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Sweet: Obama did NOT "hold the title" of a University of Chicago law school professor.

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WASHINGTON—The University of Chicago released a statement on Thursday saying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) “served as a professor” in the law school—but that is a title Obama, who taught courses there part-time, never held, a spokesman for the school confirmed on Friday.

“He did not hold the title of professor of law,” said Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, an Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at the school, on East 60th St. in Chicago

The U of C statement was posted on the school’s website two days after the Clinton campaign issued a memo headlined “Just Embellished Words: Senator Obama’s Record of Exaggerations & Misstatements.” The memo was generated by the Clinton campaign as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was put on the defensive for claiming incorrectly that she dodged sniper fire while First Lady when her plane landed in Bosnia.

Another university spokesman, Josh Schonwald, said the Obama campaign did not request that the statement be generated and that it was posted because reporters were calling the school with questions about Obama’s status. However, the Obama campaign was interested in making sure reporters saw the U of C statement.

The university statement said, “From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School.” The school probably did not mean to imply that Obama became a University of Chicago professor a year out of law school. But the word “served” is key—Nagorsky said Obama carried out, or served, a function of a professor—teaching a core curriculum course while a senior lecturer—while at the same time not holding down that rank.

At issue in the Clinton memo was Obama’s claims—mostly specifically on several direct mail pieces produced for his 2004 U.S. Senate race-- that said he was a law professor at the university.

Obama graduated Harvard Law School in 1991. He was a lecturer at the U. of Chicago law school between 1992 and 1996. During this time he was an attorney at the law firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland. In his first years of teaching, he had only one course.

He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1996 and his teaching load eventually increased to three courses a year, less than the load of a professor. Obama won a state Senate seat in 1996. Obama maintained his senior lecturer post from 1996 to 2004, when he took a leave to run for the U.S. Senate.

Nagorsky said there is a major distinction between a lecturer and senior lecturer, though both are not full-time positions. She said the status of a senior lecturer is “similar” to the status of a professor and Obama did teach core courses usually handled only by professors. While Obama was also part of the law school community, his appointment was not part of an academic search process and he did not have any scholarly research obligations which professors often do.

In August of 2004, I wrote a column about Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign literature saying he was a law professor at the U of C when he was a senior lecturer on leave at the school. Neither the school nor anyone in the Obama campaign complained at the time.

The University of Chicago did Obama no favor by saying he was a law professor when he wasn’t. This parsing is not necessary. There is nothing degrading about being a senior lecturer and bringing to students the experience of a professional in the field.


The status of a senior lecturer is “similar” to the status of a professor and Obama did teach core courses usually handled only by professors.
While Obama was also part of the law school community, his appointment was not part of an academic search process and he did not have any scholarly research obligations which professors often do.
I wonder how many college graduates who are voters for this election REALLY did not know there is a SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE of the two?
But more importantly, he obviously was qualified to teach core courses or these courses would not have been given to him, now would they?
Obama graduated Harvard Law School in 1991. He was a lecturer at the U. of Chicago law school between 1992 and 1996. (Anybody got a problem with that?)

Questions: Any recent U. of Chicago law students feel cheated taking a course taugh by Senator Obama?
Did you learn or did he simply PARSE an 'A' grade your way?

WHY IS THIS BIT OF NEWS JUST COMING OUT NOW? Matter of fact, is it really news or newsworthy?


No! this just another exaggeration of Obama experiences to make him look good. 1996 to 2003, he was a part time legislator, and a part time lecture, and a part time lawyer. In his spare time he was running for US senate. My God! how did he get anything of value done.

My husband was once a lecturer at UMass Amherst. He would no more call himself a professor than he would say, "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

Everyone knows that the only reason Barack Obama was not a full professor is because he was busy dodging sniper fire.

so-called "Austin Mayor"

The only problem with this is brian williams during one of the debates claimed that obama was a law professor at the university of chicago, and he did not bother to correct him. Again this is a falsification. He could have corrected brian williams.

I see what it is now the new policy of the Democratic party is to tell many lie's or miss truths and leave it to the people to chose to belive them or not...Don't that about cover it?

your column - as usual - is misleading and now being quoted elsewhere on the blogosphere as an affront to Sen Obama's ref to having been referred to as a law professor at the University of Chicago - when in fact the U of Chicago statement in full supports Sen Obama's right to refer to himself as a "professor" while not officially holding the title

This is the full statement from the University - had you posted that instead of skewing to meet whatever purpose you were trying to achieve - you would have more credibility (WHAT DO YOU HAVE AGAINST SEN OBAMA?? I DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND YOUR DISLIKE/DISTORTIONS IN PRINT AND ON TV? MAYBE YOU SHOULD JUST COME CLEAN AND EXPLAIN YOUR POSITION?)

"The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as "Senior Lecturer." From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."

What is the story? Hillary trying to clear her own guilty conscious?

Who cares? Senator Obama taught constitutional law for 12 years on a part time basis. His title is irrelevant. Ms. Sweet, you've been trying to discredit Senator Obama, first with Rezko, now with this. It's insulting to the Sun-Times readers to waste their time.

Why not be more productive and evaluate the Senator's policies? Americans deserve to read thoughtful, provocative articles about the candidates, like this one on his foreign policy and his vision to eliminate terrorist cells.

Or this one on his ability to be an educator-in-chief?

The problem we have with Obama is that he is a liar. He is a serial fabricator, about his community work (where he exaggerates his contribution), his legislative work in Illinois Legislature, where he takes credit for others' work, in the US Senate ditto, parents met at the Selma March in 1965, no that couldn't be because Obama was born in 1961, so that story was symbolic says Obama, after he is questioned about the inconsistency. Then he lies about being a professor at the University of Chicago which Ms Sweet now confirms.

Now, we have Rev Wright whose toxic rants Obama didn't hear, then heard some of and now says he did discuss with Wright (which I know he didn't acknowledge when asked earlier by Anderson Cooper).

We simply cannot have this man as the Democratic nominee. I don't care what Senator Leahy said. Obama is a lost cause and needs to get his act together. And,he needs to do that OUTSIDE the Presidency, please.

Obama skirts the truth again and again and then has to explain.

For example: "At issue in the Clinton memo was Obama’s claims—mostly specifically on several direct mail pieces produced for his 2004 U.S. Senate race-- that said he was a law professor at the university."

Then the University of Chicago tries to give Obama cover but Lynn Sweet says bluntly "The University of Chicago did Obama no favor by saying he was a law professor when he wasn’t".

How many times have we witnessed this kind of misleading behavior?

When I first read this I just figured that U of C (being one of those top tier law schools) just characterized their teaching positions differently. At the law school I attended a lecturer was not anyone special. He/She just came and taught a course or two each semester and most certainly had a job outside the law school (who could survive on a few thousand dollars to teach a course)

And it was surprising to see that the U of C (being one of those top tier law schools) would make someone a professor when they are fresh out of law school. Heck you don't even get the bar results back until six months after you leave school! But then I thought well who else is Barack Obama and the U of C must have known he was going to save the world and that even in '92 he was "special."

Has anybody advised Obama that he will have to work full-time, all the time, if he is elected to be the President of the United States?

This debate looks like Bill Clinton's "meaning of is" sound like high philosophy. What it comes down to is a matter of typography. At the University of Chicago (according to the statement here: ), you can be a professor of law without holding the title "Professor of Law." If Obama ever claimed to be a "Professor of Law" (capital p, capital l) he lied. If he claimed to be a "professor of law" he told the truth.

Anyone can write articles and just select chosen edits for a specific purpose, propaganda for one candidate? but the real danger is when others start to publish thinking what you have said is Gospel and Fact.

The University of Chicago press statement when read in full, is just a clear precise explanation of fact, would it not have been easier as someone has stated to have printed this?

It is a weak form of debate for anyone to post to try and suggest Barack Obama is telling lies about his time working on the streets of Chicago, if you know the man it is truth. Obama did bring sides together in Illinois to deliver his Health Care Plan, this is fact! - and all this is to try and defend Hillary for her continued Lies just like her husband Bill, how did he have the face in such high office to tell Lies to the American people about Monica.

I wonder if Sun-Times could get back to coverage of the nomination race and yes opinions! but not publishing misleading facts.

I thought this comment from a professor for the university might add some clarity

Barack *is* a Law Professor: Clinton Smears Continue Unfounded
avatarBy Chris McIntosh - March 28, 2008, 5:26PM


Richard A. Posner? Legal icon, you might have heard of him? The one with about ten (no exaggeration) honorary doctorates? He still does not possess the professor title. He's a Senior Lecturer. Still. I highly doubt anyone could credibly argue that he's not a law professor.

I am currently sitting in the middle of a conference of academics. The terms lecturer, senior lecturer, assistant professor, and associate professor, to name just a few, all mean very particular things to us. Is it a tenure-track position? Is it tenured? Do you get a three year or indefinite contract? Visiting or permanent? Spousal Hires?
This is pretty much why we're here, so we can go out on the market and hopefully attach a meaningful title in front of our names.
I also have to confess that I have unique knowledge of this situation for a second reason--I both go to school and work at the University of Chicago, so I know whereof I speak.
Hillary's campaign has called out Obama because even though he claims to be a former professor of law he was in fact merely a "lecturer". The release ominously ends with "details matter".
Damn straight they do. And they've got them wrong.
Obama was a "Senior Lecturer" not a Professor of Law. That part is technically correct, but like most things with their campaign it misses the actual point. When you look up the faculty of the law school--a group that is exclusive of fellows and lecturers and all other sort of hangers-on who are not professors--all of the Senior Lecturers are included.
There are senior lecturers in nearly every university around the country, but at Chicago I can say with some authority that they are considered to be "professors". After all, what else would you call them? They're not fellows or mere lecturers hired to fill in on some classes. They certainly are, most importantly, part of the faculty. Further complicating mattters, in law school it doesn't appear that they have assistant (untenured), associate (tenured), and full professors (tenured plus). So there are fewer titles around the term professor to make distinctions around.
In my experience, the term "Senior Lecturer" is meant to differentiate full members of the faculty from other full members of the faculty with tenure.
That's it. That's all. They teach, in this case law, just as authoritatively as any other member of the faculty.
There's one last irksome detail. Richard A. Posner? Legal icon, you might have heard of him? The one with about ten (no exaggeration) honorary doctorates? He still does not possess the professor title.
He's a Senior Lecturer. Still. I highly doubt anyone could credibly argue that he's not a law professor.
The Clinton campaign should be embarrassed that it's stooping to such minutia to attack with. Especially considering they're wrong.

Fact checking Barack Obama is routinely & viciously attacked as if it were conspiratorial to do so. When HRC suggested the $43 million squandered by the Justice Dept to smear them was a "right wing conspiracy" this became laughing fodder for their detractors.

Exanple: When the the "Passportgate" story broke outraged Obama supporters demanded an "investigation". It was front and center over at HuffPost. When it was discovered that Obama's own campaign advisor was the employer of one of those fired at the State Dept. this story dried up faster than Nevada lake beds.

Go figure...

Rezko, Wright, NAFTAgate, now this. Does anyone in their right mind believe the pattern of poor judgement and double-talk will not get used against Obama in the general election if he gets the nod? Rezko will be called sleeze, Wright anti-Americanism, NAFTAgate treason, professorgate simply lying. Kerry's flip-flops were really quite tame in comparison, but they still sunk him under the swiftboats.

This is ANOTHER example of Clinton deflecting criticism of her actions by focusing on someone elses minor missteps.

Think through the image of her claim to have dodged sniper fire, as contrasted with McCain's (genuine) experience in a future campaign commercial for a moment. Anyone who has ever been shot at will tell you its an unforgetable experience- there's no way to "mis speak" that clear recollection. McCain himself might well explain to Clinton in that commercial.

Hillary Clinton lied about her experience. Part of that Lie is equating her purposeful distortion with some trivial inconsistency by her opponent. They don't compare. She (and her supporters) are desperate and will say and do anything to win. Even if it means helping the Republicans.

That alone disqulifies her.

This does not seem like a very big deal until you start adding up all the little lies. Then you begin to see that it is an ongoing pattern. Obama's latest lie is that he does not accept money from oil companies, when in fact he has already accepted over $160,000 from Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell, etc. This is in addition to individual contributions from CEOs of oil companies. "Just words" is right. . .false and misleading words! This guy cannot be trusted.

response to Tracey's posting Mar.29 2:00 pm

With regard to "Passportgate", there were two companies who supplied staff to the State Dept. The head of one company (Stanley) donated money to Hillary's compaign; the head of the other company (TAC) is an advisor to Obama.

So, if you think the story is dead, how do you know it wasn't Hillary's supporter who killed it? Personally, I think we haven't heard anymore because the government is investigating the matter and unlike you, they do not want to publish false allegations.

Professor: "a teacher at a university, college, or sometimes secondary school" -- Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, definition 2b

I've been a REAL law school tenure-track professor for over 30 years and a Professor (capital P) of law for more than 25 years. Barack Obama was never either.

If crying Wolf over the Rezko affair (making it sound more sinister than it is as well into the trial there is nothing indicating wrong doing) and taking Rev. Wright's words out of context to make him look much worse that he is along with trivial crap like this is the worst the media can dig up on Obama, that tells me this guy is pretty darn clean and honest.

You can find the 2000 UofC faculty handbook here:

It is clear that at the University of Chicago a Senior Lecturer is not a Professor. Certainly, a Senior Lecturer is a member of the faculty. But just like a graduate student or visiting fellow who may have faculty status and teach one or two courses a semester, a senior lecturer is not a professor. The title "professor" is a term of art in academia. It does not refer simply to anyone who may teach at the university. It refers to a particular type of faculty member who has a certain relationship to the institution. In that case, Obama was not a professor.

Having said that, there is no shame in being a "Senior Lecturer," for many accomplished scholars and professionals have held that title, including Richard Posner, the federal judge who serves as a lecturer at the U of C law school (as one of the commentators mentioned above).

"Professor" in all university settings carries a very specific meaning with specific responsibilities and benefits, including the designations "Assistant Prof", "Associate Prof" and "Full Prof". Obama's supporters' claims that he was "the same as" a professor because he was a faculty member is ridiculous. Being "on faculty" is not really that big of a deal. I was considered for a faculty position at a major university and it was not even a teaching position. Professor status has certain requirements not met by Obama; he just promoted himself to make himself look better.

The Left will dismiss this self-promotion out-of-hand but will spend years trying to find anyone or anything that will "prove" that Bush didn't meet his TANG requirements.

Well unlike most of the people here who are reacting based on political expediency or their own personal experience, I am speaking as (a) a graduate of the UC Law School and (b) a former student of Obama.

30yearprofessor -- your experience and the titles used at your school are irrelevant to the analysis. Same for anyone else talking about any school other than the UC Law School. Because at the UC Law Schools, Senior Lecturers are people like Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit -- deeply experienced teachers who are, due to their professional interests, not interested in a tenure track position. Is there any question Judge Posner would be a tenure track professor if he wanted to be? No. Same thing with Obama. Indeed, given his academic background, he could have come in from the beginning as a tenure track professor if he wanted to. A "lecturer" at your school might be a graduate student (that's what they called them at my college), or a practitioner. But at UC, Senior Lecturers are NOT insignificant to the educational process.

As for the courses he taught, I took a seminar from him when he was in his first year. I have read since then that he was teaching the Con Law course on Equal Protection . . . which, for you non-lawyers, is one of the bedrock courses on constitutional law. When I took Equal Protection, it was taught by a tenured prof. So, no, Obama was not a tenured professor . . . he was just teaching a course that was formerly taught by a tenured professor.

And what title is used in the classroom at UC for tenured profs, visiting profs, senior lecturers, lecturers, recent graduates teaching their first course, R.H. Coase teaching his 10,000th different class, clinical professors working on death penalty appeals? They are all called Professor, with the exception of the Judges who are called "Judge".

In short, once again, the Hillary people and Obama are refusing to see the forest for the trees: Obama was a law professor . . . and if they had bothered to ask anyone who knew anything about the school, they would realize how ridiculous this criticism is.

I can only imagine if Hillary would have said she had been a law professor:we would have seen no end to the controversy. As is in every case with Mr. Obama, there is always an explanation or justification as to why he did or say.

When I was going to graduate school a few years ago, there was a big gap in prestige between a Professor (including Assistant/Associate Professors) and a Senior Lecturer. It was clear that Senior Lecturers were not considered as capable as Professors. Moreover, senior lecturers did not perform in cutting edge research nor were they published in highly regarded journals.

Some people have mention Judge Posner and Judge Easterbrook as Senior Lecturers of law who are as highly regarded as any Professor. However, Posner and Easterbrook are relatively unique cases. Both of them could obtain a Full (Tenured) Professor position at virtually any law school if they decided to retire as Judges. Obama is almost certainly not in their league.

I care about his misrepresented status at the Law School. The University Statutes are quite clear on the subject, see Statute 11:

"11.1. The Members of the University Faculties are classified as follows: Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Collegiate Assistant Professor, and Instructor. Every person holding one of these titles with status as defined in §11.1 through §11.3 shall be a member of the Faculty. Membership in the University Faculties is restricted to persons holding appointment as prescribed in §11.1."

He came under §11.4, Other Academic Personnel. It matters.

As a recently promoted Associate Professor (although not of law), I can say that the distinctions between the title "professor" and "lecturer" in American universities are enormous. Of course there is no shame in being a lecturer, but to call someone a professor who is actually a lecturer is to give that person a great deal more academic credit than that person has earned.

Professors not only teach, as lecturers do, but they also create and revise curricula, participate in the governance of the institution, have longstanding mentoring relationships with students, and devote considerable time to research and academic publishing, none of which lecturers do.

Professors are hired through national or international searches that follow certain protocols that assess the candidate's standing in the field, while lecturers are often local talent who happen to know someone at the university.

Professors (except for visiting professors) build their careers at their universities, and it takes years of service and academic accomplishment to be promoted to full professor (i.e., "Professor" without "Assistant" or "Associate" in front of it). Usually lecturers are either recent graduates at the beginning of their careeers or part-time adjunct faculty who fill in where needed.

The distinction matters, so please get it right, and don't hand it out to folks who haven't earned it.

There is a significant difference b/t a lecturer and a professor as the tough part of the job is the academic part. I attended UCLA Law at the same time, and we were so desperate for teachers that were persons of color that we even hired a woman, Kim Crenshae, straight out of law school. Like many affirmative action hires, she was an unmitigated disaster as a teacher, and this was really no fault of her own. Despite having gone to Harvard, she was simply too young, and inexperienced and not smart enough to overcome these limitations. She's still with the school, but specializes in Critical Race Theory, the specialty that professors without the academic skills generally gravitate toward. I am sure Barak filled a similar niche. He was very likelty an affirmative action admit to Harvard (7 out of 8 of undergraduate students are in Ivy Schools; not sure about their law schools, but likely similar), and then used these credentials to get at least a lecturer position b/c he probably couldn't cut it at a major law firm.

I am a U of C grad student and I guarantee that anyone who is a "Senior" anything is viewed as nothing less than a professor by his or her students. Perhaps these distinctions matter at other schools, but at the U of C they do not, particularly since these are positions often reserved for the most distinguished (and busiest) faculty. Oh, and jim g, those "oil company" donations... those actually were from employees who listed oil companies as their employers. The fact that the Clinton campaign is calling these lies should indicate who the truth-teller in this campaign actually is. The fact that any of this is an issue and that Sweet is "investigating" this issue is totally disgusting. Try focusing your efforts on something more worthwhile, like the economic policies of the respective candidates.

This is a shame that Obama has been saying that he was a Con Law Professor. I remember that he actually said that *during* a debate! I think it was the debate in Ohio, concerning "something that he regretted or would have done differently," and Obama said that he would have voted differently concerning the Shchiavo case, and that "as a professor of Consitutional Law, I should have known better."

Remember he said that? A lie.

The status of a true Professor is a great deal different than a part time lecturer on leave.

Obama's lying is nothing new. Currently, Obama has a campaign ad airing in Pennsylvania, in which he claims to not accept money from lobbyists or oil companies and it is a blatant lie that has been exposed by dramatic facts, and yet, it's worth it to him to misinform voters. It's quite a shame that Obama keeps lying and no one has the courage to fully confront him on these matters in the media. He misleads the American Public.


He we go again! Lynn Sweet does an excellent job in uncovering information about Senator Obama and everyone ignores it. All of this information keeps coming out about him now when he is so far ahead in the polls based on his" Fairy Tales".He is on his way to losing the presidency for us because the GOP will kill this guy! I will give Hillary the 12 year mistatement. But this is a far bigger breach. Remember he is seeking a job and this is considered lying on your resume!

California State Senator, Sheila Kuehl's biography reveals that she was an "instructor" at Loyola.

But the Clinton campaign, in a press release announcing the endorsement by California State Senator Sheila Kuehl declares that Kueh "was a law professor at Loyola, UCLA and USC Law Schools...."

So the Clinton campaign out of one side of its mouth, refers to an instructor of law as a law professor, but out of the other side of its mouth claims that Obama, teaching one of the crown jewels of law - CONSTITUTIONAL law - isn't a professor?? Give me a break!!

I am an administrator at a large university with a law school. I have also been a senior lecturer in the business school (not currently). It is inconceivable that anyone with a lecturer appointment would call themselves a professor, which at UC and elsewhere is always a reference to a full time tenured position with much broader responsibilities. If it was discovered that an applicant used the title of professor inappropriately (in applying for a position), they would not get the position and, if already, employed, likely not get tenure or otherwise face severe sanctions. For Obama supporters to simply explain it away as no big deal is wrong. For Obama supporters affiliated with universities that should know better, it's the height of hypocrisy.

Here's what I don't understand concerning Obama's church: There building Rev. Wright a $ ONE MILLION DOLLAR mansion out in Tinley Park (see Saturday's 3/29/08 Sun-Times). Now, yes, the Pope in Rome has a big mansion, as does these TV evangelists like Haggee. But they don't point fingers and say a certain group (the well-to-do Whites) are the MAIN reason for any problem, whatsoever, in the Black Community. Wright does and has. That these group of Whites waste their money needlessly and selfishly instead of contributing their fair share and what have you within other communities. Well anyway, here you have a $ ONE MILLION DOLLAR mansion. Ok congregation, you love the guy so much, than why don't you build him a comfortable $80,000 or $90,000 home. You know, like the ones the 'white-devils' have. Then there would be $910,000 LEFTOVER that you could use to help the NEEDY in the Black Community. Where are the priorities? Why isn't this being asked? Why isn't Rev. Wright himself mentioning this? ...I await everybody's opinion.

Increasingly in academe, and as part of the creation of the 'pink collar ghetto' there are two tracks of teachers--those yoked to the tenure system and those tied to the crony system. Education is the only area of our workplace economy with a 40% growth rate in jobs over the past 20 years or so. Guess what? The new jobs are NOT tenure track jobs. The education unions are not doing educated women (or men) much of a favor. They do not fight against the hiring of these people who get in there because of WHO THEY KNOW as opposed to those who are 'playing the game' and wasting tons and tons of time with meaningless paperwork 'drills' to rise in academe.
That's the dirty secret.
And then when the crony-obtained job holders use a title which really only can belong to a person who actually played the game (followed the rules of the profession despite the efforts of administrators and boards across the country to EFFECTIVELY bust the education union) and are not called on it until most of their competitors folded earlier in the campaign season--what can I say?

My husband was a part-time lecturer/teacher/professor at a local college for 5 years. His title was adjunct professor.

Ms. Sweet. The university issues a statement that says that it considers senior lecturers to be professors, but instead of saying that the university has clarified its position, you choose to instead only say that Obama did NOT hold the title of professor. Look, it is, of course, fine for columnists to have opinions and support one candidate or the other, but this is just intellecually dishonest. I've read your work. I've seen you on TV. You are an intelligent experienced professional. You know quite well that many viewers/readers will not go past your assertion to read the full text of the statement - as short as it is. You owe it to your readers and to your craft to at least mention the University of Chicago's assertion that it considers senior lecturers to be professors. The dishonesty you have displayed here is just so disappointing. I'm hoping that this is just an April Fool's prannk.

Let us consider The University of Chicago Law School’s statement:

1) From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004…

2) Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."

3) Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status.

According to point 1, Obama “served as a professor” from 1992-2004 which means, as Assistant Dean Nagorsky points out, he “carried out, or served, a function of a professor—teaching a core curriculum course while a senior lecturer—while at the same time not holding down that rank.”

According to point 2, however, Obama was a professor from 1992-2004. The sentence reads “during his 12 years as a professor” as opposed “during his 12 years serving as a professor.”

While point 3 implies that Senior Lecturers are “regarded as professors” while Lecturers are not, according to point 1, both Senior Lecturers and Lecturers serve as professors, and, according to point 2, both Senior Lecturers and Lecturers are in fact professors.

In sum, The University of Chicago Law School’s “Statement Regarding Barack Obama” is completely incoherent.

RB--if you think parsing the reporting of a pretty darned neutral reporter about Obama, then your candidate is already preparing to LOSE for us the race against McCain. He already has problems--he's a person of great, great privilege pretending to be someone who fought for the underprivileged.

Don't be so surprised about Sen. Obama not correcting Brian Williams, he has a huge ego and he likes to think of himself as someone he is not!

If there is no difference between being a lecturer, and being a professor, why do assistant professors strive to become associate professors, who then work hard to become (full) professors? Lecturer and even senior lecturer are usually ranks below assistant professor, and a long way from professor.
Is there a diffeerence between a lieutenant, or a captain, major, lieutenant colonel, of a (full) colonel?

To anonymous

I am not an Obama supporter but am a "professor". The b and c definition of professor is a person who professes knowledge in a specific area and teaches in that area. Ironically high school teachers could be called professors by this definition. It is also a term used for a person who teaches at a community college or university. Professor is a polite term that we use in academia for all people who teach at the College level regardless of rank or title.

Having the "Title" of "Professor" is a different thing. It has to do with having tenure (meaning safety from being fired) and pay. The reason that a person strives for the title really has nothing to do with the title per se, but has everything to do with job security and raises. At universities publishing is also a factor however a number of instructors and lecturers also publish a great deal even if they do not have the "Title" of "Professor"

When I was in school I recognized and respected the expertise of all of my college instructors and referred to them all as professors as a sign of respect. I realized that their titles had nothing to do with me because I was a student and had not accomplished nearly half of what any of them had accomplished. The Deans of the university I work for all have specific titles, (Associate Dean, Full Dean, etc.) I call them all Dean regardless of their actual titles because they are my bosses and their titles have nothing to do with me.

I am a strong Clinton supporter but have to give credit to Obama on this one he was a professor with the title of "Senior lecturer".

I am a suporter from Mr. Obama, i think his position in some important political points are coherent and i think he could lead a significant change in the USA and in the world politic.
He was not a professor, he served as a professor making lectures in the college.

I used to be in the Army and twice i had to command my unity in dangerous situations. Normally our commander was a Leutnant, but my range was sargent. I was not commander, nor leutnant, i was sargent. Mr Obama was lector/senior lector and not Professor.
Sargent ist sargent and Senior lector is Senior lector

It's not exactly easy to find to exact names of the three classes Mr. Obama taught. Of course, I have only been looking for a couple of hours. Race, racism and the law is the only one I have found spelled out so far. Anybody knowing the others, please tell. I did find an article by a very pro obama writer who says that he got the position at U of C by a Harvard professor calling and saying that there was a "very impressive" editor at the law review he knew they would be interested in. Obama apparently asked some questions about his paper and WOW!!!! they were so great he immediately called U of C and knew they would want this guy. Sound strange? Oh...and they offered him a tenure track position a couple of times... What happened to publish or perish etc. Is it that easy to get tenure at U of C law?? They keep offering you a position as you shoo it away? What exactly was Barrack publishing and researching at the time that caused this great surge of interest? PUHLEEZE don't tell me it was his skills in the classroom. That is NOT what gets you tenure. Not unless you are _____.

I wish you people would understand that LAWYERS have ruined the UNITED STATES by making everybody lawsuit CRAZY, there are backlogs of worthless lawsuits and the only winner is the LAWYERS, the court looses the plaintiff looses but the LAWYER always makes money at someone's elses expense. They ALL need put out of business. When there 300,000 more lawyers than doctors this country is on the way out, LAWYER and LEECH are about the same thing, parasites. At least get them off the
TV every other commerical is about a lawyer doing someone a favor, in other words telling more lies.

As a U of C Student - I can guarantee you that there IS A HUGE difference between Lecturer and Processor. I've NEVER taken classes with a LECTURER. And it is NOT easy to get tenure at U of C. People NEED TO STOP LYING!!!

As a student, I once taught a college management class for a day per the request of my professor. I'm told I did a great job.
Does that mean I can claim being a professor?

2010 gives everyone a time to start fixing this horrid state of affairs.

VOTE OUT the progressives who want to control our lives, and will lie and cheat to do it.

And Notre Dame did not select a Football coach for misrepresentings on his resume

The Obama Narrative helps the Roses Grow and the tomatoes, eggplant, onions and rhubbard!

Barack Obama is a nice guy. He mounts, shines . . .the rest will follow. I wish him well.

The Corporate News Media( NYT, Sun Times, MSNBC, CNN, CBS & etc.) spread this narrative.

As an eminent scholar, essayist and long time instructor at Northwestern University - Joe Epstein - said, " 'A professor' was the guy who played the piano in a Cathouse (bordello)."
Lynn, how many times will you listen to Chris "Milky" Matthews squeal "He's a Constitutional Law Professor!!!! He's Constitutional Law Professor!" without pulling out your hair?

What difference does it make, he is a total incompetent as a president! He has done more damage to the U. S. Constitution than anyone in modern history. He would have to have been an expert, to do as much against it, as he and his administration have done, in just over one year in power! He and his accomplices have ruined our economy and have put us into financial crisis that our decedents will be paying for many years to come. He has surrounded himself with radicals, tax cheats and has been supported by the most left wing Democratic party, to ever be elected in American history! F.D.R. was socialistic but he pales next to Obama! If Obama and these leftist Democrats aren't voted out of office in the next two elections, America, as we know it will be finished! It's going to take years to undo the tyranny that this bunch of Marxists has perpetrated on America, if we do vote them out! It's not for sure that it can be done, if gets his: "illegal Aliens," registered to vote in the upcoming elections, we will be finished!

What's with these comments above? Are they all smokin' crack or what? These people are praising and coming to the defense of a man who is slowly, tearing down the people of the US.Pretty soon, there will be no more USA, no more freedoms, no nothing. And this is what they want?

Yours is the most "right-on" post in this ocean of comments. B.O.s agenda should be crystal clear to anyone with half a brain. He is building an army of followers through his support of ACORN, illegal immigrants and his plan to make more and more people beholden to the government by creating government jobs at the expense of the taxpayers. Where are the protectors of the Constitution when you need them?
I'm afraid the separation of powers is a thing of the past.
We have a mystery president. Everyone should watch the Glenn Beck program or tape it everyday.
Beck is revealing the truth behind the media tripe being fed to the faithful sheeple.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 28, 2008 6:25 PM.

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