A proliferation of professors


Sir, – Rodney Devitt (Letters, December 2nd) highlights the welcome increasing diversity in Irish academia in his letter but suspects that professors are being “mass produced” for the market.

He is correct.

The adoption over the few decades of the north American nomenclature of academic ranks, whereby the term “professor” is not restricted to the head of an academic department, has led to an endless procession of professional professors.

The British system of lecturers and senior lecturers was replaced in many (but not all!) Irish universities by the much more catchy-sounding system of assistant professors and associate professors.

There are also clinical professors, adjunct professors, adjunct clinical professors and associate clinical professors. – Yours, etc,


Senior Clinical Lecturer,

Department of Pathology,

University College Cork.