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posted: 6/24/2014 5:01 AM

Anyone can claim title of 'professor'

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An article in the June 14 newspaper calls our president a professor of constitutional law. He is also referred to as a professor in many other articles and on TV. I wanted to find out how does one become a professor of constitutional law or any other subject.

I used the Encarta World English Dictionary. Surprisingly, it appears if you teach, you or someone can bestow on you the title of professor. I volunteer to teach tennis at a local high school for nearly 20 years, call me professor of tennis? Must be more to it.

I went to my New American Encyclopedic Dictionary (Pub. 1907 Vol. 4 of 6), a treasure trove of original information. In short, a professor is a teacher; however, one can also be a professor of the occult or a professor of magic, etc. It appears to be in the same category as Mr. (Master) or "The Honorable."

A doctorate in a given subject is an entirely different title. It requires several additional years of academic studies and a final thesis that is reviewed by your peers. It is important not to confuse the two.

Prof. Dushan O. Lipensky

Professor of tennis


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