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Letters of Evaluation from Outside Reviewers

The provost’s memorandum to tenured and tenure track faculty describing promotion policies (Click here) indicates that “ external letters should be sought from peer or aspirational peer universities.  Examples of the peer and aspirational peers include members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and leading international institutions.  Letters may also be sought from faculty members at top academic programs from other institutions, and from preeminent experts at other institutions, although justification in the form of expertise credentials is expected in the latter case.  A minimum of 5 letters is expected for tenure and/or promotion cases and documentation should be included stating whether a letter writer was suggested by the candidate or by the department/school.  Finally, when requesting a letter, it should be made clear that the letter writer should focus on the domain(s) of expertise of the candidate be that/they the scholarship of Discovery, Learning and/or Engagement.” For external letter policy, please click here.

When writing letters requesting outside reviewers for the evaluation of candidates in the promotion process, it is important to inform them that there is a slight possibility that the evaluation may become public.  Please use the Sample Letter to Outside Reviewers of Candidates Under Consideration for Promotion as a guide when requesting evaluations.

As more faculty are using Purdue's tenure clock extension policy (click HERE to view policy), it is important for outside reviewers to understand when candidates' probationary periods have been extended. An additional paragraph in the letter requesting an outside reviewer to evaluate a candidate for promotion should be included. The appropriate wording is in the second to the last paragraph in the sample letter.