40:45 PM »
Over here your a doctor if you have a Ph.D.  If you are a lecturer then you are still just a doctor (assuming you have a Ph.D. otherwise it is Mr.). Professors is a higher title still, earned by being head of a department or having a certain number of publications or success in research - the title is rewarded to you based on position within the faculty or by success in your area of research.  Therefore Prof is a much higher title than Dr.


Where is over here?
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Offline P

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Re: Addressing a Professor
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2007, 04:47:52 AM »
Sorry Mitch...  in the UK.
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