Boulder Campus Guidelines for External Reviewers for Comprehensive Review, Tenure, and Promotion
28 June, 2007
The new APS on Standards Processes and Procedures for Appointment, Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion sets forth the procedures for external evaluators for comprehensive review (for those units that use them), tenure, and promotion:
[Units will solicit] evaluations in writing of scholars from outside the University and from various locations who are qualified to judge the candidate. Such outside evaluations are mandatory in cases of recommendations for tenure and promotion. Selection of external evaluators shall be undertaken by the department in consultation with the candidate. A uniform selection process shall be identified in primary unit bylaws and followed consistently by the primary unit. Candidates shall be given the opportunity to suggest possible evaluators and may also indicate specific scholars to exclude from consideration because their evaluations might be prejudiced against the candidate. Primary unit bylaws will describe the process used in the department regarding the selection of external evaluators. Care must be taken to exclude any evaluators whose evaluations might constitute a conflict of interest. A minimum of six external letters shall be added to the file. All letters that are received must be included in the file. These letters must be treated as confidential; they shall not be shared with the candidate, though a redacted summary of the evaluation shall be shared in writing with the candidate. The primary unit may offer external evaluators a modest stipend for their work.
In particular, under this policy, candidates under review may suggest evaluators to be included as well as “specific scholars to exclude from consideration because their evaluations might be prejudiced against the candidate.”
Units will need to revise their bylaws if they do not use such a procedure. The following guidelines should be used:
- Units should create lists of potential reviewers made up of 50% names recommended by the candidate and 50% by which ever other individuals (i.e., the chair, the executive committee, the PUEC, colleagues in the same area) the unit finds appropriate.
- The bylaws should specify how the unit will select the reviewers from this list. Units may wish to consider seeking a rough 50/50 split between reviewers from the candidate’s list and reviewers from the unit’s list, but the bylaws should not bind the unit to such a split.
- Candidates may, under the APS, suggest scholars to be excluded. The campus notes that this does not grant the candidate a veto. It simply states that the candidate may inform the unit if s/he believes there is someone prejudiced against the candidate. In cases where the candidate has indicated that the person is prejudiced against him/her because of protected class status or because of personal animus or any other reason external to academic debates, then the unit should in general exclude such a person. In cases where there is an intellectual disagreement, a candidate may decide to list the person but the unit may decide that such an individual provides a useful perspective. The goal is to eliminate personal prejudice, not academic debate.
- In general, the unit should not invite evaluations from a candidate’s dissertation director, post- doctoral mentor, or other key faculty who can be thought of as having an interest in the candidate’s success. In most cases, evaluations would not be requested from continual collaborators, but there may be instances where clarification about the nature of collaboration would best be sought from such a collaborator.