Sample Solicitation Letter
The four to eight (4-8) external letters should provide a critical evaluation of the candidate's work rather than simply testimonials. It is recommended that the external evaluators initially be contacted by phone or email to determine their willingness and availability to provide these external assessments prior to sending materials.
Below is an example of a solicitation letter. Copy and paste the text below or download this Word Document.
Dear Professor _____:
On behalf of (the Department of _____) (the Tenure and Promotion Committee of the Department of_____), I appreciate your willingness to serve as an external evaluator of the application of Professor_____ for (tenure and promotion to Associate Professor/Professor) (promotion to Professor). External evaluations are extremely valuable in providing information and insight into the professional accomplishments of our faculty. Your evaluation will become a part of Professor _____’s dossier and will be a significant element in the review process and subsequent recommendation(s) from the Department to the Dean of the College of _____ and to the Provost. Also, as per our conversation, we will need a copy of your vita in order to include a brief summary of credentials for the dossier.
I am attaching a copy of Professor _____’s vita and some representative publications. I ask that you provide a candid evaluation of his/her work, with particular attention to the quality of his/her scholarship, his/her professional reputation nationally and internationally, and his/her potential for continual success in his/her discipline, together with any additional remarks you deem appropriate.
Please be aware that external letters are utilized as part of a dossier on which personnel decisions will be based and are therefore made available to candidates upon notice of appeal of such personnel decisions. We will need your evaluation and vita no later than _____ (date). If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact me.
I realize that this request places an added burden on your busy schedule. However, I also believe that you understand the importance of the entire process. Your efforts on behalf of Professor ______ and The University of Memphis are greatly appreciated.
Professor and Chair