Women in Academia

I always begin my classes with my credentials. I do a sort of mini-résumé (though if I am teaching business writing I use a full one). I tell my students that I worked hard to get my PhD and that they are the only people who call me “Dr.” I have never had any trouble with people calling me Ms. or Mrs. I’ve never felt slighted because they call the guy with an MA, “Dr.” and me something else–because that hasn’t happened.

Thus it was with great surprise that I learned during new faculty orientation that this has been and continues to be a problem with the student population here. It was interesting to learn that not only the faculty member who has been here twenty+ years, but also a second-year female faculty member has had issues with this.

I suppose that I have been short-circuiting that issue (remember I taught here before) and that it has not been a problem because I clearly spell out my achievements and my expectations.

I hope I may also impact that happening in my students’ other classes, as I tell them that they can always call someone Dr, even if they aren’t, but to NOT call them Dr when they are is an insult. Maybe my students call everyone Dr. I hope so anyway.

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