Some students and university workers (not the academic staff) participated in my study. Which words are better to describe them? Are there any other better alternatives?

The normal participants were recruited from available students and clerks/office workers in the Faculty of Education and Psychology of University of Mashhad.

  • 1
    If the clerks/office workers are employed by the university, they are staff...
    – user8543
    Aug 29, 2014 at 8:21
  • @user8543 I meant I don't want the word to include the academic staff, i.e. the the professors.
    – Ehsan88
    Aug 29, 2014 at 8:28
  • I suppose there may be room for ambiguity, but the word staff is often meant to not include professors. Universities employ faculty and staff - staff are the employees who are not teaching.
    – J.R.
    Aug 29, 2014 at 8:34
  • @J.R. Here, in India, all schools have a staff room where teachers sit, read or discuss. Said that, staff room is for those who teach.
    – Maulik V
    Aug 29, 2014 at 10:49

2 Answers 2


I would use the phrase administrative staff, to differentiate between the teaching faculty, and to cover any staff that might not consider themselves 'just' clerks.

  • I think the word staff already differentiates – at least, it would in the U.S. Adding the word administrative would not help differentiate between faculty and staff, but it might help differentiate between, say, clerical staff and janitorial staff.
    – J.R.
    Aug 29, 2014 at 8:36
  • I wouldn't consider a lecturer/teacher to be part of the admin staff
    – user8543
    Aug 29, 2014 at 8:39
  • I wouldn't consider a lecturer to be part of the staff at all. The lecturer is part of the faculty, not the staff. I think that is the root of the O.P.'s misunderstanding here. I think your initial comment was spot on; the word the O.P. is looking for is probably staff.
    – J.R.
    Aug 29, 2014 at 8:42
  • 2
    I believe that the use of the word faculty in reference to a body of teaching staff is much more widespread in America than it is elsewhere. It is very rarely used in the UK for example.
    – user8543
    Aug 29, 2014 at 8:44
  • That's good to know. In the U.S., staff would be the right word for this. (Incidentally, I work on two college campuses in the U.S., so I'm a bit familiar with this nomenclature. But I always appreciate learning more about how such terms aren't necessarily universally defined.)
    – J.R.
    Aug 29, 2014 at 8:47

In the U.S., I think the way you would want to word this is:

The normal participants were recruited from available students and staff in the Faculty of Education and Psychology of University of Mashhad.

In academia, the professors are faculty, and the office workers are staff. If you mean to say that the participants were comprised of students and administrative assistants, then you should use the word word staff.

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