What is a professor?
A term for both a category of college employee and for a rank. Faculty members who teach (but not teaching assistants) at a college or university are usually considered professors. In this sense “professor” is the term for the category “college faculty who teach.”
College faculty usually have ranks, and “professor” is the highest rank (sometimes you will hear that rank called “full professor”). Here are the ranks in order of highest to lowest:
- Associate professor
- Assistant professor: the lowest rank to be called “professor”
- Instructor: not always used