Following up on the analogous question about the tag.

In the linked question, we decided to deprecate the tag, since over half the questions on this site involve students in some capacity.

The tag has similar issues; it is so broad as to be meaningless. Questions tagged range from questions about teaching by professors, to research done by professors, to becoming a professor, to communicating with professors, to misconduct by professors, and much more.

So, what should we do? I'll make my proposal as an answer, but other suggestions are welcome.

Whatever we decide, there are so many questions with this tag that we probably won't retroactively change all the historical questions, as we are doing with . Rather, we can define what the tag should mean going forward, and we can fix non-compliant historical questions as we come across them.

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    For new questions in which the tag is just a bit of "noise", I've been removing it. I only remember one question in which that seemed like a bad idea, so left it in place. I'll try to spend a bit of time looking at some of the existing questions.
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 12:12
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    It might be worth starting a list (probably in an answer) of suggested replacements for which "professorship" doesn't work as described already. Where it should be removed. Possible replacements. The students tag is moving along. This one will take longer to get it right, but we can start, at least. But some suggestions would help.
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 13:53
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    @Buffy - I added some retagging guidance to my answer....though I do not feel strongly, so if you want to change the guidance, please feel free to make edits directly, no need to hash it out with me first.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


Proposal: Rename to , and change the definition to be something like:

Queries specific to professorship, as distinct from all other academic staff positions. This tag should not be used for queries that could equally apply to researchers or instructors who are not professors.

Rationale: My initial thought was to eradicate the tag completely, just as we did for students (and for the same reason). But on balance, there are some aspects of "professorship" that are distinct from other research and/or teaching positions. For example:

  • This question about professors being fired due to their public statements. The concept of "professorship" has a whole tradition of academic freedom not really present in other positions; thus, this question would be very different if the speakers were senior researchers at a private company.
  • This question, about moving from a Canadian tenured position to one in the US. This question is closely tied to "professorship" specifically; the answers would be very different if OP were a post-doc, an instructor, or an industrial researcher.

Retagging guidance as suggested by Buffy (please feel free to change or add to this list directly):

  • Questions about research, misconduct, ethics, advising, supervision, etc. should use the appropriate tag.
  • Questions about teaching by a professor should use or
  • Questions about advisors should use ; questions about being an advisor should use .
  • Questions about faculty hiring can be tagged ; however, general questions from beginning students are probably a better fit for .
  • Questions about being a professor that could not equally apply to non-professors should be tagged . It is fine to also use other tags usually associated with professorship, such as or , as needed.

I expect that in many cases, the question is already tagged correctly otherwise, and the only thing to do is to remove the tag.

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    There does not seem to be much dissent from this, so I will accept this answer and rename "professors" to "professorship." Like I said in the question, I do not plan to do much retroactive retagging, though I won't interfere if others want to.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 20:08
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    This all seems about right.
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 20:43
  • @Buffy - I just noticed there is a "faculty" tag. Seems to me this should be a synonym of "professorship." I know you keep a close eye on the tags; any thoughts?
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 16:32
  • I think that merging them is a good idea, but it should take some days/weeks of prep time. Not all of the 28 questions with the faculty tag are really about professorship. Some use faculty-application as well, which is more appropriate for some. I can play with it, but don't want to affect the active list too much at once.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 19:12
  • If you agree, I'll change the ones that use faculty where it doesn't imply professorship. Then, the rest will be updated after a merge without affecting the active list.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 19:26
  • Concur, thanks!
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 19:58
  • I think it is time to merge the two tags. Look over the remaining faculty tagged questions, but I think they all work with professorship.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 15:36
  • @Buffy - done!!
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 15:39

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