44 · SPEC Kit 293
University of Illinois at Chicago
contents of the dossier.
Candidate’s Responsibilities: The candidate is responsible for furnishing to the
executive officer the information which is requisite for completing the forms and forwarding the
case, but does not determine the content and presentation of the case. The candidate will
review the factual elements of the papers and acknowledge this review with a signature
on the cover sheet. The executive officer has final responsibility and authority for the
content and presentation of the papers.
Candidate=s Contributions (if any) to Collaborative Research (See Section V.C. of
Part IV Forms).The letters in this section are to be solicited by the executive officer, not by the
candidate. Unit executive officers are strongly encouraged to solicit letters from collaborators
especially in multi­investigator studies.
The External Evaluation: In evaluating a candidate's scholarship, the department should
obtain a written evaluation from not fewer than 5 but no more than 8 members of the
relevant profession(s) or discipline(s) who have not had a close association with the candidate.
Selection of Referees for the External Evaluation: Because the choice of outside
references is critical to evaluating the candidates, the following guidelines should be observed:
Quality of Referees:
Referees should be from strong departments at major research institutions, such as those
typically found among Research I, AAU, or premier foreign institutions.
All referees from universities must be full professors or equivalent (for example Readers at a
British University) with outstanding scholarly accomplishment in the candidate’s field.
If referees are from industry or government, they should be of a similar stature to a full
professor at a major research institution, and this should be justified in the papers.
Deviations from the above guidelines are permissible if a proper evaluation of the candidates
work would not otherwise be possible. For example, if a candidate’s field is so small that it will
not be possible to find at least 5 referees satisfying the above criteria who have the expertise
necessary to evaluate the candidate’s work, if an Associate Professor is uniquely qualified to
evaluate a candidate’s work, or in situations where a faculty member is well known in the
profession, it may be difficult to find leading scholars who do not have close ties with the
candidate. Such deviations must be explained in detail. Simply saying “the field is too small”
does not constitute a justification.
Objectivity and Conflicts of Interest:
Referees should be chosen so that they will provide, and be seen to provide,
evaluations that are as objective as possible. They should not have served as thesis
advisor of the candidate, nor have collaborated with the candidate, nor have some other
past or current close relationship with the candidate that would interfere with their
objective assessment of the case, or give them a stake in the outcome of the case.
However, as noted above, letters from collaborators which address a candidate’s
contribution to a collaboration may be solicited by the unit executive officer and
included in Section V.C. in the P&T papers.
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