External Letters of Assessment

Reviewers should come from lists of names submitted or created by sources other than the candidate, as well as from a list of possibilities submitted by the candidate, although it is not required that the final list of external reviews include recommendations from the candidate. In no case should the candidate solicit directly the external assessment letters.

Sept. 13

Candidate submits list of possible external reviewers to unit leader. This should include names, addresses, phone, e-mail and FAX numbers, if available. The candidate should provide a brief biographical statement about the qualifications of the evaluator, including a statement of the evaluator’s standing in his or her discipline.    

Unit leader prepares list of possible external reviewers following the format listed above.     

Candidates and unit leaders should not identify evaluators who are former teachers and students, collaborators, or others who by their relationship to the candidate might have difficulty in making objective assessments. Evaluators should be in a position to make informed judgments about the candidate’s work. As a rule, external assessments should be requested from individuals who are of higher rank than the candidate.


Sept. 22   

Unit leader selects the final list of reviewers to be contacted with a balance of reviewers between the candidate’s list and the unit leader list. The process will need to be clearly identified in the dossier. Since the University requires that a minimum of four letters be available for review, we recommend that units solicit six letters of assessment.   

Unit leader sends final list of reviewers with biographical statements to as information. Please indicate whether reviewers were chosen by the unit leader or on recommendation from the candidate.


Oct. 1   

Unit leader sends letter to reviewers requesting an assessment of the candidate’s potential for tenure and/or promotion. A copy of the College’s approved letter format is attached (letter revised 8/26/04). The candidate's narrative should accompany the request.


Nov. 4    

Letters of assessment entered into the dossier and available for review by unit committee and unit leader. The assessment section of the dossier is confidential and may not be shared with the candidate.   

If a letter of assessment arrives after the review process has begun, individuals involved in those levels of review already completed shall be notified of the receipt of the letter, provided with access to the letter, and provided an opportunity to reconsider their recommendation.


Guidelines for identifying and selecting external evaluators have been clarified and revised as follows effective with the 2011/2012 academic year.

Sample Letter to External Evaluators for Tenure/Promotion Decisions. Revised 8/26/2004