Re: PC Comments

Subject: Re: PC Comments
From: Karen Kay <karenk -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 1994 22:10:55 -0800

David Blyth @second said:
> I find "chairperson" to be less ambiguous than "chair". Academic
> environments already use "chair" to denote 2 different types of position
> - the "chair" of a department and an endowed "chair". If "chair" is
> used in lieu of "chairperson", then yet another definition is added.

I used to teach at a state university with no endowed chairs. There
were division heads, but no chairs. Only committees had chairs. I
just find it simpler to use one word.

In these 3 instances of dept. heads, endowed chairs, and committee
chairs, the word 'chair' is usually preceded by some explicatory
modifier. I would expect the default case to be department chair, if
you're at a university that has has them.

I remember discussing this very issue with a dept. chair close to 20
years ago. At that time, 'chair' was less common than 'chairman', and
she insisted on being called 'chairman' to go along with other depts.
It taught me a lesson about sexist language.

karenk -at- netcom -dot- com

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