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APPENDIX: Sample Letters (Tenure Track)

Updated April 2015

 

P&T Request to External Reviewer for Promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor with Tenure

 

Dear Professor _____________:

 

         Assistant Professor [NAME] is being considered for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in the department of [name] at the University of Virginia.

         As chair of the departmental tenure and promotion committee for Professor [NAME], I am charged with seeking evaluations from distinguished colleagues, such as yourself, who are qualified to judge the candidate's research, career development and contributions to the field.  Therefore, I am writing to ask whether you would be willing to serve as an evaluator of [his / her] scholarly achievements.

         I attach here a copy of Professor [NAME’s] C.V. for your consideration. If you are able to help us with this evaluation, I will send a letter detailing the evaluation process. We will send you the candidate's materials by [DATE] and will need your evaluation by [DATE].

         Under University of Virginia policy, the research record of candidates for promotion with tenure must meet the following standard: “There must exist a body of original research or creative work sufficient in quality and quantity to have led at least to the beginning of a national reputation in the candidate's field. There must also be strong indications of a commitment to original research or creative work that will lead to sustained contributions over time and to the judgment that growth in stature will continue.”

         The University of Virginia's College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences' normal probationary period for tenure is six years. If the probationary period for the candidate you are evaluating appears to be longer than the normal period, the candidate has received an extension in accordance with our tenure clock extension policy. This extension does not change the criteria for promotion or tenure, and the candidate should not be held to a higher standard because of an extension.

         Please note that, under University of Virginia policy, the identity of authors of letters of evaluation that are included in the personnel review files are to be held in confidence. To the extent permitted by law, we will treat your response as confidential and make it available only to those involved in the review process.

        Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. Please let me know whether you can serve as an evaluator by [DATE].

Sincerely,

NAME
TITLE


P&T Request After Receiving Positive Response from External Reviewer (Promotion to Associate)

 

Dear Professor ___________:

            Thank you for agreeing to serve as an outside referee in the tenure and promotion case of [NAME].  The University of Virginia is committed to tenuring only those candidates whose achievements as scholars and teachers are well documented.  More specifically, under university policy, “There must exist a body of original research or creative work sufficient in quality and quantity to have led at least to the beginning of a national reputation in the candidate's field. There must also be strong indications of a commitment to original research or creative work that will lead to sustained contributions over time and to the judgment that growth in stature will continue.”  A good indicator of excellence in research is the assessment of outstanding scholars in our discipline.  Your input is thus extremely important to the evaluation of Professor [NAME’s] case.

            As I indicated in my earlier correspondence, we will send you Professor [NAME’s] scholarly materials by [DATE].  Your candid assessment of the impact and significance of [name] scholarship will be most useful.  Of particular value will be an appraisal of [name] research abilities and achievements; the quality of [his / her] publications; [his / her] reputation and standing in the field; [his / her] potential for future growth and achievement; and whether [he / she] would be ranked among the most capable and promising scholars in [his /her] cohort.

            The University of Virginia's College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences' normal probationary period for tenure is six years. If the probationary period for the candidate you are evaluating appears to be longer than the normal period, the candidate has received an extension in accordance with our tenure clock extension policy. This extension does not change the criteria for promotion or tenure, and the candidate should not be held to a higher standard because of an extension.

           This evaluation will be shared with the tenured members of the [department’s name], the College’s Committee on Tenure and Promotion, the Dean and the Provost, as part of the normal tenure and review process. Under University of Virginia policy, the identity of authors of letters of evaluation that are included in the personnel review files are to be held in confidence. To the extent permitted by law, we will treat your response as confidential and make it available only to those involved in the review process.

            Thank you again for agreeing to provide this very important service.  We would ask to receive your assessment by [DATE]. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at  [e-mail address and phone number]

Sincerely,

NAME
TITLE


Cover Letter to External Reviewer When Materials are Sent (Promotion to Associate)

 

Dear Professor _____________:

            Thank you for agreeing to serve as an evaluator of [NAME’s] case for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.  Your evaluation is very important in the tenure and promotion process.  I know well that this is a time-consuming endeavor, and I appreciate your willingness to share your expertise with us.

            Included here please find copies of Professor [NAME’s] publications and manuscripts, [his / her] statement on research and teaching, and a copy of [his /her] C.V.  As I indicated in the [letter / e-mail] of [DATE], we are requesting an appraisal of Professor [NAME’s] research abilities and scholarly achievements; the quality of [his / her] publications; [his /her] reputation and standing in the field; [his / her] potential for further growth and achievement; and whether [he /she] would be ranked among the most capable and promising scholars in [his /her] cohort.

            Please recall that under University of Virginia policy, candidates for promotion with tenure must meet the following standard: “There must exist a body of original research or creative work sufficient in quality and quantity to have led at least to the beginning of a national reputation in the candidate's field. There must also be strong indications of a commitment to original research or creative work that will lead to sustained contributions over time and to the judgment that growth in stature will continue.”

            Please note that, under University of Virginia policy, the identity of authors of letters of evaluation that are included in the personnel review files are to be held in confidence. To the extent permitted by law, we will treat your response as confidential and make it available only to those involved in the review process.

            Please send your evaluation to me by [DATE].  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [e-mail and phone number].

            Thank you again for your assistance.

Sincerely,

NAME
TITLE


P&T Request to External Reviewer, for Promotion from Associate to Full Professor

 

Dear Professor _____________:

         Tenured Associate Professor [NAME] is being considered for promotion to Full Professor in the department of [name] at the University of Virginia.

         As chair of the departmental promotion committee for Professor [NAME], I am charged with seeking evaluations from distinguished colleagues, such as yourself, who are qualified to judge the candidate's research, career development and contributions to the field.  Therefore, I am writing to ask whether you would be willing to serve as an evaluator of [his / her] scholarly achievements.

         I attach here a copy of Professor [NAME’s] C.V. for your consideration. If you are able to help us with this evaluation, I will send a letter detailing the evaluation process. We will send you the candidate's materials by [DATE] and will need your evaluation by [DATE].

          Under College of Arts and Sciences policy, the research record of candidates for promotion to full professor must meet the following standard: “Candidates must demonstrate a sustained and substantial record of scholarship or creative work with clear establishment of a national and/or international prominence. Research portfolios should typically include a significant advance beyond the body of work on which tenure was based.”

          Please note that, under University of Virginia policy, the identity of authors of letters of evaluation that are included in the personnel review files are to be held in confidence. To the extent permitted by law, we will treat your response as confidential and make it available only to those involved in the review process.

          Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. Please let me know whether you can serve as an evaluator by [DATE].

Sincerely,

NAME
TITLE


P&T Request after Receiving Positive Response from External Reviewer (Promotion to Full)

 

Dear Professor ___________:

         Thank you for agreeing to serve as an outside referee in the promotion case of [NAME].  The University of Virginia is committed to promoting only those candidates whose achievements as scholars and teachers are well documented.  More specifically, under College of Arts and Sciences policy, “candidates must demonstrate a sustained and substantial record of scholarship or creative work with clear establishment of a national and/or international prominence. Research portfolios should typically include a significant advance beyond the body of work on which tenure was based.” A good indicator of excellence in research is the assessment of outstanding scholars in our discipline. Your input is thus extremely important to the evaluation of Professor [NAME’s] case.

            As I indicated in my earlier correspondence, we will send you Professor [NAME’s] scholarly materials by [DATE].  Your candid assessment of the impact and significance of [name] scholarship will be most useful.  Of particular value will be an appraisal of [name] research abilities and achievements; the quality of [his / her] publications; [his / her] reputation and standing in the field; [his / her] potential for future growth and achievement; and whether [he / she] would be ranked among the most capable and promising scholars in [his /her] cohort.

         This evaluation will be shared with full professors in the [department’s name], the College’s Committee on Tenure and Promotion, the Dean and the Provost, as part of the normal tenure and review process. Under University of Virginia policy, the identity of authors of letters of evaluation that are included in the personnel review files are to be held in confidence. To the extent permitted by law, we will treat your response as confidential and make it available only to those involved in the review process.

            Thank you again for agreeing to provide this very important service.  We would ask to receive your assessment by [DATE]. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at  [e-mail address and phone number]

Sincerely,

NAME
TITLE

 


Cover Letter to External Reviewer When Materials are Sent (Promotion to Full)

 

Dear Professor _____________:

            Thank you for agreeing to serve as an evaluator of [NAME’s] case for promotion to Full Professor.  Your evaluation is very important in the promotion process.  I know well that this is a time-consuming endeavor, and I appreciate your willingness to share your expertise with us.

            Included here please find copies of Professor [NAME’s] publications and manuscripts, [his / her] statement on research and teaching, and a copy of [his /her] C.V.  As I indicated in the [letter / e-mail] of [DATE], we are requesting an appraisal of Professor [NAME’s] research abilities and scholarly achievements; the quality of [his / her] publications; [his /her] reputation and standing in the field; [his / her] potential for further growth and achievement; and whether [he /she] would be ranked among the most capable and promising scholars in [his /her] cohort.

            Please recall that under College of Arts and Sciences policy, the research record of candidates for promotion to full professor must meet the following standard: “Candidates must demonstrate a sustained and substantial record of scholarship or creative work with clear establishment of a national and/or international prominence. Research portfolios should typically include a significant advance beyond the body of work on which tenure was based.”

Please note that, under University of Virginia policy, the identity of authors of letters of evaluation that are included in the personnel review files are to be held in confidence. To the extent permitted by law, we will treat your response as confidential and make it available only to those involved in the review process.

            Please send your evaluation to me by [DATE].  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [e-mail and phone number].

            Thank you again for your assistance.

Sincerely,

NAME
 

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