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academic rank and specialties

In formal lists of faculty members, always include academic rank and verify that the rank is current.

  • Curry S. Hicks, Professor of Physical Education

In running text, refer to faculty by their full name on first reference, and by their last name on second and subsequent references.

  • Curry S. Hicks was a professor of physical education during the Massachusetts State College era.
  • It is Hicks, of course, after whom the Curry Hicks Cage is named.

Faculty members with doctorate degrees are not referred to as "Dr."--only individuals with medical degrees may be referred to as "Dr." in their titles.

It is usually best to avoid the unmodified title “professor” in reference to faculty who have not attained full professorial rank. If specification of rank is not desired, expressions such as these may be used:

  • George A. Smith, a faculty member in engineering
  • Mary Clark of the English faculty

courtesy titles

Never use courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., and the like. Use Dr. only when the person is a medical doctor, and then only on first reference. Use courtesy titles only as an exception, when explicitly preferred by the subject or as a part of a person’s identity/persona/public title.

titles of persons / chancellor title

Lowercase titles of persons except when used in front of the person’s name.

  • Chancellor Javier Reyes
  • Chancellor and Mrs. Reyes
  • Javier A. Reyes, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Javier A. Reyes, PhD, is the chancellor of UMass Amherst
  • the chancellor

Use of “PhD” when referring to UMass Amherst Chancellor Javier Reyes: Whether with the chancellor title prefix or not, “PhD” after “Javier Reyes” occurs in the first instance only.


Chancellor Javier Reyes, PhD, will address the graduates at this week’s commencement ceremony.
Javier A. Reyes, PhD, began his role as chancellor of UMass Amherst in the summer of 2023.

Always include a comma after “PhD” in running text.

In the most formal, honorific contexts (invitations, event programs) a full “up” style may be used.

  • Javier A. Reyes, Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • the Chancellor