I read with interest of the intention to create the first professorships in the further education sector at Bishop Burton College, East Yorkshire (THES, November 17), with commercial sponsorships of the chair by Rhone Poulenc Agriculture. If it is possible for the title professor to be used in one further education college, it follows that its use will spread to others, and we will end up with everyone a professor, as in America.
This nonsense should be nipped in the bud. After 1900 the Educational Endowments Commissioners controlled the use of "professor", and did not allow the title to be used in non-university colleges. There should be some control, otherwise the title will become meaningless and adapted by hairdressers and teachers of dancing, as in the 19th century.
T.C. Simmonds, Chelsea Cloisters, Sloane Avenue, London SW3