WEST BERLIN—A rose isa rose is a rose, according to Gertrude Stein. But a professor is not a Professor an einer Kunsthochschule (college of art), much less a Universitätsprofessor.

So says the West German Bundestag, which voted to end rampant rank inflation in academic circles. A suit by hundreds of university professors forced the legislature to reestablish the hierarchical structure of academics that had eroded over the past two decades. The new law has no effect on salaries.

“Professor” is re-established as the lowest order, followed in the pecking order by the art professor, the professor at a scientific institution and university professor. The respectful address “Herr Professor” still obtains for all.

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?