Jump to content

Email salutation for a Lecturer (MA, not PhD)


utsusemi

Recommended Posts

What the title says. I have an etiquette question! I went to a small undergrad where even the 1st-year language classes were taught by visiting or t-t profs. Now I'm headed for a big state flagship where language classes are helmed by "Lecturers," a new paradigm for me.

I need to contact the lecturer of a class I'm hoping to take, and I'd better make a good first impression since I am asking for a favor! (permission to either join without taking the placement exam, or take it at a different time.) But I'm embarrassingly stuck on the salutation. Is "Dear Professor Lastname" appropriate even though this instructor is not a "Professor" by job title? Since he doesn't know me from Eve (and his name indicates he may be a native speaker of the language in question, which is culturally a bit more formal/respectful to teachers than US English) I'd prefer to err on the side of more formality...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What the title says. I have an etiquette question! I went to a small undergrad where even the 1st-year language classes were taught by visiting or t-t profs. Now I'm headed for a big state flagship where language classes are helmed by "Lecturers," a new paradigm for me.

I need to contact the lecturer of a class I'm hoping to take, and I'd better make a good first impression since I am asking for a favor! (permission to either join without taking the placement exam, or take it at a different time.) But I'm embarrassingly stuck on the salutation. Is "Dear Professor Lastname" appropriate even though this instructor is not a "Professor" by job title? Since he doesn't know me from Eve (and his name indicates he may be a native speaker of the language in question, which is culturally a bit more formal/respectful to teachers than US English) I'd prefer to err on the side of more formality...

If the person is a professor/assistant professor then saying Dear Prof. Lastname is perfectly acceptable and that's what I use. If they're not a professor, then "Dr." is good and perfectly ok (assuming they have a PhD). Never use Mr or Ms when they have a Phd or are a professor - they don't like thatsmile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the person is a professor/assistant professor then saying Dear Prof. Lastname is perfectly acceptable and that's what I use. If they're not a professor, then "Dr." is good and perfectly ok (assuming they have a PhD). Never use Mr or Ms when they have a Phd or are a professor - they don't like thatsmile.gif

They have an MA (I believe) and aren't a professor/assistant professor, but a Lecturer according to their dept website (I think that ranks below an asst. professor, but it might just be sideways-from?). "Mr." still seems too informal/business-y, though I'm willing to be corrected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They have an MA (I believe) and aren't a professor/assistant professor, but a Lecturer according to their dept website (I think that ranks below an asst. professor, but it might just be sideways-from?). "Mr." still seems too informal/business-y, though I'm willing to be corrected.

I think you'll be safe with Professor LastName. Regardless of their job title, they are still professor of the class you're trying to get into.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They have an MA (I believe) and aren't a professor/assistant professor, but a Lecturer according to their dept website (I think that ranks below an asst. professor, but it might just be sideways-from?). "Mr." still seems too informal/business-y, though I'm willing to be corrected.

Mr or Ms may be the most appropriate if they are not a professor nor hold a Phd, but I would use 'Prof.' - since it is better to err on the side of being too gracious and you could always just use 'Prof' as an informal title.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I TA a class taught by a senior lecturer who has a master's but no PhD. When addressing him, I always use "Professor Lastname" in formal settings. My adviser in my undergrad was actually a senior lecturer as well, and everyone always called him professor. I prefer to use the term professor for anyone in a non-TA instructional role at a tertiary academic institution. Otherwise, I refer to them as Dr. if they have a PhD but don't teach, or Mr./Ms./Mrs. if they don't have a PhD and don't teach.

I guess I consider being a professor a higher title than being a doctor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In general, I'd stick with "professor." Recently a friend of mine got really annoyed at one of her students because he emailed her as "Mr. so-and-so" (she was annoyed that he assumed that his TA in a science class was a guy, haha). I think it's better to look goofy and/or flatter than risk offending them, especially if you don't know the gender for sure (and it's hard to tell with a few names; in this case you know, but it's good to consider for future reference).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.