Thursday, 1 June 2006

Forms of address via email

Margaret Soltan provokes the latest professorial discussion of modes of address between students and faculty in email. I have taken to aping Frequent Commenter Scott by signing off emails to students with my initials (followed by the standard sig block), although if it’s 3 am and I am dispatching the latest email in a 17-round volley with a student I may slip up and use “Chris” like I would in correspondence with anyone else.

As for how to address students, I uniformly use the first name they have petitioned to go by (some schools like Duke are these days kind enough to include this on class rosters; at others, I have had to learn as I go). Alas, I am nowhere near being old and crusty enough to get away with “Mister” or “Miss” except in the most sarcastic of veins.

Update: Michelle Dion shares her thoughts on the matter.

1 comment:

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A lot of our students just address me (and I am talking about in person, while passing in a hallway or around campus, not e-mail) as “Professor.” Not “Professor Shugart.” Just “Professor.” I assume they know my name. I often do not know theirs so I suppose I should respond, “Student.” But for some reason, I never do.

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