Appendix B: Draft Department Letter for Soliciting External Reviews

Dear Professor _________________:

The Department of [dept name] is presently reviewing Assistant Professor [candidate name] for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor of [field], with tenure.

Or

The Department of [dept name] is considering Professor [name] for an appointment at the rank of Associate Professor/Professor, with/without tenure.

As is customary, we are soliciting confidential outside reviews of the candidate’s professional achievements to help with this critical evaluation. I am writing now to ask you to be one of several reviewers of Professor [name]’s work.

We would be particularly interested to receive from you the following:

  • Your evaluation of [name]’s published scholarship, including its depth, originality and the impact of the work on your discipline, nationally and internationally, as well as its future potential. Our interest is primarily in the academic quality of these publications, although the rate of production (i.e., quantity) also has significance. Of course, any comments you may have about [name]’s teaching or professional service will be welcome as well.
  • Your assessment of the standing of [name] with others who are in the same sub-field and whose length of professional experience is similar to [name]’s. Please address the issues of depth, originality, impact, and potential.

    (ADD ONLY IF RELEVANT TO THE CANDIDATE: In making the comparison to others, you should be aware that Brown policy permits extending the probationary period for up to two years in recognition of parenting responsibilities or as a consequence of extraordinary circumstances.)

  • Your candid estimate of whether you would be able to recommend [name] for a position such as the one contemplated for [him/her] at Brown at your own institution, or at other major research universities.

I enclose [name]’s current curriculum vitae and a number of [his/her] recent publications. Please let me know if you would like to have a copy of [his/her] recent book, [title], or if there are any other materials we could send you [MODIFY IF NECESSARY]. Because the department will need to formulate its own recommendation by [date] – sooner if possible, I would appreciate it if you could let me know by [date] if you are able to undertake this assignment.

Recognizing that the completion of an outside review can be an onerous task, as well as an essential mechanism for assuring continuing high quality in our profession, I want to thank you in advance for your kind consideration of this request.

Sincerely yours,

Josiah V. Carberry

Professor and Chair