2.7 SAMPLE SOLICITATION LETTER, MANDATORY TENURE, AND PROMOTION REVIEW (Updated Janaury 2023)
[Candidate name], currently an Assistant Professor in the department of [dept name], is being considered for tenure and promotion. Because of your knowledge of the field, we would very much appreciate your evaluation of his/her/their published and unpublished research.
Enclosed with this letter is Professor [name]’s curriculum vitae, his/her/their teaching and research statement, and other supporting tenure materials. If you need copies of any other of his/her/their published or unpublished works to make your evaluation, they will also be made available to you. 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/their research and interests would be valued. We also request an explicit comparison of him/her/their with the most prominent individuals working in the same field who are 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 commentary on these matters as well. Also, please include in your letter a statement of how long and in what specific capacities you have known the candidate.
Please note that evaluators must not be a scholar with whom the candidate has been closely associated, such as a thesis advisor, co-author, former teacher, or other close associates.
To assist in your review, we draw your attention to the fact that this candidate’s dossier includes work performed in one or more years in which COVID placed severe restrictions on all faculty members.
[If applicable] The tenure clock was automatically extended for all tenure track faculty, including this candidate, for one year.
[If applicable]: The tenure clock for Professor [name] has [also] been extended in accordance with University policy for reasons other than COVID.
The policy of NYU is to evaluate the productivity of each candidate who has been granted an extension as if he/she/they had been in probationary status for the normal duration, so that the candidate is not penalized for having received the extension.
Finally, we would appreciate your judgment of whether or not Professor [name] would be considered among the strongest candidates for promotion and tenure 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 vita.
Let us assure you that your letter will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law. It will be available only to the tenured professors 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.
We 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