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junior undergrad
If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 9:42PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Say the professor is Dr. John Smith. I would always just call this person Dr. Smith, but many of my professors sign their emails simply using their first name. Does this mean I should just call him John?
PaavoNW
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 9:47PM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
No. Always call college professors "Professor LastName" or "Dr. LastName" depending on their educational background. It is a sign of respect. You two are not peers.
professor and runner
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 9:50PM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
yes. I am a professor and I never sign my emails to students with my first name or use my first name in class. I have students call me Prof Runner. Your prof is sending a signal so no worries for you. (I am a youngish woman so I can't afford to go with the first name, but maybe when I get old I'll loosen up.)



junior undergrad wrote:

Say the professor is Dr. John Smith. I would always just call this person Dr. Smith, but many of my professors sign their emails simply using their first name. Does this mean I should just call him John?
juanwilliams
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 9:50PM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I say split the difference: Dr. John or Prof. John.
Bear of Bad News
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 10:01PM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yes. I always take the approach of using the most formal option for a greeting in the first email and then using whatever title they sign their response with for future communication. Nobody is going to sign an email with a name they don't want to be called.
Gary Gary
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 10:11PM - in reply to Bear of Bad News Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I am a professor and always sign my first name when writing to my students, because that is my name. However, I expect students to call me Dr. or Professor plus my last name. I would feel like a total douchebag referring to myself as Dr. or Professor.
Jay Yell
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 10:11PM - in reply to Bear of Bad News Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
but maybe when I get old I'll loosen up.)



POD!
jib jib
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 10:49PM - in reply to professor and runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Whoa! There's professors on Letsrun?
AMrunner800
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 10:58PM - in reply to jib jib Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yeah, who did you think the grammar nazis were?
luv2run
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 11:00PM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was older than my cohorts in grad school (the second time around) and just a few years younger than my many of my profs.

Despite the close age gap, I always called them Dr _______.

However, once I left I called them by their first name.

I think even in grad school outside of class none of them would have cared, but this was grad school which can be much more laid back than undergrad. You will typically get to know your profs better.
slave owner
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 11:21PM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Why would you want to call him by his first name? Unless you're friends or colleagues, wouldn't that feel weird? Imagine calling your K-12 teachers by their first names. What next, are you going to friend him on Facebook?

Sincerely,

Professor Harold Johnson
Professor right name
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 11:24PM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I am a prof and I allow students to call me by first name but I am considering changing that policy as, more and more, I get the feeling that such a level of familiarity creates an attitude of equality that undermines the business of teaching. Students' respect of authority seems on the decline to me but I am probably just getting to be that old guy who says, "kids these days.."

That said, try this: "Professor Lastname, do you prefer I call you Dr or by your first name?" Does the trick every time.
marksman
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/21/2011 11:29PM - in reply to luv2run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I am a graduated student. My adviser requires his graduate students to call him by his first name. To undergrads, however, he is Professor.
B-School Whistleblower
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/22/2011 2:08AM - in reply to PaavoNW Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Umm, f*** respect. Many professors don't deserve it. I knew one I worked for who collected $450K from a public university graduate business chair position plus corporate board bonuses. I spent most my time liquidating his assets, arranging his private jets so he could lunch in Tuscany. The guy was so inept! He taught twice a year, 2 weeks at a time, for $200K and couldn't be bothered to remember what those days were--he bitched about having to cancel his Napa dinner so he could teach...why wasn't he told? he would say. F*** that bastard! If I was paid $200K for 4 weeks of work I would buy a refrigerator magnet like the rest of America. What a douche. I hope he's dead. Any luck he will be.

PS I don't think there is anything wrong on wishing a bastard to be dead.


PaavoNW wrote:

No. Always call college professors "Professor LastName" or "Dr. LastName" depending on their educational background. It is a sign of respect. You two are not peers.
straight beastin yo
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 3/22/2011 4:46AM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Call them professor or Dr. X until they correct you. Nobody is ever going to get mad at you for being too formal as long as you switch to less formal if corrected.
haley
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 5/18/2012 9:18AM - in reply to Gary Gary Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Gary Gary wrote:

I am a professor and always sign my first name when writing to my students, because that is my name. However, I expect students to call me Dr. or Professor plus my last name. I would feel like a total douchebag referring to myself as Dr. or Professor.


I realize this thread is really old, but this particular post really bothers me, and I feel like I need to say something. I don't think it's fair to sign your emails with your first name but still expect people to call you Dr. or Professor So-and-So. That's inconsistent and confusing. It doesn't make you a douchebag to refer to yourself as Dr. or Professor. That's what you are, and if that's what you want to be called, you have every right - and every responsibility - to refer to yourself as such. What makes you a douchebag is referring to yourself as John, and then expecting people to call you Dr. Smith. Proper email etiquette is that students address the first email formally with "Dear Dr. or Professor...," and then any further emails are addressed to the name that the professor most recently responded with (sometimes professors wait a few months to develop a good relationship with a student before allowing them to call them by their first name, and that's okay).
joho
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 5/18/2012 10:47AM - in reply to haley Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
+1 on previous post.

Everyone should sign their e-mail by the name they want to go by. Why cause confusion? I hate when people go by a shortened version of their name but sign e-mails with the long version. Ed signing his e-mails Edward etc....
Pizzaguy
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 5/18/2012 11:05AM - in reply to joho Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Call him "Doc Oct." regardless of what his name is. The oct refers to octopus.
teddypendeeergrass
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 5/18/2012 11:05AM - in reply to junior undergrad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Since you pay his salary with your tuition you should be able to call him anything you like.
liberal arts grad
RE: If my professor signs his email with his first name, does that mean I should call him by his first name? 5/18/2012 2:05PM - in reply to teddypendeeergrass Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I can't think of any professors at my college who weren't known by their first names. Never came across any issues of disrespect either. Maybe that's because the people I went to school with were actually interested in learning from their professors. The respect was just kind of already there.
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