Titles and respect

I see a lot of bloggers complaining that their students do not call them “Dr. So-and-so” and how that is disrespectful – and how it happens far more often to female faculty than it does to male faculty. Having done quite a bit of teaching myself, I understand the problem very well and sympathize.

But I would argue that it is worse when you are in an administrative position and the faculty members that you are managing assume you are staff, and address you as “Ms.” in their emails. Even when your email signature clearly points out that you have a Ph.D. When I was hired for this position, they were looking for someone who had a Ph.D. and who would continue to do active research, because they felt that it would be valuable for many of the responsibilities of this job. They are even giving me a faculty appointment in one of the departments to assist with things like getting funding. However, several of the faculty members involved in this center apparently did not get that memo, because they clearly regard me as a secretary of sorts. Which explains why they never fucking answer my emails.

I am disgruntled.

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3 Comments on “Titles and respect”

  1. Leslie M-B says:

    Hoo boy, I ran into this problem all the time when I was on the staff side of academia. I eventually found ways to introduce my schooling into conversations where necessary, in ways subtle and not-so-subtle, depending on my mood. And it was pretty amazing how many faculty members’ entire demeanor changed when they found out I was one of them.

    Do you have an assistant (student or otherwise) at the center who can call people and say something like “Dr. ResearchCentered hasn’t heard back from you, so I’m calling to follow up”?

  2. I would be pissed. That PhD does not stand for Pile Higher and Deeper!

  3. Belle says:

    I too would be pissed. Particularly because it’s faculty who’re doing it. I’ve asked my students to call me Prof Belle, but make sure they know that while I have the PhD, I find it a bit pretentious as a title unless I could write prescriptions. But in your situation, I’d be pissed too. Faculty should and do know better. They are being jerks.


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