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general question about faculty titles

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Joined: 31 Aug 2007
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general question about faculty titles [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2008, 15:03
what exactly does it mean when, for example, a professor is "the john smith professor of finance"...who is that person in the title of the professorship, and what exactly do they signify/represent? do those people carry a lot of weight w/ the school?
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Re: general question about faculty titles [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2008, 15:29
these are what are called endowed professorships awarded to big name professors. a google search is all you need to know more. you are right - they are very well respected and working for them is a full time nightmare. :oops:

assistant prof -- new professors have six years to make tenure. requires publications in leading journals, good teaching evaluations and service.
associate prof-- after you make tenure.. big bump in salary. job for life unless you are really slacking off or do something immoral or illegal.
full professor -- another 4-6 year clock. big bump in salary. lot of power. lot of recognition.
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Re: general question about faculty titles [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2008, 15:31
when some rich alumnus donates a lot of money to a school, one of the options is to "endow a professorship". So, if a person donates $5 million, that can pay for a professor's salary and a certain amount for research, etc. The perk is that the person who donates gets to associate his/her name with the professor.

In your case, John Smith is the rich alumnus, and made a large donation...which is why he gets his name in there. Professors who have names in their titles aren't any more influential than others...it does mean that they have tenure however.
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Re: general question about faculty titles [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2008, 20:41
thanks Praet and MS...the 2nd half of my question was actually the weight of John Smith (ie, the person who donated the money) at School XYZ, not the professor...so what say you?
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Re: general question about faculty titles [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2008, 20:54
They are big donors who endow that professor position. To be able to fund that big of a donation they most likely are either extremely successful or come from a very well to do family.
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Re: general question about faculty titles [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2008, 21:04
a lot of influence. money talks very loudly in academia. and people listen.
Re: general question about faculty titles   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2008, 21:04
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