My post a few days ago has set people debating what the conventions are for addressing faculty at different universities. It seems that the form of address is highly dependent on where in the world you go to university.
Let me explain where I’m coming from in insisting that my students call me Dr. Woman rather Mrs. Woman. And then I’m going to ask for suggestions for next semester.
In my UG at an old-guard American university, everyone was Dr. lastname, except the really ancient and honorable profs who were Prof. lastname. In grad school, faculty were firstname or first + lastname.
The class that I am teaching right now is mostly freshmen meeting a general education requirement. Many are straight out of high school and may not realize that Dr. is the traditional form of address for university faculty in the U.S.. As new students, they are testing what they can get away with in college (you should see some of their assignments), so I didn’t want them to feel like they should push the limits of respect with me (a young-looking, female professor). Thus, I asked that they call me Dr. Woman. Not Mrs. Woman, because my marital status really isn’t the relevant item.
I’m also trying to get the graduate students call me Firstname, although I am meeting some resistance on that part. I feel like grad students are on their way to becoming peers, so we should be addressing each other as equals.
But how should I ask a class of mixed upper-level undergraduates and graduates to address me?