External Review for Promotion and Tenure · 17
was calculated by multiplying the hourly rate by
the mean and maximum amount of time reported
for conducting a review. The table of data that was
generated is below.
A director completing one review a year in 5.9
hours would cost $479, while a director taking the
maximum number of hours for one review would
cost $1,948. At the other end of the scale, the cost
of a cataloging or reference librarian conducting
one external review might range from $163 to $682.
Clearly the cost of conducting external reviews var-
ies considerably based on the position level of the
reviewer, the amount of time (s)he spends, and the
number of reviews conducted each year.
The Role of External Reviews in the Promotion
and Tenure Process
External reviews of candidates appear to carry
fairly significant weight with both peers and ad-
ministrators. Seventy-nine percent of respondents
(27) rated the influence of external review letters
on administrators as a four or five on a five-point
scale where five equaled “very much;” only one
rated the influence below a three. The influence of
external review letters on peers was slightly lower;
66% of respondents (23) rated their influence as a
four or five, the remaining 34% (12) as a three.
Responding to Review Requests
Seventy-two percent of the survey respondents
(53) said that librarians at their institutions conduct
reviews of candidates at other institutions. Of the
38 institutions that require external reviews of their
candidates, only one institution said they do not
conduct external reviews of candidates from other
institutions. Of the institutions that do not require
external reviews of their candidates, 46% (18) ac-
cept invitations to review candidates from other
Estimates of the number of external reviews by
library faculty and time spent on them are anecdot-
al or rough estimates at best, as this work is often
not reported to their home institutions. However,
survey respondents estimated that the number of
reviews conducted annually ranged from one to 22.
The average was 6.6. Reviewers spent a minimum
of 30 minutes and a maximum of 24 hours on each
review or an average of 5.9 hours.
Privacy Concerns
One concern about external reviews that came out
in the comments and in the review of procedural
documents is the confidentiality of external review
letters. Often, a candidate’s right to see an exter-
nal review of his/her candidacy is dictated by state
Mean (5.9 hrs) Maximum (24 hrs)
Director $168,894 $81.20 $479.07 $1,948.78
Associate Director $102,484 $49.27 $290.70 $1,182.51
Assistant Director $92,478 $44.46 $262.32 $1,067.05
Head, Branch $70,179 $33.74 $199.07 $809.76
Department Chair* $67,490 $32.45 $191.44 $778.73
over 14 years experience $59,134 $28.43 $167.74 $682.32
over 14 years experience $57,631 $27.71 $163.47 $664.97
* calculated as an average of all types of department heads
*** Average salary / 2080 hours
** Source: "Table 25: Average Salaries of ARL University Librarians by Position and Geographic Region," ARL Annual
Salary Survey 2005–06, Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2005.
Average Salary**
Cost Estimate to Conduct One Review
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