Is the title professor worthless? 1

November 5, 2004

You focus on contentious issues surrounding the use of the title professor ("Titles given for 'wrong reasons'", October 29). I was first offered a professorship in 1979 and have held several since (involving both sides of the erstwhile binary divide).

One can see changes over time, as well as differences between sectors, such as the award of the title in some institutions in connection with posts that are in essence of an administrative rather than a scholarly nature.

The biggest anomaly is surely to be found in the continuing use of "senior lecturer" in post-1992 universities for staff who are not of the equivalent rank of a "senior lecturer" in the pre-1992 universities. Why were ranks/titles not standardised in 1992?

Richard M. S. Wilson
Loughborough University

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