16 · SPEC Kit 293
another requests that reviewers evaluate the inde-
pendence of the candidate’s contributions.
Fifty-four percent of the respondents (20) give
the reviewer more than one month to complete
the review while 46% (17) allow two weeks to one
month for completion of the review. No respon-
dent gives the reviewer less than two weeks. If the
reviewer has questions about the review process or
instructions, in almost every case (s)he is instructed
to contact the person who made the initial contact.
In one case, the personnel officer makes first con-
tact, but the reviewer is told to contact the library
director if there are questions. In another case, just
the opposite is true. In a third case, the review com-
mittee makes the initial contact, but the library di-
rector is the contact for questions. The candidate is
never designated as a contact.
Relationship of the Portfolio Contents to
Reviewer Instructions
A comparison of the responses to the questions
about what the reviewer is asked to evaluate and
what documentation is submitted as part of the
candidate’s portfolio reveals that the majority of re-
spondents (28 or 76%) provide sufficient evidence
of the candidate’s performance in each area they
ask the external reviewer to evaluate. A few send
very little material, but also only ask for a limited
review. For example, one respondent only sends
examples of the candidate’s publications and only
asks the reviewer to evaluate those publications.
Another sends only a summary statement, but in-
structs the reviewer to “evaluate only areas with-
in the criteria of which the reviewer has personal
knowledge.” A third doesn’t send a portfolio at all,
but explains that the “reviewer is asked to com-
ment on specific accomplishments and/or position
responsibilities suggested by the candidate.”
What is notable is the number of respondents
who rely heavily on the candidate’s CV or summa-
ry statement for evidence of performance. For ex-
ample, three respondents send only a CV or sum-
mary, four send both a CV and summary, and two
send a CV and publications. All ask the reviewer
to evaluate publications, creative and service ac-
tivities, and job performance. Also of note are the
practices of the three institutions that stated the
purpose of the review is to show the candidate in a
positive light. One of these sends the reviewers the
CV and publications the other two send all catego-
ries of portfolio materials. Together these examples
raise the unanswered question of what is sufficient
evidence of the quality of the performance the re-
viewer is being asked to evaluate.
Procedural documents were available for seven
of the institutions that ask reviewers to evaluate a
candidate’s job performance. In two cases, review-
ers are specifically chosen because they are ac-
quainted with the candidate’s work or have a pro-
fessional connection with him/her. In two others,
reviewers include both those who are familiar with
the candidate and those who are not. The remain-
ing three documents were unclear on these points.
Estimated Costs of Time Spent on a Review
Not surprisingly, none of the survey respondents
track or have tried to track the costs of requiring
external reviews for candidates. None track or try
to estimate the time spent by candidates and others
in preparing documentation for external reviews,
either. Likewise, none of the respondents compen-
sate reviewers financially for conducting reviews
of their candidates.
In the absence of this information, the survey
authors developed a rough estimate of the cost of
conducting external reviews using data available
from this survey and the ARL annual salary survey.
Administrative and department chair positions and
library faculty with longer years of service are most
likely to be external reviewers. Using salary survey
data on the average salaries for these positions and
assuming a 40-hour workweek for a 52-week year,
an average hourly rate of each position was calcu-
lated. According to this survey’s respondents, one
review takes 5.9 hours of labor, on average, and 24
hours at most. The cost of conducting one review
Previous Page Next Page