The tag is currently being overused, I think. It is used for anything from the duties of professors to questions seeking advisors, who just happen to be professors.

I'd like to add a bit to the instructions for the tag to make it more specific to questions relating to the duties of professors. It would only take a few words, I think.

Is this an appropriate change? Note that it might require retagging some questions over time. We have dealt with this tag in the past for similar reasons of overuse.

See the previous change that was made: https://academia.meta.stackexchange.com/a/5088/75368

2 Answers 2


I think the existing description is clear; for the most part, we just need to retag questions that do not apply the tag correctly. For example, this question could equally apply in any teaching situation, so it should not be tagged . Similarly, this one about finding an internship has little to do with the "duties and responsibilities of professors." I don't necessarily object to the proposed rewrite; if making the change would make you feel more comfortable when retagging, then fine with me. But I suspect it will change little -- most offenders won't read to the third sentence -- and we'll continue to have to retag these as we come across them.

  • 1
    Suppose I just add the "duties and responsibilities" phrase to the first sentence? Other wise it seems to just give a description of professorship and not guidance in use of the tag.
    – Buffy
    Jan 8 at 16:28
  • 1
    Sounds good to me.
    – cag51 Mod
    Jan 8 at 17:19

The short form of the tag might become:

Queries specific to the duties and responsibilities of professors, 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. Nor should it be used for questions that refer to professors in an inessential way, such as questions seeking advisors or communication with faculty in general.

  • I think this is probably too narrow and difficult to use. I mean, professors are special, sure, but not that special, and there are special cases for everything: there are going to be researchers and instructors who are not technically professors but yet a given question still applies to, and people asking questions here often won't have the expertise to know when this tag does and doesn't apply. The last sentence makes sense to me though.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jan 7 at 16:10
  • I do think it's difficult to fight the tendency that nearly every question a professor asks would tempt them to add "student" as a tag and nearly every question a student would ask would tempt them to add "professor" as a tag... (Exaggerating a bit of course)
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jan 7 at 16:11
  • 1
    @BryanKrause, any ideas for improvement?
    – Buffy
    Jan 7 at 16:37
  • 1
    it could be helpful to have some examples of questions that should not be tagged with professorship in this answer.
    – The Doctor
    Jan 12 at 9:32

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