mislabeled as Dr. when I'm really ABD

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by graymatter, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    I've been ABD for more than a year - ugh. I'm married and we're expecting our 7th child. I work full-time and part-time in two relatively divergent capacities. (No more excuses, I should be done).

    Tragedy struck our (immediate) family when a daughter passed away during the Spring 2012 semester. I had plans to graduate in May 2012 but was unable to get my edits in on time (I made a relatively significant shift in focus - not topic - in February 2012 and had to rewrite most dissertation documents).

    Long story short... I still have not yet defended (nor have I submitted all revisions so I'm not even scheduled to do so).

    HOWEVER... (sorry, trying to stay brief but also wanting to provide context), I did apply for one online position (adjunct faculty) as "PhD(ABD - expected graduation in May 2012)" and submitted a conference proposal application as "PhD(ABD)."

    When I was offered (and accepted) both (the position and the conference workshop), I noted the delay and that I remained PhD(ABD) and did NOT have my doctoral degree conferred. That was months ago.

    I have yet to facilitate my first class for the online position - but I did notice that I am listed as "Dr. First Last." I have attempted to correct this repeatedly (through both HR and Academic Affairs) but, alas, the (incorrect) title remains.

    The conference is a little more concerning (and the reason for this too-long post). It is NOT an academic or clinical conference but a church conference (in fact, the keynote himself is listed as "Dr." and his "degree" is honorary). As noted above, I contacted them months ago to clarify that I have NOT had my degree conferred. However... there promotional literature lists me as "Dr. First Last."

    In neither case does it say "PhD" or "PhD(ABD)" just "Dr."

    What's the protocol? I feel as though I've done due diligence and they have already sent out their (printed) literature. But I'm still not 100% comfortable. Is it enough to share a brief clarification at the outset of the class and workshop?
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    In my opinion you've acted in good faith, so yes.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Of course, it is a mislead; however, usually institution wants to be stand out with faculty with Ph.D degree. There are numerous schools list their faculty with Ph.D, when the institution that the faculty earned does not offer Ph.D instead Doctor of Science and DBA.

    Take a look at Dr. Julia Smith, she earned a Doctor of Science in Information Systems & Communication at Robert Morris University. But American Sentinel University lists her as Ph.D holder.
    URL: http://www.americansentinel.edu/about-american-sentinel-university/faculty-bio?id=136
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2012
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I have one for you. A Domm from University of South Africa wants to work in the USA and gets his D.Comm recognized as the equivalent of an American PhD in the US by WES. The person in question submits a resume for an adjunct position and lists the D.Comm as a PhD but puts a note that this is the American equivalent according to WES.

    What is the ethical thing to do? List your credentials as D.Comm but knowing that nobody will recognize it or list it as a PhD.

    Some Indian schools actually grant a Fellow of Management instead of a PhD. would you list your Indian credential as a PhD or FM knowing that nobody would know what it is?
  5. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    I would list it as D.Comm. with the explanation.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I am second to Sefan, just put a actually degree title. Then an explanation next to it.

    For example: DSc in Information Systems (Ph.D equivalence)
    DM in Management (Ph.D equivalence)

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    In graymatter, I think most of the schools put as FIRST LAST, Ph.D Candidate, University of XYZ
  8. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    You should keep it a secret until you die. That way you can reveal it when write your own hilarious obituary, which will go viral on the internet.
  9. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    Just to clarify, the issue isn't necessary PhD vs. PhD(ABD) (or D.Comm or D. Phil or D.Bilitating) because neither place lists the degrees at all. The issue is "Dr. First Last" as my default email account name (that I can't seem to change) and (again, more importantly at the moment) the printed advertisement that notes me as "Dr. First Last" (again, no degree - just title).
  10. Psydoc

    Psydoc New Member

    Which, technically, is not correct unless you have completed the dissertation, paid all fees and are simply waiting for the degree to be conferred.
  11. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    What is even more confusing, even unethical, is the keynote speakers use of "Dr. First Last" based on an honorary doctorate. An honorary doctorate in no way qualifies one to use the title "Dr" in any professional capacity.
  12. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor New Member

    I agree. Your in the sort of no mans land, protestant purgatory as one of my former rofessors calls it, of ABD.
  13. mbaonline

    mbaonline New Member

    Graymatter, no additional ideas than those already provided by the esteemed members of this group, but I wanted to extend my sympathies to you and your family. I am impressed with your dedication to finish, in light of that event.
  14. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Wait...what you are saying that one holds an Honorary Doctorate cannot use the title "Doctor?" If that is the case, I find it is interesting. Marissa Myers , current Yahoo CEO, or former Google Vice President was awarded Honorary Doctorate from Illinois Institute of Technology. They addressed her as "Doctor" during the commencement speech.
  15. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    I'm not saying that once can't use the title, because many do. I'm saying it is misleading and deceptive. Some schools that award the honorary doctorate stipulate that the recipient is not to use the title "Dr." Personally, I would never address someone as "Dr." who has not earned the degree.
  16. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    To the OP.....I'm very sorry for the loss of your daughter, that is just tragic.

    As for the Ph.D. (ABD) thing, you did all you could. Save copies of all the correspondence you sent the school, and make it clear in your introduction to the classes you facilitate that you're ABD, and the Ph.D. title is a typo. That's all you can do.

    One of my professors at UML was an Ed.D., but up until he left the school, they listed him on the website as Ph.D. He made it clear at the beginning of class what his doctoral degree was, and the world continued to rotate on its axis.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    You are right. The possible issues: Legal and ethical.

    Is the title Dr. protected by legislation in the territory of the OP? If not, then it is more of an ethical issue. I would just clarify in my Bio that the doctorate still in progress. Students would know that the Dr title is just a mistake.

    Some people are obsessed with the Dr. title, if you hold a DBA, D.Comm, PhD in hotel management,etc. The dr title only makes sense in the academic setting, outside this the Dr title is just ridiculous unless you are an MD or DDS.

    I would feel really stupid if I call myself doctor in a party and then people find out that I am a doctor of business administration, people would just think I am clown.

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