Names and Titles

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See Capitalization.


See Capitalization.


See Capitalization.


See Capitalization.


See Words and Usage.


Title for a retired professor. Emeritus is used for a male; emerita is used for a female; emeriti is plural:

  • Julie Belvail, professor emerita of anthropology, spoke to the graduate students.
  • The professors emeriti gathered to celebrate the opening of the building.
  • Professor Emeritus Sal Fish will lead the seminar.

graduate teaching assistant, graduate research assistant

Avoid using as titles:

  • Right: Mary Jane Adams, a graduate teaching assistant, taught the introductory class.
  • Wrong: Graduate Teaching Assistant Mary Jane Adams taught the introductory class.


See Capitalization.

Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science

Use Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science on first reference unless the context makes it redundant. On second reference, use Maseeh College (note capitalization).

In some informal instances, in instances where redundancy is an issue, and in direct quotations, the college, the engineering college, MCECS, and similar shorthand terms are acceptable. Do not capitalize these terms (except the initials) because they are not proper nouns. Never capitalize the when it precedes the name of the college. Only in rare instances, such as formal invitations, should the full name of the college be used: Fariborz Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science. Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science should be used on all stationery items (letterhead, business cards, envelopes, notepads, etc.).

names with suffixes

Personal names are a personal matter. If you know of an individual’s preference, respect it. Generally, however, the suffixes Jr. and Sr. do not have commas before or after them:

  • Michael Sparolini Jr. is a noted yachtsman and author.

Omit commas before and after the designations I, II, III, and IV:

  • We added Wade Rose III to the guest list because he is such a wit.


Use courtesy (Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms.) or professional titles (Prof., Sen., President, etc.) on first and subsequent references in obituaries, stories about memorial services, stories about scholarships named for a deceased faculty or staff member, etc. Follow standard practice otherwise:

  • A service will be held on campus next Thursday for Dr. Harald Nilssen, who died last week at the age of 107. Dr. Nilssen, who served Portland State for 48 years as a professor and administrator, was loved by all who knew him.
  • The late Ms. Alice Bayerman, who for 32 years served as the office manager for the Department of Anthropology, left her entire estate—valued at more than $112 —to Portland State. Ms. Bayerman lived modestly but invested heavily, and apparently wisely, in the stock market.


  • Research conducted at Portland State nearly 25 years ago by the late Suzanne Blockman is having unexpected implications in recent medical studies. Blockman, a PSU faculty member for 26 years before her death in 1997, was a specialist in cell biology.

personal columns

Style issues are relaxed somewhat in personal or opinion columns such as might be written by a dean or a department head in a newsletter or a catalog. For example, the use of courtesy titles such as Dr., which might be inappropriate elsewhere, would be considered appropriate in such a column because of its personal nature. By the same token, referring to an individual by first name on second reference would also be considered appropriate in such a column, but unthinkable elsewhere in the publication.


See Capitalization.

professor, instructor

One is a professor of or an instructor in:

  • Sam is a professor of political science.
  • Zack is an instructor in computer engineering.

vice president

Do not hyphenate. At PSU, one is a vice president for, not of:

  • Right: The vice president for Finance and Administration gave everyone a big raise.
  • Wrong: The vice president of Finance and Administration gave everyone a big raise.

vice provost

Do not hyphenate. At PSU, one is a vice provost for, not of.

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