What is a Courtesy Professor?
As it says in the Stanford University Faculty Handbook, "Faculty members often make substantial contributions to departments other than their own, but in ways less formal than would justify a joint appointment. These contributions are sometimes recognized by means of courtesy appointments. There is usually no commitment of funds, space or other support involved in a courtesy appointment, and the faculty member has no voting privileges in the courtesy department."
At Florida State University there are many faculty members whose formal appointment is in other departments but whose research work and teaching is partly in an area of history. Some of those individuals we invite to become courtesy professors of history because they bring to our departmental community expertise that makes us a stronger unit. Undergraduate and masters students can look to them for advice on courses, and graduate school. Relevant doctoral students in some cases can take a minor field of study with a courtesy professor. Departmental students at all levels can look to them for advice on research papers, theses and dissertations. In some cases a courtesy professor can be asked to be a member of a thesis or dissertation committee. Our department considers courtesy professors to be part of our community of historians, and they are very often invited to departmental gatherings, lectures, events, and parties.
We have our courtesy professors listed to encourage students to use them and to show those who are visiting our website the extra breadth and depth of our department.