Is the title professor worthless? 2

November 5, 2004

A most significant cause of the devaluation of the title of professor is its hijacking by the senior managers in higher education who often have a negligible track record in scholarly research and who sometimes don't even teach. They have ensured that published criteria for the title frequently include one criterion that recognises bureaucratic, as opposed to academic, performance.

Many real academics no longer covet the title of professor because charlatans have managed to make it unreliable, if not meaningless.

I feel for those who, through academic ability, earned a title that is now up for grabs by those whose vanity exceeds their understanding of the long-term damage such dumbing down will do in academe.

"Management" professors add insult to injury. Not only do they want to plunder the diminishing kudos of the title, but they also want to enhance their fake academic prominence by tacitly depriving those who might legitimately aspire to it.

Could I suggest that the National Conference of University Professors sets up a Campaign for Real Professors (CARP) (akin to the Campaign for Real Ale) to get rid of gas and to phase out the ersatz in favour of the real thing?

Name and address withheld

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