Saturday, October 30, 2021

Who is (not) Dr. ___?

There was a discussion at the end of the October 26 board meeting about whether Helen Grant should be addressed at Dr. Grant. Trustee Monica Scott raised the question that I began thinking about months ago when I realized that Helen Grant was an attorney with a J.D. (Juris Doctorate) degree and not an educational doctorate, such as Ed.D. or a doctorate such as Ph.D. Even if she had those, she - in her current employment position - should not be addressed as Dr. Grant.

I've known many attorneys over the years. I worked closely with attorneys when I was a C.L.U. in the life insurance business. As a member of the Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Council in Denver, I worked with bank trust officers, CPAs, other life insurance agents and attorneys who specialized in estate planning and business planning. Never once did I ever hear an attorney referred to as Dr. ____.

When I worked in a large Fortune 100 corporation and worked with attorneys there, no one ever referred to himself as Dr. _____.

When I worked for three years in a suburban Chicago law firm, I never heard an attorney referred to as Dr. ____.

And then I came across Richland 2 School District and begin hearing "Dr. Grant", now the Chief Diversity and Multicultural Inclusion Officer. Then I learned that she is an attorney, not an educator.

The correct form of address for Helen Grant is "Mrs. Grant", not "Dr. Grant" and not "Attorney Grant".

Trustee Scott was allowed by the Chair to ask the superintendent how Mrs. Grant should be addressed. First of all, RONR requires questions to be addressed to the Chair. But everybody in the room should have known what the superintendent's response was going to be. Of course, he was going to answer, "Dr. Grant."

Well, he's wrong. Am I the only one in town to say so? 

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