Tensions have been growing among faculty members at Texas A&M after a student made a reckless mistake this week while addressing her teacher.
Freshman accounting major Jamie Walsh found herself in an uncomfortable situation after she sent an email to her ACCT 229 lecturer that began “Dear Professor Shaw.” Walsh completely disregarded the fact that her teacher was not at all a professor, but simply a lecturer.
The mistake shook the academic community as professors began to realize students could not even distinguish the difference between someone with a PhD and a Master’s Degree. “I thought it was what teachers were called in college,” said Walsh. “Like how you start calling tests ‘exams’ after high school.”
While lecturers were mostly unharmed by the incident, professors have felt especially wounded and have banded together to fight the impending plague of ignorance spreading around campus. Some professors have proposed a mandatory training for students before each semester to help aid in the understanding of different jobs in academia. Lecturers, on the other hand, have begun lobbying for pay raises since students cannot differentiate between the two job positions.
“It is completely asinine that student think we are just teachers,” said Dr. Chuck Bannon, an accounting professor. “There’s a reason I make four times the salary of a lecturer at A&M, and I can assure you it is not because of my teaching.” Dr. Bannon seeks to help students understand that teaching is just a side-gig for professors when they aren’t busy researching topics that have absolutely no relevance outside of academia.
Following the incident, some enlightened students have started to ask if professors should be allowed to teach at all. “Maybe they should focus on research,” said James Campbell, a junior engineering major. “Now that I look back, I never had a good teacher that was a professor. I just didn’t realize there was a common denominator until now.”
The university issued an official statement reminding students that Texas A&M University is a top-tier research institute and that professors are the reason the university ranks where it does today. From all the chaos that has erupted from the email, some optimists have mentioned that maybe it was finally time we, as a university, had this discussion.
—12th Man Bowels