I have this feeling that I've seen and then forgotten a word which specifically describes a professor / lecturer who teaches in multiple universities. (Not just a visiting professor)

"I hear Mallory is a ___________ now. It certainly fits his character, but I do worry for his cardiovascular health."

I think that this sense of the word might be a secondary definition to the word's main usage. Does such a word exist? I can't find it anywhere in my search history or online...

But I can't shake the feeling that I definitely saw it somewhere on google definitions while defining another word!

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    Informally. moonlighting or two-timing
    – Jim
    Jan 27, 2019 at 7:37
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    So is the relationship formal or by invitation, paid or unpaid, controlled by professor or higher authorities. Scheduled over a full academic year?
    – lbf
    Jan 27, 2019 at 15:43
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    As University systems differ widely between English-speaking countries — never mind those in Continental Europe — you need to specify a country. In the British University system I know of no formal arrangement that involves teaching in more than two universities and no specific word to describe such an arrangement
    – David
    Jan 28, 2019 at 19:51

3 Answers 3


Consider calling Mallory an itinerant lecturer. As @Rupe noted in comments, you could also say that Mallory is a peripatetic lecturer now.

peripatetic noun 1.1 (of a teacher) working in more than one school or college. ‘a peripatetic music teacher’ - ODO

Although itinerant primarily references travel, the term itinerant teacher/lecturer conveys the notion of teaching in multiple places.

Here’s an example of an itinerant lecturer:

James Ferguson (25 April 1710 – 17 November 1776) was a Scottish astronomer. He is known as the inventor and improver of astronomical and other scientific apparatus, as a striking instance of self education and as an itinerant lecturer. - Wikipedia

The Wikipedia article on itinerant teachers links to the above as well as to a more detailed example of itinerant teachers who have a specialist skill set that is exercised across multiple schools.

  • Given that the OP is asking for a word they've forgotten rather than just for a word with that meaning, it's worth mentioning that "peripatetic" also fits the bill (as mentioned in the wikipedia article). "Peripatetic" was the first word that came to mind for me. Maybe that's a regional thing (I'm from UK and don't think I've come across the word "itinerant" used in this way").
    – Rupe
    Jan 27, 2019 at 10:15
  • @Rupe Thanks, good point! I’ve added it to my answer.
    – Lawrence
    Jan 27, 2019 at 10:49
  • An itinerant lecturer would probably be somebody who never stayed long at any one university. I think the OP wants peripatetic. Jan 27, 2019 at 17:50
  • Ahhh yes! Peripatetic! Thanks for exorcising that from the tip of my tongue!
    – Michael
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:08

Are you thinking of an adjunct professor? In the US, this is often a professor whose main university is elsewhere, so from that point of view I think it fits what you are looking for.

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    OP says they don’t want something that just means “visiting”, I’m not sure this fits the bill. Adjunct describes the relationship of a given university to a prof., my sense is OP wants something that describes the prof. and his relationship to all his places of employment.
    – millimoose
    Jan 27, 2019 at 14:56

I would call such a person 'MULTIEMPLOYED PROFESSOR'.

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/employ:


: to provide with a job that pays wages or a salary

  • Would you, indeed? In which case you might provide the Merriam-Webster entry for this word.
    – David
    Jan 28, 2019 at 19:54

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