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Emeriti or Emeritus?[edit]

Note that in the "Professor emeritus" subsection I changed Emeriti to Emeritus, since Emeriti redirects to Emeritus, and Emeriti is not mentioned in the Emeritus article. If the correct term is Emeriti, or it is an alternative term, my changes should be reverted and a description should be added to Emeritus. Labongo (talk) 16:24, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that the original was correct; it follows the typical Latin plurals. I recommend changing it back, but I agree that the form should be consistent across pages, so the "Emeritus" page should be fixed also. --UrsaLinguaBWD (talk) 06:14, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Professor Emeritus is the singular; Professors Emeriti is the plural. WLior (talk) 01:20, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, that doesn’t work. It seems to me that emeritus is being treated as an adjective in English, and so it should be professors emeritus, just as we would say courts martial. English adjectives are invariable.
Now, if you want the Latin plural, then it is professores emeriti. — Chameleon 12:03, 27 May 2012 (UTC)


I added the "cleanup" tag to this article. In browsing it, it seemed to me that it is in serious need of a major overhaul. In particular, the sections on different countries and regions seem inconsistent and disorganized. Could someone add this to the "Academia" project page? I think it seriously hurts Wikipedia's reputation to have an article like this as such a bad example. Advice from any real professors, deans, etc. would be much appreciated. UrsaLinguaBWD (talk) 06:11, 18 February 2008 (UTC)


In 2006 the University of Warwick announced that it would be using the North American system in the future. Lecturers would become Assistant Professors, Senior Lecturers Associate Professor, and readers - who would be phased out - Associate Professor (Reader).

I've removed the above as it's uncited and is certainly not the case at present.

JiMternet (talk) 18:07, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Split page?[edit]

I've started taking a look and making some small edits to this page (mostly the USA section). In many of the academic-related pages, there are distinct differences between countries (see, e.g., Doctor of Philosophy), but for the most part, each country has only brief entries, keeping the pages at a manageable length. However, it seems that there is enough information on this page to split the article. I was thinking about starting a page on college faculty in the USA, and moving most of the USA section over there (keeping a few general summary paragraphs here). What does everyone think? -Nicktalk 21:03, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree completely. Though I think the bulk of the page should not be about differences in names/salaries, etc. from country to country--perhaps even "Regional differences among professorial titles" needs a separate page. If I went to an encyclopedia and looked up "Professor," I would expect to easily find, "what professors do" (esp. what makes them different from "teachers" in general), how they're trained (what one does to become a professor), the history of professors, and then only a bit on differences among professors today. I feel like the emphasis of this article is quite backwards, and it needs a strong editorial hand or hands (as most large WP articles need). -- Myke Cuthbert (talk) 16:19, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. I think as well that if there is a split we should be sure that there is an article for Canada and the USA, as our systems are virtually the same. I find the stuff about salaries and politics of profs and all that to be not too relevant, though I have posted that here before and most seem to disagree with me. Dbrodbeck (talk) 17:26, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Slightly against: for now the amount of info is still manageable, and it is good to have all the comparisons in one place. Just excluding American section will make it less readable... On the other hand, I find the stuff about salaries and politics quite interesting (and, believe me, it is quite difficult to find elsewhere, unless you log into academic databases) Pundit|utter 22:25, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I too find the salary and politics discussions interesting, but I think they range far afield. Note for instance that there is also an article, academic rank, which duplicates much of the country specific data in this article. I would suggest working with the editors of that article to see if we can consolidate duplicate information. I would think that this article would become a sort of portal for a set of articles on higher education teachers/researchers, including one on salary information. I don't feel too strongly about splitting, but I do feel strongly that the current article doesn't meet high standards of clarity. (Will it eventually have sections on "Salaries and Ranks of Professors in Afghanistan" "S & R of Professors in Andorra" ... "S & R of Professors in Zaire"? If so, will this still be a useful article for someone trying to get an overview of what a professor is and how she is different from a teacher?) -- Myke Cuthbert (talk) 17:29, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I guess, if we have more information on salaries specifically, we can make a table. Academic rank is wider than just the professor, as it includes the whole variety of lecturers, senior lecturers, postdocs, etc. Some overlap is not bad in itself, I guess... Pundit|utter 18:11, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I think the idea of making a table is wonderful. I've seen several long articles that break up monotonous comparative information into an easily-referenced table. For a good example, see Comparison of office suites. Although academia is more subtle and complicated than computing, one could reduce some of the comparative data into scannable blurbs. Perhaps the first part of the current article could be kept and further developed with more information like a history of the profession, notable professors of the past, and perhaps even some pictures. Then, a new article could be created with a title like "Comparison of Professors by Country and Region" or something like that. This article still has a long way to go, but it is good to know that people are working on it.--UrsaLinguaBWD (talk) 06:09, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, since so much of the info is specific to the U.S., I've created the article Professors in the United States. I've encoutered the same problem on other articles where a lot of U.S. specific info shows up; in those cases adding a "in the United States" helps keep the general article adequately short w/o losing any info. Signaturebrendel 01:27, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
If I may throw in my two-cents two years after the last comment... Maybe this article should be split up by region or country. As it is, there are 21 sub-headings. It's just too much. Let's follow the lead of brendel in creating the US-specific article. 13:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brendanmccabe (talkcontribs)

"In Australia and New Zealand, Associate Professors are often (though formally erroneously) addressed as Professor."[edit]

I don't think it's erroneous - it's the same deal as people in the military (Rear Admiral, Brig./Lt./etc General etc) where you address them using the higher title. You can't walk up to a Brigadier General and address them as "Brigadier General"; you say "General", the same way as you call an A/Prof "Professor". It's only when their names are written that the Associate part is attached. This is my experience across a few Aussie universities, so input would be great. (talk) 11:29, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Just in passing General was dropped from "Brigadier General" in Commonwealth armed forces a long time ago. --PBS (talk) 14:00, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I have never heard an Aspro called "Professor" in Australia. By anyone. Well I did once at a conference where the person doing the introduction inadvertently promoted the speaker, who was embarrassed and corrected the inadvertent promotion to Professor. GermanicusCaesar (talk) 12:57, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
It is wrong to call an Associate Professor called Smith "Associate Professor Smith". It's Reader rank. They are (usually) Dr Smith. See, for example, [1] (talk) 04:07, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
The link at UQ is about eliminating the "title" Associate Professor, they are to be addressed as Dr (or Mr if they do not have a doctorate which is rare but not unknown!). But they are still an Aspro. You'd be Dr Smith, Associate Professor School of Blah, UQ (A Professor would be Professor Smith, School of Blah, UQ). Aspro's are otherwise known as "Level D". (Level A=Associate Lecturer, B=Lecturer, C=Senior Lecturer, D=Aspro, E=Prof.). The term 'Reader' is incredibly archaic and not really used. An aspro (who originally had come out here from England) in my school started to use the position description 'Reader' and had to explain it to most people. GermanicusCaesar (talk) 12:57, 27 August 2011 (UTC)


Someone want to unprotect this page now? (talk) 04:21, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Please? (talk) 07:32, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

If they did, someone would remove Kosovo from the list because Kosovo is not a country recognized by UN. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


Please discuss in talk before making major changes.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 12:38, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

What ever happened to WP:BOLD?? >8-(
For those that missed it in the ~minute for which it existed before it got reverted by one overzealous "consensus builder", my edit summary for shifting "Islamic usage" towards the bottom:

Let's talk about the current use before the long-dead historic one

Go ahead. Discuss to your heart's content. (talk) 12:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
No-one has anything to say? Well, colour me shocked. (talk) 12:25, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


I think some paragraphs about Spain are not neutral or need a citation. These are the problematic portions of text:

With this system, the department only had to "persuade" one of the three "external" members of the committee into giving the position to their "insider" (the applicant from their own department). As a consequence, good applicants were often discarded in favor of mediocre "insiders", and shameless nepotism was common for 20 years.

Before the LOU 2001 reform, tenure implied becoming a civil servant (funcionario). A civil servant, as in other European countries, cannot lose his job even in the case of remarkably bad performance. This had caused the level of many universities in Spain to drop.

These salaries are comparatively low, even for the Public Administration, and far from the usual market salaries for similarly qualified professionals. Considering the cost of a rented flat in Madrid (50 square meters costs 700-900 euros per month), the incredible increase in the cost of housing during the past decade combined with frozen salaries has impoverished university professors in Spain in real terms. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Filling in missing countries[edit]

If someone more familiar with Wikipedia procedures and conventions than I would like to fill in some gaps, here's a reference with coverage of additional countries (I was desperately seeking Portugal, myself): —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:19, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

This sounds completely wrong[edit]

a professor traditionally held either a departmental chair (generally as the head of the department or of a sub-department) or a personal chair (a professorship awarded specifically to that individual).

Since when has a professor generally been the head of the department or sub-department? Professor is a completely separate job from head of department, and a head of department can just as easily be somebody who is not a professor.

According to Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford this faculty has nine statutory and seven titular professors. The current Chairman of the Faculty Board is Dr Paul Joyce, who is not a professor. Or take a look at [2]: the Head of the SOAS Department of the Study of Religions is Dr Almut Hintze. In addition, the department has a number of Professors. So, here are two examples, from two very different institutions, where the head of the department is not a professor while there are a number of professors who are not heads of departments.--Oxonian2006 (talk) 14:35, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The current wording indeed suggests strange things. With my knowledge of the Dutch situation - but that might very well not be representative of anything - it might be that what was originally meant might be that ordinary professors either form the core of a (small) research group (supervising a handful of others working on 'their' topic) or that they may have a position assigned to them as an individual, independent of long-term activities of a university. Classical geographer (talk) 10:32, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
That's an interesting idea, but I don't think that is what anybody had in mind in the UK context. I think there may be some confusion arising from the fact that the head of a faculty, department, etc is sometimes called the Chairman/Chair of the Faculty Board (at Oxford, for example), while a professor occupies a chair. I think it has been further confused by some people saying, 'John Smith is the Evans Chair of Welsh History', when they mean holds the Evans Chair of Welsh History. Perhaps it is also something more common in newer universities where there may be fewer (if any) statutory chairs and perhaps fewer academics qualified for an ad hominem professorship, in which case head of department and professor may well be lumped together - I don't actually know.--Oxonian2006 (talk) 13:22, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
The times they are a-changing. In my Australian university, while not every (full) professor is a head of department, every head of department (and above) is now a full professor. It goes with the job. Wikiain 00:50, 30 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiain (talkcontribs)

"American usage"?[edit]

This bit:

"... instructors at many music conservatoires in the UK are known as professors... This designation... has more in common with the American usage, where the term is applied to any instructor at a college or university." [emphasis mine]

... needs to be altered - there are a number of other terms for university instructors in America, and it is quite inappropriate to call, say, an Instructor by the title "Professor" - an Instructor may even be a graduate teaching assistant with an incomplete degree!

I understand what the writer meant to imply, but it is inaccurate as written. Perhaps something like "is a little closer to American usage, in which the term is more broadly applied to all tenure-track academics"? (talk) 07:36, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Point taken. We should however note that this is North American usage, not just American (so I am including Canada here). Many non tenured, tenure track faculty are given the rank of (assistant or associate) professor. Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:20, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

نريد ترجمه للعربيjokestressed!ه لو سمحتم[edit]

مفردة مهمه جدا وغايرها كثير جدا

نريد ترجمه للعربيه لو سمحتم —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Please be sure to communicate in English on en.wikipedia.- Sinneed 04:41, 14 October 2009 (UTC)


AmouDaria (talk) 07:43, 6 November 2009 (UTC) In Germany, it is no longer necessary in many subjects and many Länder to have a Habilitation in order to become a full professor (W2 or W3). One's overall contribution to research can be recognised as being equivalent. This is becoming increasingly the case in physical sciences, especially physics and astronomy, although is definitely not the case in many other subjects (e.g. philosophy). This change is now even recognised in the advertisements for such position, which often explicitly state that a Habilitation or equivalent is acceptable. There are currently several full professors in Germany without a Habilitation. I suggest that the article is updated to reflect this.

In 11.1 "He or she is not entitled to confer doctorates" presumably should read "examine doctorates". So far as I know, everywhere any degree is "conferred" by the institution itself. --Wikiain 00:42, 30 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiain (talkcontribs)

I would like to admit that this phrase in the article is not correct."He or she is not entitled to confer doctorates" presumably should read "examine doctorates". The doctorate grade can only be confer by the faculty of a university. It has nothing to do with the person of a professor. It is even possible that a professor of an applied university can be referee for a doctorate thesis. Nowadays it is not only possible it is part of the law of some Federal States. The German term is "Kooperative Promotion". Thus because it has nothing to do with the person and just with the institution I would recommend to discuss this under the topic "applied universities". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:56, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

As mentioned above a huge number of professors especially in engineering science at a university neither gone through the process of habilitation or junior professorship. The hole article is out of date and was maybe correct in the 80s or 90s. One problem is that nowadays very think is much more complicated. You can reach professorship at a university by a) habilitation, b) junior professorship or c) equivalent habilitation performance. c) is in engineering often performed by expert knowledge in the industry and in natural science often by the number and quality of publications. At an applied university the expert knowledge in the industry normal case and equivalent performance is the exception. At classical university it is the other way round, expect the faculty of engineering. In this case both is quite common. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:08, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Experts, please reply[edit]

In the Barack Obama article, there is a discussion about the word "professor"

Some people say that there can be confusion between the word "Professor" and "professor". If someone is a lecturer in the U.S., are they a professor. Legally, you can sue and stamp your feet and say "i am a professor!". However, if you apply for a faculty job and say "i was a professor", you will get laughed at.

I think the best way to handle this is to just say the man was on the part time faculty of the University of Chicago Law School and his title was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. Very factual. JB50000 (talk) 08:15, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Moved 'History' to near top[edit]

Reading through the logical flow of the article seemed broken with the history appearing at the bottom of the article. As universities were founded in the middle east, and the concept of professors and chairs derived from here, it makes sense to add this to the beginning of the article. This complies with the layout typically found in other Wikipedia articles -- History sections or generic information appears at the top with information lower down growing progressively more specialised. Rlinfinity (talk) 06:42, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

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)


The salaries, atleast for Sweden, seems completely wrong. "Adjuncts" (non-phd)'s make 30.000 SEK a month, i.e. 360.000 SEK a year, so about 36.000 EUR a year. Professors make about 50.000 SEK a month, i.e. around 600.000 SEK a year, so about 60.000 EUR. Please verify and update. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

yes, the Salaries mentioned for the Swedish professors are totally wrong —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:41, 26 January 2011 (UTC)


>my face when Australian professors get paid in Euros (talk) 13:02, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Salaries in bold[edit]

Why some salaries are in bold? There doesn't seem to be any reason/explanation or a rule for this. -- (talk) 16:38, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Bold seems to be used throughout the article in an almost random fashion. It does not conform with layout typically found on other Wikipedia articles, so if it is simply the author's writing style possibly it should be removed.
- (talk) 04:08, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Reference to Malaysia[edit]

The line "In Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore (but not Malaysia), associate professors are by courtesy addressed as "Professor"" would appear not to make any sense. I don't know whether Malaysia should be included in the list or not so I cannot change it. - (talk) 04:10, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Hi, The article refers SoFoKles but in the original document of SoFoKles there is no mention of Australian professor's salary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:03, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Circularity in explanation of Chair[edit]

Trying to find out what Chair (academic) means, a reader is left with a circular explanation that it "is reserved for senior academics holding a departmental chair (especially head of the department) at a university".

Could somebody please explain what does it mean to hold a departmental chair ... at a university. Is it a seat at the university's senate, or other governing body? Or does it mean some sort of a senior position inside a department? What is it? WillNess (talk) 09:36, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I'll try to clarify, but the real problem is that it varies from country to country. Pundit|utter 22:24, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I introduced minor edits, but I think it is pretty clear - to hold a chair means usually to head a department. Pundit|utter 22:29, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Wiktionary comes empty handed on "holding a chair" too. It it were clear, I wouldn't have asked. It still isn't. If it means "to hold a certain senior position, usually associated with being a chairperson" or something, it needs to be clearly stated. Thanks. WillNess (talk) 11:24, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

In most countries I know, to hold a chair in academia means the person is a Professor and it has nothing to do with whether they are the chair of a department. I think it goes back to the time when the holder of a named chair was Head of Department, but this no longer holds. Now the number of named chairs is larger than the number of Headships of a Department, let alone the number of Professors who are not the holders of a named Professorship. Chair (academic) is a redirect to Professor and that is how it should be. To hold a chair is the same as being a Professor. --Bduke (Discussion) 11:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Not really - in the US, or Scandinavia, you may be a full professor without holding a chair. In the UK or Germany professorship is reserved for chairs (cathedras). To hold a chair means in some countries more than to be a professor, and in some countries it is synonymous. Pundit|utter 14:48, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Assistant professors in U.S./Canada section[edit]

I'm not sure this is something that occurs in Canada or something that occurs only in some disciplines, but as far as I know, it isn't the case in the humanities in the U.S. that "Most of the time, assistant professors teach at the university from which they obtained their degrees." This would rarely happen. And I've heard many call it incestuous. Crowdsourced (talk) 15:30, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

yeah that should go, not sure how that got in there. Dbrodbeck (talk) 17:01, 21 December 2011 (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.

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 (talk) 13:39, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

vous — Preceding unsigned comment added by (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 (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) 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)