Talk:Professor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Education (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Education, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of education and education-related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Occupations (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the Occupations WikiProject, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of occupations. If you would like to participate, you can visit the project page, where you can see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

Archives[edit]

What History?[edit]

There does not seem to be any discussion on the historical usage of the word 'Professor' now. This is a shame, as I wanted to know. The meaning has changed over the years; if anyone is an authority on this, I would welcome their contribution! ixo (talk) 17:16, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Professor comparison wrong[edit]

The text says: "In countries on the northern European mainland, such as Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries, usage of professor as a legal title is limited much the same way as in most Commonwealth countries, that is, it is reserved for someone who holds a chair."

This is not correct: Germany call many different teaching positions at research or non-research universities "professor". It is not reserved to a "chair" like in the UK system. The same is true for belgium, here all university postions are "professor".

Only the "netherlands" have a system where only a full professor is termed "professor".

I propose that this gets corrected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.174.192.144 (talk) 13:39, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

vous — Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.228.184.127 (talk) 21:40, 6 April 2012 (UTC)


I do agree; the same is true in Sweden. Professor is no longer only used for so called (and old-fashioned) "chaired professors" ("ämnesföreträdare"). Since 1990 it is used for all teaching staff that are employed as professors ()and you need not be "chaired" to be what in the US would be a full professor). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.240.172.187 (talk) 12:22, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

In Scandinavia, Professor is only used for "full Professors," and they are considered to hold a professorial chair. However, generally all faculty members with the appropriate qualifications may be promoted to Professor. Those known as "Associate Professors", "Assistant Professors" and so forth in the US are not entitled to use the title. Bjerrebæk (talk) 15:53, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Reid professor - who is this?[edit]

Found one in Edinburgh International Festival: "Sidney Newman, Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University". What is the difference from ordinary "professor"? --Igel B TyMaHe (talk) 19:29, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/edinburgh-college-art/music/about/history Fat&Happy (talk) 22:53, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Image of professor[edit]

Come on, guys! It is time that this edit war ceases and a discussion takes place on this talk page.

I'll kick it off. Is there any reason why we can not have two images, three images, or even no images? If two, we could have one of a male professor and one of a female professor? However, I guess having images of two US professors is not a good idea? --Bduke (Discussion) 00:26, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Why do we need any images at all? Do they add anything? Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:22, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Any image of a real person (living or deceased) will of necessity be rather arbitrary. I don't really see what the face of some professor or other adds to this article. At most, a photo of a procession of professors in full regalia (such as many universities have once a year) might be interesting. But none of the pictures that have been the subject of the current edit war add anything to the article, IMHO. --Randykitty (talk) 12:51, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

As a professor, I think that it is important not to rely on a stereotypical picture of a professor i.e. a middle-aged white male, with white hair. There are male and female professors, and from every race and skin colour. I suggest the two options should be no pictures, or at least a mix of professors. I believe the three pictures previously did just that. Geraint_F_Lewis —Preceding undated comment added 02:03, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

I too am a professor. I am 47 and I have white hair (which comes from albinism but that is neither here nor there). Those pics add absolutely nothing. They don't illustrate what I do for a living. A picture of me drinking beer is as useful. The sex, ethnicity or hair colour of the person is not an issue, the issue is do the pics illustrate anything, they don't. Dbrodbeck (talk) 23:48, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Phenomenon, not word[edit]

Wikipedia articles should be about phenomena and possibly concepts, but not about words. In particular they should not be about foreign words. This is the English wikipedia and therefore this article should be limited to describing the phenomenon that is denoted by the English word "professor". But in many places it strays into trying to clarifying the meaning of non-English words. It should not. --Ettrig (talk) 13:19, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

"Most" American college teachers != Professors[edit]

Corrected the mention in the Lede that Most American college teachers have the title of Professor (or Asst., Assoc. Prof.). It has not been a majority since the 1960s and currently is around 25%.

I want to gain consensus before editing the Tenure section -- having over 2/3 of the prose be about criticisms of tenure does not seem NPOV.

Thanks, -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 20:14, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

First, Assistant Professor has already been merged and now redirects here; now is the time for Associate Professor. Fgnievinski (talk) 19:34, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Second, although faculty (academic staff) is a useful distinction from faculty (unit), the former is already discussed in the present article (search for "faculty"), so it should just redirect. Fgnievinski (talk) 14:28, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Also please note that this article has already grown to include faculty positions other than the various ranks of professors, such as lecturer, etc. Fgnievinski (talk) 14:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Merge is perhaps OK, but then the scope of the article should be made clear in the introduction. In the US (as far as I understand), "professor" refers to all academic ranks, whereas in Norway for instance "professor" only refers to the highest academic rank ("full professor"). So it must be clear to the reader that the article is about academic ranks or faculty, and not about a specific term. So a Norwegian reader may be surprised or confused to find "førsteamanuensis" (corresponding to associate professor) under the heading professor. In the Norway the distinction is between faculty members (or academic staff, "professors") and administrative staff.
On the other hand, if all "professors" are merged into this article, in terms of scope it will overlap completely with Faculty (academic staff). Docent is also a kind of professor that should be merged according to the proposed approach. --Erik den yngre (talk) 14:36, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
This page has long not being just about Full professor. All these denominations only make sense in their specific geographical context. E.g., in Brazil all Faculty (academic staff) are called "professors". Fgnievinski (talk) 20:15, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a dictionary, so article scope should be limited by topic (whatever names are used in various contexts). My point is that the article should include all faculty to be consistent, not just those that happen to be called "... professor" in English. Then eventually the article will be about all academic ranks, a topic covered in several existing articles. So I am afraid the article may finally become too big and again need to split. --Erik den yngre (talk) 20:28, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
This page should be just a worldwide overview, then details would go into the geography-specific pages, e.g., Professors in the United States, Academic ranks (Australia and New Zealand), etc. The geographical splitting could start as soon as we agree on a prefix -- "Academic ranks" is more inclusive than just "Professors" and also shorter than "Faculty (academic staff)". This is better than having pages about full professor, adjunct professor, assistant professor, associate professor, within each of which you'd describe the geographical distinctions. Fgnievinski (talk) 21:20, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Then I'd agree with a single overview-type article titled Academic ranks (no longer a redirect to List of academic ranks) merging Professor and Faculty (academic staff). Fgnievinski (talk) 21:45, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

This is an utterly nonsensical merge proposal. Wikipedia has vast amounts of articles on various academic ranks in various systems, from Docent, to [[Reader (academic rank), to Privatdozent. Merging all of them into one single article would be hopeless, and not in accordance with policy because of its excessive length (and scope). Merging a general article on academic employees into Professor, which is in most of the world only the most senior rank for an academic, would be totally inappropriate. We need a separate article on academic ranks or faculty positions, that could provide an overview of ranks in various systems, and we need a separate article on the (full) Professor title as it is understood in most of the world (including the English-speaking world), as the highest rank at universities. The article Professor in itself is currently, quite frankly, a mess, and needs to be reduced, not merged with the maybe 100 other articles on other academic ranks at different levels and functions. Bjerrebæk (talk) 07:03, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

I basically agree with Bjerrebæk, but we must keep in mind that Wikipedia is not a dictionary, so articles should not be focused on the word but on the topic. And because this is Wikipedia in English we should use the English terminology, this of course creates some confusion. But again, merging all kinds of articles about faculty positions ("professors") into a single article is perhaps hopeless. A compromise might be to create an overview article pointing to articles about academic ranks in countries (or group of countries if very similar). --Erik den yngre (talk) 08:29, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
I oppose the merge, and I imagine an article on Professor in the British (and countries that follow a similar system) Unversities, as well as articles giving an overview of academic ranks in diffent groups of countries. The question is really how to split the subject in to articles. I agree with Bjerrebæk that what we have here is at the moment is a mess.Billlion (talk) 16:22, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
One problem of a merge is that there must be notable similarities across countries, if not the article can be rather confusing. For instance in Norway there are two types of positions at the associate professor level, one based on research merits (PhD) and one based on teaching merits, while "assistant professor" are all those with minimum merits (no PhD) etc. To capture all such differences across countries and academic ranks is quite a task. --Erik den yngre (talk) 16:35, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
While full, associate and assistant professors are sometimes collectively and less precisely known as "professors" in American English, this is not the case in the UK or the majority of English-speaking countries. I think we should explain the American usage where appropriate, but that we should have separate articles for each of the widely used ranks Professor, Associate Professor and Assistant Professor. We already have stand-alone articles on Readers, Docents and numerous other ranks, so there is no reason not to have separate articles on Assistant Professors and Associate Professors as well. The titles Associate Professor and Assistant Professor are also used worldwide as official translations of ranks that do not include the word "professor" in their native language (e.g. førsteamanuensis and universitetslektor in Norwegian). If a biography mentions that someone is an assistant professor, it is more helpful to be able to link to an article on that particular rank and ranks at the comparative level, than a mega article discussing anything containing the word professor. Bjerrebæk (talk) 12:40, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

There are several sub-proposals, so let me split it up:

Which of these A,B,C do you agree/disagree? Thanks. Fgnievinski (talk) 17:54, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree with A,B,C. With regard to (C), notice there are currently four nearly duplicated pages: Academic ranks, Faculty (academic staff), Titles in academia, Professorship. At this point, I'm not going into flame wars concerning whether Professor should be about Full professor only, or other types of professor too, or even instructors, lecturers, etc., as understood in the non-Anglophone world. Also, academic ranks are to include teaching and research academic staff (either of the two plus both of them, e.g., lecturer, researcher, professor) but not academic administration professional staff. Does anyone have a better idea for emptying up Professor and Academic ranks other than dicing them up into their geography-specific pages? Fgnievinski (talk) 18:09, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
I think (B) country/geography-specific articles make most sense because the various types/levels of professors must be understood in relation to each other. For instance in Norway there is no distinction between tenured and non-tenured positions (all are tenured), an important feature of the US system. What it means to be a full professor is not the same in Norway and Sweden, and there have been notable changes in recent history. So I think country-specific articles describing the "internal logic" among academic ranks is best. In addition there should be some kind of (c) overview article, perhaps (A) with a comparative perspective. If there are only (B) country specific pages it is very difficult to understand nuances across countries. --Erik den yngre (talk) 12:22, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I think we should have both overview articles for each country, and articles on commonly used ranks such as (full) Professor, Associate Professor, Reader, Assistant Professor and Docent. Bjerrebæk (talk) 12:50, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps that is a good consensus, both (A) and (B), then there will of course be some overlap (and need to coordinate across articles), but that is not a problem as long as the structure is clear. --Erik den yngre (talk) 13:38, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the proposal to split the article[edit]

A possible solution is to make this article into an article on the full professor rank and rename it Professor (highest academic rank) ("Professor, informally also known as full professor, is the highest academic rank at universities and other institutions of higher education in most of the world ..."), and have either a disambiguation page or a shorter article here addressing the history and different uses of the word "professor" (for example, it can mean simply "teacher" (at primary or secondary level) or "music teacher" in some countries/settings, but obviously this is not the same rank or position as the (full) Professor rank at universities). Bjerrebæk (talk) 14:46, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Or a brief section in the article labelled "other use" or similar.
I am also not sure about the title, as I am pretty sure that faculty deans, rectors, chancellors, etcetera hold an even higher rank.
We also need to solve the assistant/associate prof issue. These jobs give the right to use the professor title in some (eg USA) but not all (eg Netherlands) countries. In that context we should also solve title equivalent to assis/assoc professor that do not have professor in the title (e.g. lecturer, senior lecturer, reader). Arnoutf (talk) 14:52, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Deans, rectors, chancellors etc are administrative ranks and (in most countries at least) not academic ranks. In Norway for instance there are faculty ranks (assistant, associate, full professor), administrative ranks (head clerk, director etc) and faculty-managerial ranks (dept chair, dean, chancellor etc). Faculty ranks depend on research and/or teaching merits, whereas faculty-managerial ranks are appointments (or elections) where a high academic rank is recommended or expected but not required. For instance a dean may only have associate professor academic rank, and is then not qualified to serve on certain committees where full professor rank is required. So it is quite common that deans or rectors preside over processes where they are personally not qualified to take part. This is the phenomenon of the upside down pyramid of academic life. Finally, as in all civil service there are non-managerial administrative ranks. In Norwegian universities there are in effect four separate ladders: academic ranks, administrative ranks, faculty-managerial ranks, and administrative-managerial ranks. --Erik den yngre (talk) 16:58, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Also note that in some countries there are additional subdivisions. For instance in Germany and Norway (and I believe Spain) there are two classes of civil servants. In Germany the high class is called Beamter, and I thinkg professors with a chair are also Beamter. In Norway this was the case too until the 1990, up to that point all professors (along with generals, judges and other top positions) were formally appointed by the King (that is, the full cabinet meeting) rather than by their university, they then enjoyed a particular legal status according to the constitution, for instance could be fired only by vote in the cabinet and a subsequent court trial. --Erik den yngre (talk) 17:11, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
In the Netherlands Rector and Dean are always full professor and keep the professor title during their term in office. They are considered to some extent both administrative and academic functions as they have responsibility for scientific quality of education and research. So complicated. But probably too specific to keep in mind. Arnoutf (talk) 17:25, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
In Norway it is usually required to have minimum of assistant professor (universitetslektor) position to be appointed to dean. But not for elected positions, in 2013 for instance a young student ran for president (rektor) of University of Oslo, against one of the top professors, the student obtained 30 % of the votes! In Norway all faculty-managerial positions are for limited periods (3, 4 or 6 years), and they always keep their academic rank independent of service as managers. Top administrative-managerial positions are also limited periods (applies to all branches of civil service except judges). Faculty-managerial positions in Norway are responsible for student programs and research (and the university/department as a whole), whereas administrativ managers are responsible for non-scientific specialties such as accounting, student register/admissions etc., and administrative managers are in general subordinates to a rector, dean or chair. Well, better keep these managerial positions in a separate article. --Erik den yngre (talk) 17:43, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Guys/gals, I see that you're enjoying the discussion. Shall we come to a conclusion. As no one objected from the the split of full professor, I'm hijacking that existing redirect and starting a new article; please improve it as you see fit. I've also started Draft:Professor and Draft:Academics -- please help. This last one I struggled a bit about the name (academic ranks, academic positions, academic occupations, academic personnel, academic titles -- bad choice?), as I thought administrative/managerial positions in academia are better left outside the scope. Then, finally, I'm most eager to carry out the geographical splitting next; what would be a good prefix -- "Academic ranks in..."? Thanks for your thoughts. Fgnievinski (talk) 02:12, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

The title of the "full professor" article should be just "Professor" with an appropriate parenthesis (e.g. "highest academic rank"), since "full professor" is just an informal term that is only used to some extent to distinguish it from other titles containing the word "professor". The formal title is simply "Professor", also in North America. Draft:Academics should be retitled "Academic ranks" and possibly merged with List of academic ranks. Draft:Professor should be broadened in scope to include all usage of the word "professor" and the history of the term, not just academic/university usage. It can retain the lead of the current professor article ("A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank) and then mention its usage in academia more specifically ("At universities and other institutions of higher education in most of the world, Professor, informally also known as "full professor", is usually the highest academic rank. The word professor is also used in other academic titles such as Associate Professor and Assistant Professor. In North America, academic employees are often collectively known as "professors," regardless of exact rank or title.") Bjerrebæk (talk) 08:43, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Done: Professor (highest academic rank), Draft:Academic ranks, Draft:Professor. Thanks for your input. Feel free to directly edit these pages. Fgnievinski (talk) 20:00, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
I have started to copying some material to Professor (highest academic rank) - needed some copy edit to remove reference to lower ranks. World overview section will need much more work as that is lengthy and not very consistently written. Arnoutf (talk) 20:26, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Better keep managerial positions to a separate article, although in some countries perhaps some managerial positions are regarded as higher rank than full professor, this can be mentioned when relevant (with a link to the special article about managerial ranks). While the title "Professor (highest academic rank)" is a good solution, it appears that some countries have a further distinction within "Full professor" (Spain for instance, if I understand it correctly) - in principle also in Norway until the last of the old type retire. --Erik den yngre (talk) 20:29, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Agree about managerial positions. It might be an idea to discuss levels if and when needed per country. That would also allow all kind of special full professorates to be mentioned as these depend on country as well. Arnoutf (talk) 20:39, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
It is true that some universities have professorships that are de jure or de facto considered to be higher positions than an "ordinary" full professorship (such as an endowed chair at Harvard); for this reason I suggested the wording "At universities and other institutions of higher education in most of the world, Professor, informally also known as "full professor", is usually the highest academic rank. " We should focus on the broad picture, and leave details of higher level professorships, where they exist, to country-specific sub sections and/or articles. While the full Professor position is used in more or less the entire world, the nature of (de jure or de facto) "higher" professorships is very much country-specific and even university-specific in many cases. Managerial positions should be left out from this discussion, because they are not academic ranks in themselves. Bjerrebæk (talk) 07:23, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Fully agree with Bjerrebæk and Arnoutf above. What may be needed however is a short description of what "academic rank" actually means (as something very different from managerial ranks). --Erik den yngre (talk) 11:48, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Proceeding with split[edit]

I'd say let's not worry too much about the geo-specific pages -- I'd just "dump" each subsec into a separate "Academic ranks in..." page. Fgnievinski (talk) 22:05, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

I've done a bunch; will continue sometime later. Fgnievinski (talk) 23:59, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
I've done a few more. What seems to be left are smaller sections. I've also created a navigation template and a category. One thing that would be nice to have is to link each page from that country's page -- it should bring some attention (please help!). One interesting discussion to have in the overview article is in terms of language, e.g., Spanish-, German-speaking countries, etc.; not sure if that's best in either Professor or Academic ranks. Fgnievinski (talk) 03:28, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
@Bjerrebæk, Arnoutf, Erik den yngre: Could you please weigh in here: Talk:List of academic ranks#Request for comment: Splitting the academic rank topics. Thanks. Fgnievinski (talk) 03:40, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Folks, the split has been halted since the RFC has been issued; could you please state your opinions there so that it can resume. Thanks. Fgnievinski (talk) 19:30, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

If we now start at new and separate article on the full professor rank, and one one overview article on academic ranks, in addition to country-specific articles on academic ranks, we will have to remove the entire "Around the world" and "Salary" sections (and possibly other sections) from this (old) Professor article in my opinion, and make it into a shorter and more general article, or possibly just a disambiguation page, on the various uses of the word or title Professor, e.g.

Bjerrebæk (talk) 07:49, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

In Norway there are professorships obtained on scientific merit as well as professors within the fine arts based on "outstanding artistic merits" (for instance Leif Ove Andsnes is a professor of keyboard at the Norwegian Academy of Music). --Erik den yngre (talk) 14:50, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
That's correct, but in many countries, "professor" is also used to describe virtually any music teacher, and in some languages the word professor (or its cognate) means simply "teacher" regardless of level. Bjerrebæk (talk) 11:22, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
The key distinction is that the professors of for instance music or painting are (in Norway at least) regarded as "real" professors, according to national law for universities and higher education (of course the type of merits required are very different from a scientific professor). So the informal use of "professor" for music teachers can easily be confused with real professors. --Erik den yngre (talk) 19:52, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
I guess that in Norway the title is reserved for music and painting professor at institutes of higher education (like School of Arts) rather than any music teacher. It is not so exceptional as for example professor of Architecture also tend to be appointed based on their portfolio of building designs, rather than scientific publications, and the high education music and painting (and any other arts) professors would fit with that. Arnoutf (talk) 20:05, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. In Norway the use of "professor" is clearly specified in written law and reserved for higher education, the term is not used informally about any music teacher. I guess some professors of architecture are also appointed based on their portfolio, perhaps combined with scholarly work (volumes on the history of architecture for instance). --Erik den yngre (talk) 14:40, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Salary[edit]

Hello all,

I think some work needs to be done in the Salary section. I don't know about the rest, but the statistics for Sweden are definitely incorrect. I'm a PhD Candidate in Sweden, and I earn roughly the amount stated (about €25,000 a year) for that of a professor. This is average for a PhD candidate. Professors tend to earn around the €70,000 mark. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Supermassive 79 (talkcontribs) 15:55, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I have the intuition that the table gives after taxes numbers as they seem to be incredibly low across the board. Can someone check? Arnoutf (talk) 16:14, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Salaries are difficult to compare across countries, and should in any case be very clear and specific about what is included. In Norway there are statistics (averages) regarding real salary, but also government guidelines (minimum and range). --Erik den yngre (talk) 14:43, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Same in the Netherlands. Professors are in a predefined paygrade which is the same across all Dutch universities. Years of employment (depending on satisfactory functioning) determines the level within the paygrade. Arnoutf (talk) 18:39, 4 November 2014 (UTC)