2.8 SAMPLE SOLICITATION LETTER, EXTERNAL SENIOR RECRUITMENT (Updated July 2019)
On behalf of the FAS Department of [dept name], I am contacting you in regard to Professor [name] of the University [West] at [East] who is being considered for a tenured appointment at the rank of full professor in the department of [dept name]. Because of your knowledge of the field, we would very much appreciate your evaluation of his/her research.
We are enclosing Professor [name]'s curriculum vitae and his/her teaching and research statement with this letter. Also enclosed are copies of his/her selected published and unpublished work. If you need copies of any other of his/her published or unpublished works to make your evaluation, please let me know immediately, and they will be sent. It will be of particular value to us if you provided a candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Professor [name]'s research with respect to intellectual quality, originality, and rate of publication. Your comments on the scope and significance of his/her research and interests would be valued, as would your judgment of his/her standing in the field in comparison with prominent individuals at comparable points in their careers. Any additional comments you consider pertinent would be welcome. If you have knowledge of Professor [name]'s teaching ability or service to the university and/or the professional community, we would appreciate your comments on these matters as well. Also, please indicate in your letter how long and in what specific capacities you have known Professor [name].
Please note that evaluators must not be a scholar with whom the candidate has been closely associated, such as a thesis advisor, co-author, or other close associate.
Finally, we would appreciate your judgment of whether or not Professor [name] would be considered among the strongest candidates for appointment as a full professor in other leading departments in the field.
We will need your letter within six weeks, sooner if possible. The University's promotion and tenure committee expects the department to provide biographical information about referees. We would therefore be very grateful if you could forward with your letter a current curriculum vitae.
Let us assure you that your letter will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law. It will be available only to the full professors [and associate professors if hiring is at the associate level] of this department, and appropriate decision makers and review panels within the University.
We would appreciate addressing your response to this request to [Dept.’s Chair name], Chair of the Department of [dept. name] at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for generously assisting us. We realize this is a time-consuming task, but, as you know, it is a critical element of the academic process of peer review.
Chair, Department of XXXX