So, Mr Simmonds (Letters, THES, November 24) is concerned that Bishop Burton College, a further education college, is to have a chair endowed by commercial sponsorship. He worries that this practice might "spread".
This "nonsense", he believes, needs to be "nipped in the bud", but he misses the point. First, the new incumbent of the Rhone Poulenc chair is a well-published academic and a professor at Plymouth University. Second, what does it matter? I know a local primary school teacher with a doctorate, five books and many published articles to her name. It would be good for her school and the children that she be accorded the title of professor. The point is to distinguish between a title associated traditionally with a university or a title associated with merit, creativity and the work of an individual. We should not assume all appointed university professors are indeed professors.
MICHAEL ROY KINGHAM
Faculty of health, social work and education University of Northumbria.