In the last few days, I’ve received the formal announcement that I’ve been promoted to Reader!
For those in North America, that’s probably rather cryptic. After all, those who know me also know that I’ve been doing a lot of reading for quite a long time. At Warwick, though, Reader is a title between associate professor and full professor (or “chair”); it’s something of a half-step like “senior associate professor.” Unlike in the US, in the UK, I still am not permitted to use the title “professor”!
In the traditional UK academic hierarchy, the career path went Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor. Many British universities, Warwick included, have changed from “lecturer” to assistant professor and associate professor. A few, again including Warwick, have retained Reader as a legacy; it’s a non-required half-step between associate and full professor.
(I’m not entirely sure about why these changes have happened, but I suspect that as the academic job market became increasingly global, North American applicants shunned “lecturer” positions because that term is associated with a lower, non-permanent rank in many US universities. Just a guess.)
Anyhow, I am looking forward to the new business cards. A big thanks to my colleagues at PAIS for their support in the process, to my friends and mentors at American University, to the six anonymous professors who provided external references, to friends, coauthors, and colleagues around the world. And a big thanks to Marta, Sophie, Mom and Dad.