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Arts and Sciences Guidelines for Letters for Promotion to Full Professor and for Tenure and/or Promotion to Associate Professor

  1. External evaluators should be recognized experts in the field or area of the candidate, and should be able to provide evaluations that are objective and unbiased. An evaluator in an academic institution should have a professorial rank higher than that of the candidate. In the unusual cases where an evaluator is not affiliated with a university, an evaluator at a university does not have a professorial rank, or the evaluator has the same rank as the candidate, the department chair must submit a written explanation of the evaluator's professional qualifications.
  2. The chair and departmental P&B committee will formulate a list of at least 6 evaluators for candidates seeking tenure and/or promotion to associate professor and at least 8 evaluators for candidates seeking promotion to full professor which, in their judgement, satisfy the aforementioned criteria. The candidate shall be invited to suggest names for this list, but the list is ultimately the responsibility of the chair and departmental P&B committee. The departmental P&B committee is not obliged to take any particular number of names from the candidate's list. Normally, no more than half of the evaluators may come from the candidate's list.
  3. Persons for whom there is a possible conflict of interests should not be invited to serve as external evaluators. Persons normally excluded on these grounds include co-authors or co-editors with the candidate, or those who have been the candidate's dissertation or post-doctoral supervisor. Normally, no letter may be solicited from within CUNY. The candidate may propose the exclusion of up to 3 potential evaluators.
  4. Before mailing the candidate's curriculum vitae and other materials, the chair should contact a prospective evaluator in order to determine his or her availability. The chair should keep appropriate written records of who was contacted and whether the candidate or departmental faculty suggested the evaluator.
  5. Each evaluator should be sent a formal letter explaining what is expected in the evaluation. (The Dean or the school or division involved shall furnish appropriate model letters at the request of the chair.) Letters of evaluation should be limited to the research, scholarly writing, creative work, and/or professional service of the candidate. The evaluators shall be asked to comment on the merits of the candidate from their personal perspective and not necessarily that of the institution where they are resident. Evaluators shall also be asked to describe their relationship to the candidate, if any. An evaluator should submit her/his own cv as well as the letter of assessment.
  6. Besides the formal letter, the evaluation packet will also contain a curriculum vitae and materials evidencing, as appropriate, the candidate's research, scholarly writing, professional service, and/or creative work (e.g., refereed publications, tape recordings of performances, written versions of talks, reviews of published work). The candidate may also include other items, such as a research statement, which are deemed appropriate. The candidate in consultation with the chair should prepare the curriculum vitae and other materials.
  7. All letters received must be available for the promotion and/or tenure process. No fewer than four letters are required for candidates seeking tenure and/or promotion to associate professor. No fewer than six letters are required for candidates seeking promotion to full professor. In particular, no vote at the divisional or school level for promotion and/or tenure should be taken in the absence of the minimal number of letters required for each candidate. It is the responsibility of the Dean of the school or the Chair of the FP&B Sub-Committee on Personnel in Ancillary Units to ensure that at least the minimal number of letters required for each candidate is met for school or divisional consideration.
  8. Copies of letters sent by FAX or emailed as PDF's are acceptable, pending receipt of the signed originals.
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