I am writing thank-you notes to Professors before I graduate from my Bachelors' program. I am unsure how to address letters to two specific individuals:

  • One is listed as a "Lecturer in Music" on my school's website and has no vita published online. He has a DMA (Ph.D equivalent for composers), but I can't determine if he has held the title of Professor at another institution. He has been at my school for 10 years, so this is unlikely.
  • The other is listed as a "Lecturer in Discipline" on my school's website but his vita, which is on the same webpage, lists his title as "Adjunct Assistant Professor". He has his Ph.D in Economics. He has held Assistant Professorships elsewhere but his career has largely been in the private sector.

I feel like I shouldn't be listing either of them as "Professor" in my recipient addresses, but I don't want to be disrespectful. I call them Professor in person and in class.

What would be the most appropriate way to address these letters without ruffling any feathers?

  • If you call them professor in class, I'd suggest addressing them as professor. I'm a tenured prof. in a music department where we (the students, the other faculty, and I) address our lecturers as "Professor X" all the time. Any tenure-track/tenured prof. who gets his or her feathers ruffled because someone calls a lecturer in their dept. "professor" needs to check their ego at the door. – Michael Scott Cuthbert Sep 4 '15 at 7:24