Professor

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Professor
Einstein 1921 by F Schmutzer - restoration.jpg
Albert Einstein as a professor
Occupation
NamesProfessor
Occupation type
Education, research, teaching
Activity sectors
Academics
Description
CompetenciesAcademic knowledge, research, writing journal articles or book chapters, teaching
Education required
Master's degree, doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D.), professional degree, or other terminal degree
Fields of
employment
Academics
Related jobs
Teacher, lecturer, reader, researcher

Professor (commonly abbreviated as Prof. [1] ) is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank. [1]

University Academic institution for further education

A university is an institution of higher education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically provide undergraduate education and postgraduate education.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Expert someone who has a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field; person with considerable experience and/or reputation in a specific field

An expert is someone who has a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field. Informally, an expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. An expert can be believed, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially rely upon the individual's opinion. Historically, an expert was referred to as a sage (Sophos). The individual was usually a profound thinker distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.

Contents

In most systems of academic ranks the word "professor" only refers to the most senior academic position, sometimes informally known as "full professor". [2] [3] In some countries or institutions, the word "professor" is also used in titles of lower ranks such as associate professor and assistant professor; this is particularly the case in the United States, where the word professor is sometimes used colloquially to refer to anyone in an academic post. [4] This colloquial usage would be considered incorrect among most other academic communities. However, the unqualified title Professor designated with a capital letter usually refers to a full professor also in English language usage.

Associate professor is an academic title with two principal meanings.

Assistant professor is an academic rank used in universities or colleges in the United States, Canada, and some other countries.

Professors often conduct original research and commonly teach undergraduate, professional and postgraduate courses in their fields of expertise. In universities with graduate schools, professors may mentor and supervise graduate students conducting research for a thesis or dissertation. In many universities, 'full professors' take on senior managerial roles, leading departments, research teams and institutes, and filling roles such as president, principal or vice-chancellor. [5] The role of professor may be more public facing than that of more junior staff, and professors are expected to be national or international leaders in their field of expertise. [5]

Postgraduate education, or graduate education in North America, involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is typically referred to as graduate school.

Graduate school school that awards advanced academic degrees (i.e. masters and doctoral degrees) with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelors) degree

A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelor's) degree with a high grade point average. A distinction is typically made between graduate schools and professional schools, which offer specialized advanced degrees in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, business, engineering, speech-language pathology, or law. The distinction between graduate schools and professional schools is not absolute, as various professional schools offer graduate degrees and vice versa.

Thesis document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree

A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. In some contexts, the word "thesis" or a cognate is used for part of a bachelor's or master's course, while "dissertation" is normally applied to a doctorate, while in other contexts, the reverse is true. The term graduate thesis is sometimes used to refer to both master's theses and doctoral dissertations.

Etymology

The Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was one of the earliest recorded professors. Socrates Louvre.jpg
The Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was one of the earliest recorded professors.

The term "professor" was first used in the late 14th century to mean "one who teaches a branch of knowledge". [1] The word comes "...from Old French professeur (14c.) and directly from [the] Latin professor[, for] 'person who professes to be an expert in some art or science; teacher of highest rank'"; the Latin term came from the "...agent noun from profiteri 'lay claim to, declare openly'." As a title that is "prefixed to a name, it dates from 1706". The "[s]hort form prof is recorded from 1838". The term "professor" is also used with a different meaning: "[o]ne professing religion. This canting use of the word comes down from the Elizabethan period, but is obsolete in England." [1]

In linguistics, an agent noun is a word that is derived from another word denoting an action, and that identifies an entity that does that action. For example, "driver" is an agent noun formed from the verb "drive".

Description

A professor is an accomplished and recognized academic. In most Commonwealth nations, as well as northern Europe, the title professor is the highest academic rank at a university. In the United States and Canada, the title of professor applies to most post-doctoral academics, so a larger percentage are thus designated. In these areas, professors are scholars with doctorate degrees (typically Ph.D. degrees) or equivalent qualifications who teach in four-year colleges and universities. An emeritus professor is a title given to selected retired professors with whom the university wishes to continue to be associated due to their stature and ongoing research. Emeritus professors do not receive a salary, but they are often given office or lab space, and use of libraries, labs, and so on.[ citation needed ]

Commonwealth of Nations Intergovernmental organisation

The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.

Professors in the United States commonly occupy any of several positions in academia. In the U.S., the word "professor" informally refers collectively to the academic ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. This usage differs from the predominant usage of the word professor internationally, where the unqualified word professor only refers to "full professors." The majority of university lecturers and instructors in the United States, as of 2015, do not occupy these tenure-track ranks, but are part-time adjuncts.

Emeritus, in its current usage, is an adjective used to designate a retired chairperson, professor, pastor, bishop, pope, director, president, prime minister, rabbi, emperor, or other person.

The term professor is also used in the titles assistant professor and associate professor , [7] which are not considered professor-level positions in all European countries. In Australia, the title associate professor is used in place of the term reader as used in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries; ranking above senior lecturer and below full professor. [8]

The title of reader in the United Kingdom and some universities in the Commonwealth of Nations, for example India, Australia and New Zealand, denotes an appointment for a senior academic with a distinguished international reputation in research or scholarship.

Beyond holding the proper academic title, universities in many countries also give notable artists, athletes and foreign dignitaries the title honorary professor, even if these persons do not have the academic qualifications typically necessary for professorship and they do not take up professorial duties. However, such "professors" usually do not undertake academic work for the granting institution. In general, the title of professor is strictly used for academic positions rather than for those holding it on honorary basis.

Tasks

Toni Morrison, Emeritus Professor at Princeton University. Toni Morrison 2008-2.jpg
Toni Morrison, Emeritus Professor at Princeton University.

Professors are qualified experts in their field who generally perform some or all the following tasks:

Other roles of professorial tasks depend on the institution, its legacy, protocols, place (country), and time. For example, professors at research-oriented universities in North America and, generally, at European universities, are promoted primarily on the basis of research achievements and external grant-raising success.

Around the world

Many colleges and universities and other institutions of higher learning throughout the world follow a similar hierarchical ranking structure amongst scholars in academia; the list above provides details.

Salary

Salary of professors, as reported in the 2005 report the Deutscher Hochschulverband [de] DHV. Bars are for assistant professor, associate professor and full professor, respectively. Professor salaries.svg
Salary of professors, as reported in the 2005 report the Deutscher Hochschulverband  [ de ] DHV. Bars are for assistant professor, associate professor and full professor, respectively.

A professor typically earns a base salary and a range of benefits.[ clarification needed ] In addition, a professor who undertakes additional roles in their institution (e.g., department chair, dean, head of graduate studies, etc.) earns additional income. Some professors also earn additional income by moonlighting in other jobs, such as consulting, publishing academic or popular press books, giving speeches, or coaching executives. Some fields (e.g., business and computer science) give professors more opportunities for outside work.

Germany and Switzerland

A report from 2005 by the "Deutscher Hochschulverband DHV", [9] a lobby group for German professors, the salary of professors, the annual salary of a German professor is 46,680 in group "W2" (mid-level) and €56,683 in group "W3" (the highest level), without performance-related bonuses. The anticipated average earnings with performance-related bonuses for a German professor is €71,500. The anticipated average earnings of a professor working in Switzerland vary for example between 158,953 CHF (€102,729) to 232,073 CHF (€149,985) at the University of Zurich and 187,937 CHF (€121,461) to 247,280 CHF (€159,774) at the ETH Zurich; the regulations are different depending on the Cantons of Switzerland.

Saudi Arabia

According to The Ministry of Civil Service, the salary of a professor in any public university is 344,497.5 SAR, or US$91,866.[ citation needed ]

Spain

The salaries of civil servant professors in Spain are fixed on a nationwide basis, but there are some bonuses related to performance and seniority and a number of bonuses granted by the Autonomous Regional governments. These bonuses include three-year premiums (Spanish : trienios, according to seniority), five-year premiums (quinquenios, according to compliance with teaching criteria set by the university) and six-year premiums (sexenios, according to compliance with research criteria laid down by the national government). These salary bonuses are relatively small. Nevertheless, the total number of sexenios is a prerequisite for being a member of different committees.

The importance of these sexenios as a prestige factor in the university was enhanced by legislation in 2001 (LOU). Some indicative numbers can be interesting, in spite of the variance in the data. We report net monthly payments (after taxes and social security fees), without bonuses: Ayudante, €1,200; Ayudante Doctor, €1,400; Contratado Doctor; €1,800; Professor Titular, €2,000; Catedrático, €2,400. There are a total of 14 payments per year, including 2 extra payments in July and December (but for less than a normal monthly payment).

Education professors

Professors in teacher education sometimes earn less than they would if they were still elementary classroom teachers.[ where? ] In one case study report, it was shown that a beginning full-time tenure-track assistant professor in elementary teacher education at California State University, Northridge was hired in 2002 at a salary of $53,000, which was $15,738 less than she would have earned in her previous position as a 9-month public school kindergarten teacher, $68,738. [10]

Netherlands

In 2007 the Dutch social fund for the academic sector SoFoKleS [11] commissioned a comparative study of the wage structure of academic professions in the Netherlands in relation to that of other countries. Among the countries reviewed are the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. To improve comparability, adjustments have been made to correct for purchasing power and taxes. Because of differences between institutions in the US and UK these countries have two listings of which one denotes the salary in top-tier institutions (based on the Shanghai-ranking).

Table of wages

The table below shows the final reference wages (per month or year?) expressed in net amounts of Dutch Euros in 2014. (i.e., converted into Dutch purchasing power). [12]

NL comparison, 2014, net salaries, in NL purchasing power
CountryAssistant professorAssociate professorFull professor
United States€46,475€52,367€77,061
United States – top universities€59,310€68,429€103,666
United Kingdom€36,436€44,952€60,478
United Kingdom – top universities€39,855€45,235€84,894
Germany€33,182€42,124€47,894
France€24,686€30,088€38,247
Netherlands€34,671€42,062€50,847
Switzerland€78,396€89,951€101,493
Belgium€32,540€37,429€42,535
Sweden€30,005€35,783€42,357
Norway€34,947€37,500€45,113

Research professor

In a number of countries, the title "research professor" refers to a professor who is exclusively or mainly engaged in research, and who has few or no teaching obligations. For example, the title is used in this sense in the United Kingdom (where it is known as research professor at some universities and professorial research fellow at some other institutions) and in northern Europe. Research professor is usually the most senior rank of a research-focused career pathway in those countries, and regarded as equal to the ordinary full professor rank. Most often they are permanent employees, and the position is often held by particularly distinguished scholars; thus the position is often seen as more prestigious than an ordinary full professorship. The title is used in a somewhat similar sense in the United States, with the exception that research professors in the United States are often not permanent employees and often must fund their salary from external sources, [13] which is usually not the case elsewhere.

In fiction

Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Final Problem" The Adventure of the Final Problem 03.jpg
Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Final Problem"

Traditional fictional portrayals of professors, in accordance with a stereotype, are shy, absent-minded individuals often lost in thought. In many cases, fictional professors are socially or physically awkward. Examples include the 1961 film The Absent-Minded Professor or Professor Calculus of The Adventures of Tintin stories. Professors have also been portrayed as being misguided into an evil pathway, such as Professor Metz, who helped Bond villain Blofeld in the film Diamonds Are Forever ; or simply evil, like Professor Moriarty, archenemy of British detective Sherlock Holmes. The modern animated series Futurama has Professor Hubert Farnsworth, a typical absent-minded but genius-level professor. A related stereotype is the mad scientist.

Vladimir Nabokov, author and professor of English at Cornell, frequently used professors as the protagonists in his novels. Professor Henry Higgins is a main character in George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion . In the Harry Potter series, set at the wizard school Hogwarts, the teachers are known as professors, many of whom play important roles, notably Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall and Snape. In the board game Cluedo , Professor Plum has been depicted as an absent-minded academic. Christopher Lloyd played Plum's film counterpart, a psychologist who had an affair with one of his patients.

Since the 1980s and 1990s, various stereotypes were re-evaluated, including professors. Writers began to depict professors as just normal human beings and might be quite well-rounded in abilities, excelling both in intelligence and in physical skills. An example of a fictional professor not depicted as shy or absent-minded is Indiana Jones, a professor as well as an archeologist-adventurer, who is skilled at both scholarship and fighting. The popularity of the Indiana Jones movie franchise had a significant impact on the previous stereotype, and created a new archetype which is both deeply knowledgeable and physically capable. The character generally referred to simply as the Professor on the television sit com series, Gilligan's Island , although described alternatively as a high-school science teacher or research scientist, is depicted as a sensible advisor, a clever inventor, and a helpful friend to his fellow castaways. John Houseman's portrayal of law school professor Charles W. Kingsfield, Jr., in The Paper Chase (1973) remains the epitome of the strict, authoritarian professor who demands perfection from students. Annalise Keating (played by Viola Davis) from the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) legal drama mystery television series How to Get Away with Murder is a law professor at the fictional Middleton University. [14] Early in the series, Annalise is a self-sufficient and confident woman, respected for being a great law professor and a great lawyer, feared and admired by her students, [15] whose image breaks down as the series progresses. [16]

Mysterious, older men with magical powers (and unclear academic standing) are sometimes given the title of "Professor" in literature and theater. Notable examples include Professor Marvel in The Wizard of Oz [17] and Professor Drosselmeyer (as he is sometimes known) from the ballet The Nutcracker . Also, the magician played by Christian Bale in the film, The Prestige , [18] adopts 'The Professor' as his stage name. A variation of this type of non-academic professor is the "crackpot inventor", as portrayed by Professor Potts in the film version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or the Jerry Lewis-inspired Professor Frink character on The Simpsons . Other professors of this type are the thoughtful and kind Professor Digory Kirke of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.

The title has been used by comedians, such as "Professor" Irwin Corey and Soupy Sales in his role as "The Big Professor". In the past, pianists in saloons and other rough environments have been called "professor". [19] The puppeteer of a Punch and Judy show is also traditionally known as a "professor".

See also

Related Research Articles

Privatdozent or Privatdozentin, abbreviated PD, P.D. or Priv.-Doz., is an academic title conferred at some European universities, especially in German-speaking countries, to someone who holds certain formal qualifications that denote an ability and permission to teach a designated subject at university level. In its current usage, the title indicates that the holder has permission to teach and examine independently without having a chair. The position is similar to Assistant Professor in North America. However, the Glossary of the University of Heidelberg in Germany shows the position as equal to associate professor.

Lecturer tenure-track or tenured position at a university or similar institution

Lecturer is an academic rank within many universities, though the meaning of the term varies somewhat from country to country. It generally denotes an academic expert who is hired to teach on a full- or part-time basis. They may also conduct research.

Senior lecturer is an academic rank. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland, lecturer is a faculty position at a university or similar institution. The position is tenured and is roughly equivalent to an associate professor in the North American system.

Docent is a title at some European universities to denote a specific academic appointment within a set structure of academic ranks at or below the full professor rank, similar to a British readership and equal or above the title of "associate professor".

Absent-minded professor stock character; an absent-minded scientific genius

The absent-minded professor is a stock character of popular fiction, usually portrayed as a talented academic whose academic brilliance is accompanied by below-par functioning in other areas, leading to forgetfulness and mistakes. One explanation of this is that highly talented individuals often have unevenly distributed capabilities, being brilliant in their field of choice but below average on other measures of ability. Alternatively, they are considered to be so engrossed in their field of study that they forget their surroundings.

Tenure is a category of academic appointment existing in some countries. A tenured post is an indefinite academic appointment that can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances, such as financial exigency or program discontinuation. Tenure is a means of defending the principle of academic freedom, which holds that it is beneficial for society in the long run if scholars are free to hold and examine a variety of views.

A teaching fellow is an individual at a higher education institution, including universities, whose role involves teaching and potentially pedagogic research. The work done by teaching fellows can vary enormously from institution to institution, depending on the requirements and position of individual institutions.

The following summarizes basic academic ranks in the French higher education system. Most academic institutions being state-run, people with permanent positions are civil servants.

A research fellow is an academic research position at a university or a similar research institution, usually for academic staff or faculty members. A research fellow may act either as an independent investigator or under the supervision of a principal investigator.

Academic personnel, also known as faculty or academics or academic staff, are the staff of a university: professors of various ranks, lecturers, and/or researchers. The term faculty in this sense is most commonly used in this context in the United States and Canada, and generally includes professors of various ranks: adjunct professors, assistant professors, associate professors, and (full) professors, usually tenured in terms of their contract of employment. In British and Australian/NZ English "faculty" usually refers to a sub-division of a university, not to the employees, as it can also do in North America.

Academic ranks in Canada are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia.

Academic ranks in Germany are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia.

Academic ranks in the United Kingdom

Academic ranks in the United Kingdom are the titles, relative importance and power of academic employees. In general the United Kingdom has three academic career pathways, a combined research and teaching career pathway, a research career pathway and a teaching career pathway.

Academic ranks in Norway are the system of merit-based ranks used by academic employees in academia. Similar to the British rank system, the Norwegian rank system is broadly divided into three pathways, a combined research and teaching career pathway, a research(-intensive) career pathway and a teaching career pathway.

Academic ranks in the Netherlands are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia. These ranks are mostly limited to scholars holding a position at the Dutch research universities with the position of Lector being the exception at the vocational universities.

Academic ranks in Colombia are the titles, relative importance and power of professors, researchers, and administrative personnel held in academia.

Adjunct professor is a type of academic appointment in higher education.

Scholar person who devotes themselves to scholarly pursuits

A scholar is a person who devotes themselves to scholarly pursuits, particularly to the study of an area in which they have developed expertise. A scholar may also be an academic, a person who works as a teacher or researcher at a university or other higher education institution. An academic usually holds an advanced degree.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Harper, Douglas. "Professor". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 28 July 2007.
  2. Pettigrew, Todd (17 June 2011). "Assistant? Associate? What the words before "professor" mean: Titles may not mean what you think they do". Maclean's. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  3. "United Kingdom, Academic Career Structure". European Univesrsity Institute. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  4. Hartley, Tom. "Dr Who or Professor Who? On Academic Email Etiquette". Tom Hartley. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  5. 1 2 "Promoted from doctor to professor: what changes?". Times Higher Education. 14 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  6. David K. Knox "Socrates: The First Professor" Innovative Higher Education December 1998, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 115–126
  7. "Associate Professor - definition of associate professor by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  8. "Australia, Academic Career Structure". European University Institute. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  9. "Deutscher Hochschulverband". Hochschulverband.de. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  10. Coyner, Sandra C. (2010). Hawaii International Conference on Education (ed.). From kindergarten teacher to college professor: A comparison chart of salaries, work load, and professional preparation requirements. Honolulu, HI: Hawaii International Conference on Education.
  11. "SoFoKleS | Sociaal Fonds voor de KennisSector". Sofokles.nl. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  12. SEO Economic Research (23 September 2015). "International wage differences in academic occupations" (PDF). Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  13. Classification of Ranks and Titles.
  14. "Viola Davis as Annalise Keating". ABC. The Walt Disney Company . Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  15. Kumari Upadhyaya, Kayla (25 September 2014). "How To Get Away With Murder: "Pilot"". The A.V. Club . Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  16. Kumari Upadhyaya, Kayla (23 October 2015). "A new lie has consequences for everyone on How To Get Away With Murder". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  17. "The Wizard of Oz (1939)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  18. "The Prestige (2006)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  19. "Music: Machines & Musicians". TIME. 30 August 1937. Retrieved 9 August 2009.