I have been asked to sign a lengthly and detailed contract in order to teach a course as an adjunct at a local community college. The administrator requesting this information signed it with her title and her degree. The document was addressed to me as "Mr." ... I have both a Ph.D. and a thirty plus year career at a major university where I retired as a named research professor (facts clearly indicated on the vita in the administrator's possession!). Am I wrong to expect to be addressed as Dr. in such documents?

  • 5
    Did you ask them to address you as "Dr."? (Or better yet: "Prof."?)
    – JeffE
    Jan 6, 2014 at 17:56
  • Please clarify. Are you saying there's a contract and a cover letter? Did the cover letter address you as "Mr." and the administrator by her title? Does the contract refer to you as "Mr." and to the administrator by her title?
    – JRN
    Jan 7, 2014 at 7:12
  • Note also that the use or non-use of titles such as "Dr." depends heavily on institutional culture. Are the other PhD-holding faculty in the department routinely addressed with this title? Jan 8, 2014 at 6:29
  • 1
    Demand away, and remind them that you self-identify as a "named reasearch professor" "at a major university" before you start. Good luck.
    – Joe Hass
    Jan 9, 2014 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


A lot of admin documents are produced by machine these days, the ones that aren't are usually done by clueless people who aren't paid an awful lot. It would be ideal that they addressed you as 'Dr.', but unless they deal with a lot of doctors they probably just shoved your name into the standard mail merge template.

If you'd rather be addressed as 'Dr.' then raising the issue with them wouldn't be stepping out of line, after all you are the one providing them with a service.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .