Approved Sample Letter
FOR INTERNAL UNTENURED ASSISTANT PROFESSORS/ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS
BEING CONSIDERED FOR PROMOTION TO TENURED ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Dr. __________, now an untenured assistant/associate professor of _______________ at Duke,
is going to be reviewed this fall by both our department/program/section and the School of
for possible promotion to associate professor with tenure/a tenure decision. As you know, decisions
on tenure are among the most important a university makes, and we would be most grateful if you
could help us by evaluating Dr. ___________'s scholarly achievements. We are providing his/her
curriculum vitae, intellectual development statement, reprints of publications, and a few items of work
Our tenured associate professors are expected to stand in competition with the top scholars of
similar rank within their fields nationally and internationally. During the tenure review process, we
look for clear indications that the candidate's performance as scholar and teacher is widely perceived
as outstanding. In making your evaluation of his/her accomplishments, please comment upon the
1. Your relationship to the candidate.
2. The strengths and weaknesses of his/her scholarship and the degree of recognition achieved within
his/her discipline. Also, how would you describe the scope, significance and breadth of his/her
research interests and activities as they have made original or otherwise significant contributions
to the subfield and to the discipline to date?
3. Dr. _______'s achievements and stature compared to the best scholars in his/her discipline and
field who are at similar stages in their careers. In particular, which individuals are viewed as
being the top scholars in his/her peer group, and where would you rank this candidate within that
4. To assist the review process at the university-wide level, where the dossier will be evaluated by
scholars who may not be familiar with this particular field of research, we have been asked to
request from you the names of several other experts who would be qualified to provide an
objective evaluation. Specifically, who else do you believe would provide the most illuminating
and comprehensive evaluation of candidates in this subfield? Who else would be best qualified to
evaluate how Dr. ________'s research accomplishments contribute to intellectual issues within
the wider field? Within the discipline?
5. Based on your knowledge of his/her work and the enclosed information, how likely is it that Dr.
______ would receive a tenured position in your university? Would you support such a
We also would welcome any additional insights that may be helpful to the department's faculty
committee, the dean, and the Provost's Advisory Committee on Appointment, Promotion and Tenure
in determining whether or not to recommend this promotion with tenure/that tenure be awarded.
We would appreciate a reply by ____________ if at all possible. Thank you in advance for
taking the time to do this. Your response will be maintained in confidence as stipulated in the
enclosed University policy. It is very important to the integrity of our process that this request be kept
or Search/Review Committee Chair
(Candidate's Intellectual Development Statement)