STATUS ANXIETY. University Diaries has the right attitude on the gratuitous use of Ph.D. and other honorifics on business cards, correspondence, and door placards.
Any professor who routinely puts Ph.D. after his or her name is, UD assumes, an unimpressive, provincial, vain, and insecure person. The use of Dr. is even worse. It's just like the Wizard of Oz sticking all those letters after his name.
Ayup. The Ph.D. was a hard-won prize for me (in a number of ways.) But I'm still standing because two papers out of that dissertation plus some followups that built on the original methods and evidence made it into print within the time limit.

Now if I could persuade the office staff to tone down my door card, and the Illinois Council on Economic Education (is it an accident that the proliferations of Ed.D., M.Sc., D.D.L.M., and the like flourish most robustly in Colleges of Education?) to simply address invitations to Professor Stephen Karlson, Department of Economics ...

A colleague who had a similarly jaundiced take on the promiscuous use of "Doctor" used to threaten to start giving physicals. With my reputation I'd best not go there ...

No comments: