External Review for Promotion and Tenure · 15
the institution’s criteria/standards for promotion
and tenure, copies of the candidate’s publications,
the candidate’s statement of accomplishments, re-
search, etc., and the candidate’s position descrip-
tion, among others.
Four respondents do not send external review-
ers either the CV or résumé. A review of these
institutions’ documentation reveals that the re-
viewers are asked to comment only on firsthand
knowledge of the candidate or are required/ex-
pected to be familiar with at least some aspect of
the candidate’s work. Of these four institutions,
two send a candidate’s summary statement of ac-
complishments, one sends publications, and one
sends nothing from the candidate’s portfolio.
Instructions to Reviewers
The majority of respondents (30 or 81%) indicate
that external reviewers are asked to evaluate the
candidate based on the promotion and tenure
standards of the candidate’s library. All but one
send the standards or a URL where they may be
retrieved with the candidate’s portfolio the other
sends the university’s minimum guidelines for pro-
motion and tenure reviews. Three institutions (8%)
ask the reviewer to evaluate the candidate using
the criteria of the reviewer’s library. Interestingly,
two of these also send copies of the criteria of the
candidate’s library with the portfolio.
One institution responded that they do not
specify criteria with which to evaluate a candidate
three had other criteria. A review of the documen-
tation for these four institutions shows that they
ask reviewers to comment only on aspects of the
candidate’s work with which the reviewer is fa-
miliar, have firsthand knowledge or have directly
observed, or instruct them to comment on both the
evidence in the folder and their personal knowl-
edge about the candidate.
Reviewers are asked to evaluate a variety of the
candidate’s activities and areas of performance.
The candidate’s record of publishing or scholarly
activities is the most common area evaluated by
external reviewers (34 or 89%). The candidate’s
creative and service activities tie for second with 25
responses each (66%). Job performance is included
in the evaluation by about a third of respondents.
According to the documents reviewed, the most
common areas reviewers were asked to evaluate
include pattern of productivity, quality and sig-
nificance of the candidate’s work, the impact of
the candidate’s work on the institution and/or the
profession, and the potential for further growth
and/or continued professional productivity.
A reading of the procedural documents shows
that three of the institutions ask reviewers to make
a recommendation on whether the candidate
should be awarded promotion or continuing ap-
pointment, while an equal number specifically
tell reviewers not to make a recommendation on
whether the candidate should be awarded promo-
tion or continuing appointment. Ten institutions
ask external reviewers to compare the candidate
to librarians at other institutions or in similar po-
sitions. Eight ask that external reviewers evaluate
or estimate the candidate’s stature or standing in
the field, or comment on the degree of recognition
the candidate has achieved in the profession. For
example, one library asks reviewers to compare
the candidate with others in positions nationally
and internationally, another requests that review-
ers evaluate the recognition the candidate has
received at regional, national and international
levels, and a third asks that reviewers evaluate
the state/regional/national/international stature
of the candidate as a result of his/her work. One
institution asks the evaluator to comment on the
manner in which the candidate’s work “enhances
the effectiveness or standing” of the university.
Reviewers are asked to comment on other as-
pects of the candidate’s performance, as well.
External reviewers for one library are asked
“whether [the candidate] would be ranked among
the most capable and promising librarians in his/
her area another asks reviewers to evaluate the
originality of the candidate’s achievements yet
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