Preface to the Fifth Edition

Almost forty years ago, in 1992, The Professor's Desk Reference first appeared. The slender 26-page booklet sold out in a matter of months, and was followed by a second edition, then during the succeeding years and decades by third and fourth editions, each updated extensively to match strides with medical advances in the volatile field of Pharmaceutically Assisted Pedagogy (PAP).

The current edition has once again been updated, under pressure from recent scientific discoveries and technological advances that continue to revolutionize the field. Serving as authors of the fifth edition are 108 eminent pedagogical clinicians from the United States, Canada, and Guam. The contributions of these experienced men and women were exhaustively reviewed by the editorial board and, on occasion, by specially chosen consultants. They were then edited, correlated, and assembled by the PDR staff into concise, compact form.

At no point in this process did any author, editor, or editorial assistant ingest (let alone abuse) denialozide; nor was anyone who had in the past ingested denialozide allowed to contribute to the compilation of the PDR. Rigorous blood and polygraph tests, the results of which are public and will be withheld from no concerned party, attest to the purity of these pages with regard to denialozide use. Under no circumstances will any finding--nay, any word--printed in the PDR ever be tainted with the merest whiff of denialozide scandal.

Painstaking effort was exerted to omit no detail that would assist in the accurate clinical and laboratory diagnosis and the effective treatment of currently significant pedagogical conditions. Because of space limitations, coverage is mainly medical; surgical procedures, when mentioned, seldom are described.

The PDR is divided into three parts. The first, "Diseases," is an alphabetical listing of the 28 most significant academic disorders; the second, "Prescriptions," lists alphabetically the 31 most useful medications in the treatment of those disorders. The third part, "Supplemental Treatments," provides a short list of time-tried procedures that may prove effective when purely pharmaceutical treatment proves inadequate.

Each disease is presented concisely under five subheadings: description and type, symptoms and signs, etiology, treatment, and prognosis. All 28 diseases have been typed according to the predominant characteristics of digression, repression, and rebellion; two bear the additional typing "juvenile."

A digressive disorder is typically one that causes the student to stray significantly from the strait and narrow path of proper academic behavior; a repressive disorder one that causes the student to ignore or systematically "forget" some aspect of academic performance that is essential to success; and a rebellious disorder, finally, one that causes the student to challenge the duly vested authority of university instructors (professors, lecturers, instructors proper, and teaching assistants) and administrators. Because none of these disorders is found in a "pure" state, the 28 diseases herein described are classified according to overlapping types, as follows:

Digressive/repressive disorders

Anger (see also below)






Hunger and Thirst ("juvenile")

Hyposymbolic Behaviors

Inappropriate Authorities


Lurking and Waiting

Personalism (see also below)



Sex for Grades

Silence (see also below)


Tardiness (see also below)



Wiggliness ("juvenile")

Digressive/rebellious disorders




Critical Thinking

Digression (see also above)

Divergent Interpretation

Masscultural Loyalism


Personalism (see also above)

Silence (see also above)

Tardiness (see also above)

Repressive/rebellious disorders

Ethnic Loyalism

As should be clear, classification of academic disorders is problematic for many reasons, not the least of which is the difficulty of accurate decontextualized diagnosis. The pitfalls of contextual variability and connectivity are virtually impossible to avoid. However, every attempt has been made to restrict the PDR to this most stable and reliable analytical mode, and thus to the presentational mode that in previous editions has proved most useful to practitioners in the field.

The list of prescriptions in Part II presents the 31 major academic drugs under the four subheadings of effects, side effects, contraindicated, and typical abuse. At the head of each entry is given both the generic and the proprietary name for each therapeutic agent; we are aware that many professors prefer to administer academic medications by the brand names of their choice, but could not justify omitting the scientific names, descriptive as they are of their chemical structures. Doses are shown exclusively in metric measures; milliliters (ml) are used throughout rather than cubic centimeters (cc). It is to be hoped that the subheading "typical abuse" will enable professors and other instructional staff to remain ever vigilant in the policing of academic drug-use.

It is sometimes easy to forget that Pharmaceutically Assisted Pedagogy was once highly controversial; indeed that it was once universally condemned as invasive and an infringement of students' constitutional rights. We now realize, of course, that earlier methods of student control, grossly ineffectual as they were, were themselves no less invasive than academic pharmaceuticals, and no less an infringement of what some self-styled civil rights crusaders are still pleased to call students' "constitutional rights." And over the past four decades we have witnessed the dawning of a new age in higher education, in which enthusiastically compliant students willingly attach themselves to academic learning environments and the professors who preside over them in search of the liberating secret of self-control. We have come such a long way in such a remarkably short time!

Some emeriti and emeritae, now fairly advanced in years, still tell the tales of the days before PAP, before drugs were prescribed and taken at the beginning of every class session, before grading was reduced to an exact pharmaceutical science: when instructors simply walked into a lecture hall, took roll, and started talking, regardless of who was paying attention and who was not, who was receptive to the subject matter and who was not, and so on. These old-timers often get a twinkle in their eye as they recall those bygone days, partly out of benign amusement at the absurdly primitive channels of student control then in use; partly also out of a harmless nostalgia for an earlier, simpler time now long past. And who can blame them? Who does not harbor some small fondness for childhood memories, no matter how naive, how ill-informed, how out-of-control one was at that period in one's life?

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The PDR staff hopes that professors and other instructional staff across the country will continue to find the updated PDR as useful in diagnosing and treating academic disorders as they have previous editions. It is essential that all professional prescribers and dispensers of academic drugs remember the larger aim of PAP: not merely to control a few misfits and troublemakers in one's classes, but to further the cause of social hygiene; to help construct a better society for tomorrow.

Douglas J. Robinson, Ph.D., editor-in-chief

PDR Research Laboratories

Oxford, Mississippi

Back to PDR contents.

Forward to Preface to the Facsimile Edition of The Student's PDR.

Copyright 1993 Doug Robinson and Bill Kaul