The other day I had a meeting with a colleague who indicated that she refuses to answer emails from students addressed to “Hey,”. I was glad to hear this, because although I certainly like to be on a first-name basis with students (including undergrads) working in my lab, I expect students that I don’t know personally to be more respectful. “Dear/Hi Dr./Prof. Gregory” is fine, obviously. “Hi Ryan” from students I don’t know is irritating. But “Hey” is unacceptable. Now that I have tenure, I am probably going to implement a similar “I don’t answer to Hey” policy (though I might let the student know that I won’t be responding, except for the message that indicates that I won’t be responding).
I am not talking about:
“Hey Dr. Gregory,
I am enjoying your class.”
(This doesn’t bother me)
I am talking about:
I am interested in taking your class. Can you sign the form to let me register?”
(The student wants something, doesn’t know me, and only writes Hey)