Obama a law school professor?

The other day, there was a diary claiming that Obama had made a big misstatement because he called himself a professor based on having taught at the University of Chicago law school, one of the top law schools in the country.

I and others argued that this was not a problem because he was attributing to himself the rank of full Professor, but was using the term more generically.

Now the University of Chicago has weighed in.  As you see, they think he is perfectly entitled to be called a professor.

Please feel free to forward this to whoever you think should see this.

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/media/index. html
"The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as "Senior Lecturer."

From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."

Tags: Barack Obama, professor, University of Chicago (all tags)

Comments

93 Comments

I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous...

Lecturers (senior or otherwise) are not Professors !!

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, where Obama taught, says that they consider it perfectly fine for him to be labeled a professor.  So what standing do you have to say otherwise?

by politicsmatters 2008-03-28 09:51AM | 0 recs
University of Chicago is reality-based

And, no they weren't just being generous. I have 25 years of experience in higher education and people are professors (lower case) if they teach at a university. They are Professors (upper case) if they have earned tenure and then gotten promoted from Associate Professor.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
You are WRONG.

My professor neighbor says a professor is a professor.
If Obama was a lecturer, he was a lecturer.
Period.

If you have to make up BS for your candidate, are you sure that he's a worthy candidate?

by earthoat 2008-03-29 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

I have been around plenty of lecturers and professors...i know the difference!!

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..
Yes, but could you call him 'Professor Obama' when speaking generally (and not technically)?
Come to think of it, I always just called faculty "Doctor".
by LandStander 2008-03-28 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

Hey, I dont really care all that much about a lil resume inflation.  People do it all the time.  I have done it on occassion too =)

But no, I would not call him "Professor Obama" ~ I know how hard it is to get a tenure track position, specially in a good school (U of Chicago is a very good school).  And there IS a world of a difference between a Senior Lecturer, and a Professor.

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

Ah the Hillary Logic....i've been around leaders so I know what to do?  :rolleyes:

by Chavez100 2008-03-28 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

What do you mean?

by freedom78 2008-03-28 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

and presumably the University of Chicago does not have your level of experience with said distinctions?

by its simple IF you ignore the complexity 2008-03-28 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

I also suspect the U of Chicago knows a thing or two about how bread is buttered =)

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of

And i can tell you the Law school dean's office is getting slammed.  They know better than this.  They are parsing words.  BO is not a Professor and was never a Professor.  If someone wants to call him that in class that is fine.  BO he has not acheived a rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Asst. Professor.

And I can assure you this web statement is going to get changed to correct the record.  BO was a part time insturctor at the UfoC, period.  If he  wrote anyplace that he was a professor of anything then he made a mistake and needs to fix it.  People in academics work their whole lifes to be a Professor and it is just wrong to suggest that BO was a Professor at the Law School.

david

by giusd 2008-03-28 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of

the original exaggeration was no big deal, but the explanation will only make it worse =)

Cover up always being bigger than the crime and all !

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

It's amazing to me how some people (e.g., you) will not give up on this non-issue.  The U of Chicago is not being generous.  In fact, they're in accord with literally every university I know of.  I worked in university administration and have a PhD myself, so it's not alien territory.  Nobody would ever call a Lecturer "Lecturer Brown."  It's "Professor Brown."  Likewise, nobody ever says, "I'm a college lecturer."  They say "I'm a college professor."  If you ask, what was your title?, then they'll say Lecturer or Assistant Professor or whatever.

I know it.  Everybody knows it.  You know it.  Get over it.

by deminva 2008-03-28 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

Actually, it is amazing how some people (e.g. you) will make an issue out of a non-issue.

Like I have said here, I don't really care too much about a lil resume inflation (which is what Sen. Obama was doing).  His resume is pretty good without any inflation, and resmume inflation is not the biggest crime in the world.

But insisting that it was not resume inflation...now, that is being outright silly.  

And being outright silly is a whole lot worse than a lil harmless ole resume inflation =)

In fact, there are very few crimes that are more serious than being outright silly !!

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

How important is this issue to you?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-03-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

it is not important to me at all!!

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

Why aren't you spending your mental energy writing about something more important: John McCain, the Iraq occupation, the economy, etc.

HRC partisans throwing the trivial at the wall--hoping that it will stick--is discrediting to your candidate. It makes her stink of pettiness and desperation.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-03-28 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

I dont spend "all" my time doing things that are important to me.  I also reserve some time for fun

And tweaking Obama fans, such as yourself, about Obama's silly exaggerations is fun =)

I am working on a diary on the economy.. but those things take time.

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

You need to be more specific, then, because oftentimes you (and other Clinton supporters) say things supposedly "in fun" that come off as personal insults, splitting hairs, ignoring issues, etc.

I am happy to chide each other back and forth, lighten the mood in here, but keep that in mind. It's hard to tell moods on the internet.

by ragekage 2008-03-28 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

And i totally agree this is nonsense.  But lets also be clear.  Anyone suggesting that BO had a rank of Professor at the Law School is wrong.

david

by giusd 2008-03-28 10:46AM | 0 recs
from Jeralyn at TALK LEFT a law blog

I've said it's a trifling matter but he was not a professor. He was a senior lecturer in law. Those of us who have been lecturers in law at law schools, including myself, and professors, know the difference and it's not a matter of semantics. What he was invited to do and declined doesn't change the facts. Nor does what students called him. My students called me "Professor" too.

He was not a constitutional law professor. He taught con law at a law school.

It was an exaggeration.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: from Jeralyn at TALK LEFT a law blog

For normal people who aren't part of the pointed-headed, pedantic, self-important academic class, teaching classes at a graduate program makes one a "professor".

If HRC wants to win a debate among these people, she's not speaking to rank-and-file Democrats. She's merely trying to score points with other elites.

Can you find anyone who cares about this who isn't a Republican trying to tear down Obama for partisan reasons, a HRC partisan or a minor media figure trying to latch onto a controversy to advance his/her career?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-03-28 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: from

First,

It is not pointed-headed it is pin-headed, pedantic, self-important academic class.  So get it straight.  And i am a UofC grad and i know how titles work there.

Second i am not trying to tear down anyone so stop being a Obama partisan.  I wish we could talk about the issues.  But BO and his campaign NO DOUBT called the UofC to get them to parse this statement.  

BO is not a Professor of Law or has he even been a Professor of Law at The University of Chicago.  And you should know this.

david

by giusd 2008-03-28 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: from

Did you graduate from the law school or the university?  Because at my law school, there were different distinctions that were not consistent between the law school and the university itself.

by mefck 2008-03-28 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: from Jeralyn at TALK LEFT a law blog

Read the post from today, "So, case closed, Obama can say he was a professor under the school's rules. He was considered a professor under their rules."

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/3/28/ 132341/045

by thezzyzx 2008-03-28 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: from Jeralyn at TALK LEFT a law blog

No that is not what it said.  This is a post for the media office.  We can all agree the Uiversity is in a big pile of shit about this and i have already called the alumni office about this as well as the Provost.

They will be correcting this.  The UofC should not get involved in a mess like this and i can assure you they are getting a ton of emails and phone calls from donors, like me, complaining that they sent out a bogus post.  The sad thing is BO campaign likely called his friends at the Law School for some help with this and now they are getting slammed.  And by the way that is a quote.

david

by giusd 2008-03-28 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: from Jeralyn at TALK LEFT a law blog

He taught con law at a law school.
but he wasn't a professor. no, it isn't merely a matter of "semantics", "senior lecturer" and "professor" are not the same. if they were, the school would have said so. they didn't.

   what they said was that senior lecturers were often referred to by the honorific "professor". that isn't the same as actually being one.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: from Jeralyn at TALK LEFT a law blog

Interesting.  The school disagrees with you.  They believe he was a professor of constitutional law.

by deminva 2008-03-28 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect the U of Chicago is being generous..

He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track.

The University of Chicago's words. You're arguing with the school over what they call their own faculty? Or are you suggesting the University is in on a fix?

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-03-28 10:02AM | 0 recs
When I was at BU Law

Arthur Goldberg taught there.  

He was a senior lecturer.

Who is Authur Goldberg?

A former Justice of the US Supreme Court.  

Senior Lecturer is the equivelent of a professor - it's why the title exists.

by fladem 2008-03-28 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Thank you for this post, i too was disturbed...the diarist wanted Obama supporters to be outraged because he called himself a professor, as outraged as they actually were regarding Hillary's Bosnia tall tale.

Ridiculous to equate the two, but happy to see that line totally destroyed, but they'll come up with something else.

by petercjack 2008-03-28 09:47AM | 0 recs
Another "misspeak"...

"After weeks of arduous negotiations, on April 6, 2006, a bipartisan group of senators burst out of the "President's Room," just off the Senate chamber, with a deal on new immigration policy.

As the half-dozen senators -- including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) -- headed to announce their plan, they met Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who made a request common when Capitol Hill news conferences are in the offing: "Hey, guys, can I come along?" And when Obama went before the microphones, he was generous with his list of senators to congratulate -- a list that included himself.

"I want to cite Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, myself, Dick Durbin, Joe Lieberman . . . who've actually had to wake up early to try to hammer this stuff out," he said.

To Senate staff members, who had been arriving for 7 a.m. negotiating sessions for weeks, it was a galling moment. Those morning sessions had attracted just three to four senators a side, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) recalled, each deeply involved in the issue. Obama was not one of them."

by Shazone 2008-03-28 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Another "misspeak"...

Do you always change the subject with people you know when they bring something up you don't like? Personally, I've found it more effective to fess up to having made an error because turning to another subject.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-28 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Another "misspeak"...

The upcoming NFL season has many surprises in store...

by alvernon 2008-03-28 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Another "misspeak"...

Do you always change the subject with people you know when they bring something up you don't like?

by Shazone 2008-03-28 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Another "misspeak"...

So, the answer to his question was yes, apparently.

by ragekage 2008-03-28 10:37AM | 0 recs
And the answer to my question is yes.

by Shazone 2008-03-28 10:59AM | 0 recs
Ted Kennedy was so appalled...

...he ENDORSED Obama.

by fat lady singing 2008-03-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Professors have to do a lot more teach classes - which is all Obama did. They are bending the definition to defend him inappropriately. He lied about his title and got busted. That's all that happened here.

The university is going to have to demonstrate that lecturers who only teach three classes are awarded the title of professor, because lecturers in universities all over the nation are scratching their head over this one.

by Little Otter 2008-03-28 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

There is a difference between a professor and a Professor, and it is recognized by every college and university.  

by politicsmatters 2008-03-28 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

how many colleges and universities have you been to ?

It is not recognized where I went to..and I went to some fairly decent schools =)

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

I can say that at American University, U Texas, and Princeton the distinction does not exists... If you can registrar for a class with a faculty member, save an extremely rare example of a poet or artists, that person is called Professor.

by CardBoard 2008-03-28 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

sorry pardner, but I was a teaching asst to a dept chair, American Studies at UT and thats bull droppings.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

At UW-Madison and the University of Virginia, the two schools I've been to, this nomenclature works (as Obama used it).

That being said- you know the Republicans are watching us fight over professor/senior lecturer and going "HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!!!!" and jumping up and down with delight?

by ragekage 2008-03-28 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

then you know people like Shirley Thompson and Steven Hoelscher are called Professor, even, to my knowledge they don't have full Professorships.

by CardBoard 2008-03-28 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

They are both Associate Professors and so are called Professor.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Associate is usually the same a lecturer, unless it is visiting lecturer

by CardBoard 2008-03-28 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

but a lecturer does not have to publish

by CardBoard 2008-03-28 11:01AM | 0 recs
The tenure track system...in a nutshell

Tenure is associated with more senior job titles such as Professor and Associate Professor. A junior professor (an Assistant) will not be promoted to such a tenured position without demonstrating a strong record of research, teaching, publishing a thesis and administrative service.  Typical systems (such as the Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure[1]) allow only a limited period to establish such a record, by limiting the number of years that any employee can hold a junior title such as Assistant Professor.

(An institution may also offer other academic titles that are not time-limited, such as Lecturer, Adjunct Professor, or Research Professor, but these positions do not carry the possibility of tenure and are said to be "off the tenure track.")

Got that ?  Lecturers (senior or otherwise) are not on a tenure track, Assistant Professors are.  Associate and Full Professors cannot be fired "easily".  Assistance Professors can get tenure...Lecturers cannot !!

This system is followed by ALL US universities.  

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 11:05AM | 0 recs
I know, I know

I've been trough this all... Associates and Lecturers have to apply for tenure seats, usually (at least here) and endowed and named placement...but, it doesn't change the fact that all warrant the title of Professor - there is no distinction between tenured and non-tenured in terms of allocation of the prefix Professor, as some of the Clinton folks are claiming

by CardBoard 2008-03-28 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: I know, I know

and theres no academic title as "expert" either,
like the one you gave yourself a few weeks back when  you sent emails to the media about wright.

That was a bogus exaggeration meant to impress too.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: I know, I know

except you have no idea where my standing is...and, I'd rather keep that private.  'Expert' is a term you never hear in academia, but I figured my status and my publications in the field stand for themselves

by CardBoard 2008-03-28 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: I know, I know

except you have no idea where my standing is...and, I'd rather keep that private.  'Expert' is a term you never hear in academia, but I figured my status and my publications in the field stand for themselves

by CardBoard 2008-03-28 09:50PM | 0 recs
It sounds like you dont know, actually =)

A lecturer CANNOT apply for tenure ~ that privilege (being allowed to apply for tenure) is only afforded to Assistant Professors.

Thus, there is a HUGE distinction between those who are on a "tenure-track" (Assistant Professor) and those who are not (Senior and Junior Lecturers).  This means that lecturers are not called professors (with or without a capital P), and Assistant Professors are called Professors (the latter is also a small example of resume inflation, but it is generally considered acceptable)

Of course, there is also another distinction between those who are on a "tenure track" (Assistant Professors), and those that already have tenure (Associate, Full and Named Professors).  Thuse, those without tenure but with a tenure track position (the Assistant Professors) informally (and jokingly!) refer to those with tenure as "Sir" or "Madam"

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

what!?

no.

ever hear of the word tenure?

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

I believe they are assistants, at least as I remember, not associates - sorry I used the wrong terms.  But tenured or non-tenured or non-tenure track does not have any bearing on the usage of Professor for a faculty member

by CardBoard 2008-03-28 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

man - what are you talking about?

you are VERY confused here.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Well let me see.  The University of IL.  The University of Chicago.  Loyola Medical School.  The University of Michigan.  Washington University School of Medicine.

Professor means Full Professor.  Or you can say Associate Professor or Asst Professor.  Calling yourself Professor in any offical document like a CV is a big deal.  But i must admit i have never seen this since we dont do this.

david

by giusd 2008-03-28 11:02AM | 0 recs
They DID demonstrate it

They demonstrated it by saying he was a "professor" by their own standards.

Now, if you have evidence that this is the first time they've equated "senior lecturer" to "professor" rather than "adjunct", you may have a point.  Otherwise, you're just creating the pretense that the University of Chicago is lying, in order to reinforce the pretense that Obama is lying.

In other words, you're lying.

by fat lady singing 2008-03-28 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: They DID demonstrate it

They're going to have to make their case because no other school that I know of considers people who teach three classes and do nothing else a professor.

Yes, I think the university is lying. I have no problem saying that directly and unequivocally. I got a whole batch of professors and lecturers in my family and social circle and this statement of theirs is at odds with practices all over this nation.

I just want to see evidence that teachers who only teach three classes, and don't engage in other professorial duties are considered professors in that university. That should be an incredibly easy thing for them to demonstrate.

Of course, it's going to totally cheapen Obama saying he is a professor, but at least he won't be lying then.

by Little Otter 2008-03-28 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: They DID demonstrate it

I'm quite sure referring to "senior lecturer" as "professor" (small p) is both policy and practice at the University of Chicago, or they wouldn't have said it.  Otherwise, it's far too easily rebutted.  

Again, I'll state unequivocally that you have NO evidence for your assertion that UC is "lying".  And such evidence should be easy to obtain, not the least from arrogant professors taking offense at their magic title being handed to some uppity adjunct.  This may not be standard practice at other universities, but I have no doubt that it is standard practice at the University of Chicago.

But that's all beside the point... the real point here is that Obama-bashers are bound and determined to demonstrate that he is some sort of liar - especially in a week where the hot topic is Hillary's baldfaced lying about sniper fire in Bosnia.

by fat lady singing 2008-03-28 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: They DID demonstrate it

And we can also agree that after the 1000's of emails the UofC is getting from Alumni like me who send money several times a year they will be changing this.  They will say something like we was called professor but never held a position as Professor.

david

by giusd 2008-03-28 11:04AM | 0 recs
Did you go to UofC ?

If so, perhaps you can answer this question

There is a widely held belief that in a chemistry lab class in the 1920s, students were reporting results based on a measurement taken on an instrument that did not have the sufficient degree of precision that was being reported by the students ?

It is alleged that several future Nobel laureates were guilty of fudging there lab results in this fashion ?

Do you have anything to say on this matter ?  If not, I am holding you guilty by association !!

by SevenStrings 2008-03-28 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: They DID demonstrate it

He does lie. Remember when he claimed barefaced in that debate that his co-chair in New England wasn't a lobbyist? That was a direct and unequivocal lie. Remember when he said he voted against the cap on interest rates because the rate was "too high"? That was a lie as well. Remember when he used the sexist assumption that Hillary's time in foreign policy was tea with ambassadors? That was a lie as well. That's just off the top of my head.

Obama lies - more than any Dem I've seen in my lifetime.

As for the university of Chicago, I think a lot of people are going to call bullshit on that pretty fast. All they have to do is point to their other lecturers to whom they have granted the title professor, and their case is made. I think they're lying to cover Barry's ass. If they aren't, it's in his, and their best interest, to prove that they have somewhat anomalous practices for titles at their university. And that should be incredibly easy to do.

IF they don't do it, then we know they're lying.

BTW, it's the Chicago Sun Times who made the claim. You can be quite certain it was based on information from the university itself.

by Little Otter 2008-03-28 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: They DID demonstrate it

OBAMAS CAMP IS TURNING INTO THE GORE HATERS OF 2000 WITH THESE SORT OF ATTACKS ON HILLARY.

OH AND U OF C PR DEPT BO FLACKERY IS SOOO UNEXPECTED!

JEEZE. THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN CANT EVEN  ADMIT OBAMA IS HUMAN AND EXAGERATES.

WHATS NEXT - THEY GONNA PROVE THAT 10,000 PEOPLE REALLY  DID DIE IN LAST YEARS KANSAS TWISTERS?

OR THAT HIS MOTHER WENT 4 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE IN A TIME MACHINE SO SHE COULD CONCEIVE BARRY DURING THE SELMA MARCH?

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: They DID demonstrate it

Turn off the caps-lock, man.  This ain't freeperville and Democrats ought to be literate enough to capitalize correctly.

And when did I bash Hillary?

by fat lady singing 2008-03-28 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: They DID demonstrate it

caps locked big deal...

lord, this is all about the obama camp pulling a "kill gore" 2000 move on hillary and using the media to call her a liar.

dont be so dense.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: They DID demonstrate it

It's not that the media is calling her a liar.  It's that she lied.  Are you saying she DIDN'T lie about the sniper fire?

by fat lady singing 2008-03-28 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Law schools are weird places. A "Senior Lecturer" at a law school like Chicago should not be confused with a "mere" lecturer. These are people, as the OP mentioned, who have been offered Professorship and declined or were FORMER professors. The choice Chicago and other similar universities have made is to create this special position called "Senior Lecturer" that is essentially a professorship in everything but name.

Consider this: look at who are "Senior Lecturers" at Chicago. You will see that these are very distinguished individuals such as former University of Chicago Law School professors who left the school to become judges. People like Richard Posner, one of the foremost legal academics and jurists in the country. Few judges and perhaps Supreme Court justices wield more clout that former university of Chicago Law School Law professor Richard Posner. He is one of the few Senior Lecturers along wit Obama.

So yes, he didn't have the "Professor" title. However, the company keeping the "Senior Lecturer" title is perhaps even more distinguished than those with the title "Professor"

by poserM 2008-03-28 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

And there's nothing wrong with using the lower-case "professor" when talking about someone who teaches at a college or university.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-28 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Maybe the HRC partisans can show Obama is a serial liar if he referred to adjuncts and lecturers as "professors" when he was in school.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-03-28 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

OK let me be clear.

BO was not a Professor at the University of Chicago.  He was a part time teacher.  Just like HRC.  I misspoke it is no big deal.

david

by giusd 2008-03-28 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Posner makes the distinction, on his resume, of a senior lecturer. he does not refer to himself as a professor.

if he knows the difference, and makes the distinction, why doesn't Obama?

by americanincanada 2008-03-28 10:54AM | 0 recs
More of the

the politics of distraction and destruction.

Everyone in Clinton's campaign knew this reality, but they made the attack anyway. When you are throwing the kitchen sink it means you can't talk about the kitchen table.

I'm proud to be for the candidate who is leading the discussion about the issues that matter and driving the debate in 2008.

We're electing a president to serve 2009-2012. There is one candidate who has shown they are the right person for that task, Senator Barack Obama.

by kid oakland 2008-03-28 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: More of the

Leading the discussion really?

3/27/2008
Obama Copies Hillary's `Second Stimulus'
Last Thursday, Senator Clinton called for a "second stimulus package" with $30 billion to help states and localities fight foreclosures. One week later, Senator Obama announced a "second $30 billion stimulus package".

Clinton policy director Neera Tanden: "If Senator Obama has to copy policy ideas when he's a candidate on the campaign trail, how is he going to solve people's problems if he's president? When it comes to fixing the economy, we need leadership, not followership."

1) Hillary called for a $30 billion fund to help states and localities to fight foreclosure in their communities. [Clinton Campaign Press Release,3/20/08]

One week later, Barack Obama called for an economic stimulus package of $30 billion to provide `immediate relief to areas hardest hit by the housing crisis.'[Reuters, 3/27/08]

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/relea se/view/?id=6791

Nice try though-right up with clouding the issues of Senior Lecturer, Professor, professor. It was resume padding pure and simple-although a small one at that one that had he had more of say a paper trail in his state lagislature work for people to mull over he would not have needed to do.
  Anyone come up with those papers yet?

 So what's next-what other issue has he clouded so as to distract everyone with while he waits for CLinton's next move so he present his plan in a week or so...

 Hmm, I'm just sayin'

Namaste

by artsykr 2008-03-28 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: More of the

LOL - Having what amounts to a summer job in the Illinios legisture, getting elected to the US senate and not holding meeetings of sub-committes you're assigned to chair is your idea of proving your presidential material. My, you must have thought George Bush was greatly overqualified. No wonder you don't like Clinton - you want someone without a resume, no real command of the issues, and the apparent laziness to not hold subcommittee meetings.

Do you have something against politicians who work full time and do the jobs their supposed to do?

by Little Otter 2008-03-28 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

the University is being generous because they think he will be the next President.  After he loses to Mccain, he will just be a Lecturer.

by WolfmanJack 2008-03-28 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Stupidest (and most desperate) issue ever.

by freedom78 2008-03-28 10:22AM | 0 recs
from wiki

Academic ranks

Regular faculty:

   * University Professor or Institute Professor (not all universities)
    * Distinguished Professor (usually a "Named Chair")
    * Professor ("Named Chair")
    * Professor ("Full Professor")
    * Associate Professor
    * Assistant Professor
    * Instructor (sometimes "Lecturer")

Traditionally, Assistant Professor has been the usual entry-level rank for faculty who hold doctorates, although this depends on the institution and the field. While Instructorships seldom require a doctorate, competition for jobs has led to an increase in the number of Instructors who hold PhDs or other terminal degrees. The rank of Associate Professor usually indicates that the individual has been granted tenure at the institution. Professor is often the highest rank attained by a senior faculty member, although some institutions may offer some unique title to a senior faculty member whose research or publications have achieved wide recognition. This is most often a "named chair": for example, the "John Doe Professor of Philosophy". Large research universities also offer a small fraction of tenured faculty the title of "Distinguished Professor" to recognize outstanding and broad contributions to the advancement of a field of study.

The ranks of Lecturer and Senior Lecturer are used at some American universities to denote permanent teaching positions with few or no research responsibilities. At other American universities, the rank of Lecturer is equivalent to that of Instructor.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: from wiki

I think another poster mentioned this above, but it bears repeating.  The majority of college-educated people in this country aren't aware of and do not care about these technical distinctions.  This is inside baseball.  

In college and lawschool, I called all of my instructors "professor."  This was standard practice in my schools and I suspect it was in yours as well.  When was the last time you heard a student address "Lecturer Smith?"

I'll grant you that there are different technical and generic meanings of the terms, but I choose to believe that Obama was speaking to the majority of people who aren't aware of the distinction.

by XoFalconXo 2008-03-28 10:46AM | 0 recs
GOD!!!

NO

This is about showing that the Obama camp playing 2000 "Gore is a liar" media games with Hillary ans  SINBAD(!)over stupid meaningless exagerations and misstatements is BOTH a stupid and destructive road to go down.

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: GOD!!!

Huh?  You're attacking Obama over a silly technicality that nobody has ever heard of.

Hillary lied about being shot at.  Theres no equivalency there.

And btw, Sinbad is not a surrogate for Obama - just a guy who told the damn truth.

by XoFalconXo 2008-03-28 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: from wiki

The problem with inside baseball like this is that it's all about reinforcing or encouraging existing preconceptions, not actually changing people's minds.  The whole purpose of this exercise is to paint Obama as some sort of liar or serial exaggerator - and the timing of this release from the Clinton campaign is clearly to deflect the well-deserved criticism of her own lies regarding sniper fire in Bosnia.

But in practice, all it does is preach to the choir.  Those who already dislike Obama will jump on this story - either to deflect criticism of Hillary, or to pretend that Obama is just as big a liar as she is.  It will change no minds at all in the end.

by fat lady singing 2008-03-28 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: from wiki

Then just say it.  BO made a mistake and is a Senior Instructor at the The University of Chicago and not a Professor.  Done.

david

by giusd 2008-03-28 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: from wiki

If that were the position that the University of Chicago was taking, then I'd be all for it.  I think that institution has the right to call its instructors what it wishes.

by XoFalconXo 2008-03-28 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Bottom line:

If Obama put 'Professor' down as his job title occupation on a mortgage application it would be a case of fraud as he was never a professor.

If Obama put 'Professor' down on a resume and was hired on the basis of that resume he would lose his job for lying about his background.

But if Obama claims falsely in a political campaign tht he was Professor his cult will go to any length to defends his deceit, even getting a law school to semantically lie for him.

What is this country coming too?  I don't recognize it any more. This is like what the soviet union did - redefining reality for political purposes. Don't you people have ANY integrity at all left? Did you EVER have any?

by Caliman 2008-03-28 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Or it could be that nobody actually gives a crap about your silly controversy because everyone on earth (except academic insiders) calls their college and graduate instructors "professor."

by XoFalconXo 2008-03-28 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

Does anyone here actually like the Tuzla fuss and the Chelsea on 9-11 fuss?

If not, why are any of us using that Republican hate PR approach here?

Why not talk about why Hillary Clinton is great and why Obama's policy proposals are weak?

by sclminc 2008-03-28 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

the Obama campaign has mind merged with MSNBC and theyre just doing the same "GORE IS A LIAR"  bit they did in 2000, this time on HILLARY.

And the Obama campaign is again playing the role of the Bush campaign.

nice...

by John Wesley Hardin was a Friend to the Poor 2008-03-28 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama a law school professor?

It really is just like what happened in the soviet union: up is down, good is bad, true is false.

And this is coming from so called liberals.

by Caliman 2008-03-28 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing the Larger Point?

If University of Chicago considers him a professor then that is the FINAL word.  Lost in this silly controversy, however, is the fact that Obama is quite the intellectual HEAVYWEIGHT!

If the very presitigious University of Chicago Law School (a Top 10 law school) has given him several offers over the years of full tenure-track professorships, that says ALOT about Obama.

Also...having been through law school I can tell you that Constitutional Law classes are usually reserved for higher profile tenured professors.  It's interesting that an elite law school allowed him to teach Con-Law when he was relatively fresh out of school.  Being President of the Harvard Law Review probably had alot to do with that.

by mikelewis68 2008-03-28 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Missing the Larger Point?

this is an excellent point and true

by mefck 2008-03-28 11:33AM | 0 recs

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