External Review for Promotion and Tenure · 71
Pennsylvania State University
9. A copy of the letter requesting the external evaluation shall be inserted in the
dossier the request should be for a critical evaluation of the candidate's
achievements and reputation within his or her discipline, with reference to the
mission and assignment of the candidate. Requests should be for letters of
assessment, not for letters of recommendation. (See Appendix C.)
a. If the same letter is sent to all external evaluators, one sample copy of the letter
shall be inserted in the dossier. If different letters are used, a copy of each letter
shall be inserted in the dossier.
10. Deans are urged to request letters from diverse sources and urged not to request
external assessments from the candidate's former teachers and students, those who
have collaborated significantly with the candidate or others whose relationship to
the candidate might make objective assessments difficult. External evaluators
should be asked to describe the nature of their association with the candidate.
Evaluators should be in a position to make informed judgments about the
candidate=s work.
11. Deans should be consistent in what materials of the candidate they send to
external evaluators. Appropriate materials usually include the candidate’s vita
and, depending on the number involved, all or a representative selection of the
candidate’s publications. Colleges may if they wish prescribe that candidates’
narrative statements be included in the materials sent to external evaluators.
Under no circumstance should the dossier as a whole be sent to the external
evaluator. Since the focus of evaluation is to be on the candidate’s research and/or
creative activity, additional items related to teaching or service should not be
included in materials that are sent to external reviewers. Units should describe
their policy in their promotion and tenure guidelines (or criteria statements).
12. Deans must request external assessments from individuals who are of
higher rank than the candidate. It is inappropriate to request assessments
from non-tenured assistant professors for candidates for tenure or
promotion to associate professor, and so forth.
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