Univ. of Chicago Clarifies Obama's Professor Status
The University of Chicago has issued this statement about whether Barack Obama was a professor. Shorter version: Once Obama advanced to the position of "senior lecturer in law" from "lecturer in law," he was considered on a par with professors.
From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year.
Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching.
Here was the school's 2004 announcement about Obama after he was elected Senator.
Other senior lecturers at law at the same school:Judge Richard Posner. While Posner makes the distinction between professor and senior lecturer on his CV, listing past professorships as such and senior lecturer positions as such, I think the decisive factor is this listing of all faculty by the University of Chicago Law School. The Senior Lecturers in Law are listed under "Professors" while Lecturers in Law are not.
So, case closed, Obama can say he was a professor under the school's rules. He was considered a professor under their rules.
On a related note, the school adds,
Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.
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