Archive for October 2nd, 2014

Over four years ago, I discussed my move away from signing e-mails with my first name in grad school but that I hadn’t settled on a replacement since starting as an assistant professor, stating: “My current unsatisfactory practice has been to let my e-mail signature, which includes my full name and contact information, stand in as a closing and signature, but this leaves my e-mails feeling unfinished.” This year, I decided that needed to change.

At the beginning of the semester I decided to start signing e-mail to students “Professor Smith.” In some ways, my new institution made this easier because the norm on campus is for students to call faculty “Professor,” whereas there was no strong norm at my previous institution. My hope is that this will also help students think about professionalism in the e-mails that they send me, maybe even leading to things like complete sentences and the use of the subject line. If nothing else, at least my e-mails feel complete.

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