Also applies to new administrators. Just sayin’.
If a professor’s door is closed, do not try to open it even if you hear typing inside.
If the door is open or slightly open and you see a professor hard at work in his or her office, do not just walk in. Do not stand in the doorway and ask if you can come in for a chat to discuss things without introducing yourself.
If you must introduce yourself before classes start, the proper protocol is to:
1. Knock gently on the door. Wait patiently and quietly until the professor has finished what he or she is doing and has given you hir attention.
2. Say something to the effect of, “I can see you’re busy but..” or “I’m sorry to bother you,” or “May I have just a moment of your time?”
3. Introduce yourself. This is imperative. Do not ask if you can come in for a chat without saying who you are. And don’t just give your name. Say something like, “Hi, my name is Jane Smith, I am a new student.” If there was an interview weekend and you met the professor at that point then you may add, “you may not remember me, but I sat at your table at one of the interview weekend dinners/enjoyed your talk/etc.” Do not make the professor ask who you are.
4. Do not get upset if the professor does not remember you. Especially do not get upset if you have not said what your name is or that you are an incoming student. Double especially do not get upset if the interview was over the phone. You wouldn’t recognize the professor either if ze didn’t have a nameplate.
5. Say what you need. If you just want to say hi, then just say you wanted to say hi, and then say it. “I just wanted to say hi, and I’m looking forward to your class on Monday.” If you need to have a more extended chat, then ask to make an appointment. “I have some concerns about my schedule and was wondering if it would be possible to make an appointment with you to discuss them before classes start.” Do not make the professor ask what you want. The professor will probably not want to just sit around and chat with you for no specific purpose, not when the school year is about to start and ze is trying to get everything finished up before classes.
6. Do not get upset if the professor is busy and cannot spend a lot of time with you right now.
That’s all I have. Do you all have any etiquette suggestions?