Dean’s / Chair’s Letter of Recommendation

Often the Chair’s letter to the Dean asking for authorization to make an offer will suffice as the appointment letter as well. However, if any essential information (such as a final determination of salary) was not contained in that letter, or if important changes have occurred since it was written, an additional cover letter should be submitted to supply the missing details. The Chair’s letter should make no reference (even a direct quote from a letter of recommendation) to the candidate’s age or visa status.

Generally, for a permanent appointment, the Chair’s letter should include:

  1. Report of the faculty vote and the Chair’s independent recommendation. For appointments above Assistant Professor, the vote or recommendation of the college council, or promotion and tenure committee should be included.
  2. Title, salary, service period (9 or 12 months), timeline for multiple year contracts, mandatory review timeline for Assistant Professors (including WOT and research), percent time, and effective date.
  3. Indication that there was a search and that this person is best qualified of all applicants.
  4. When and where person received degrees.
  5. Overview of employment history.
  6. Qualifications and special expertise.
  7. Comments on teaching, research, and service.
  8. How the appointment will benefit the department.
  9. If a joint appointment: which is primary department, does person have voting rights in secondary department, how funding is split, percent of tenure (or tenure eligibility) in each unit.
  10. If appointment is an Assistant Professor (including WOT and research) who has not obtained a Ph.D. and is therefore being appointed as “Acting,” a statement that it is the department’s intention eventually to convert the appointment to a regular Assistant Professor (including WOT and research), given timely completion of degree.
  11. If not a state-funded position, comments as to tenure eligibility (if applicable) and perhaps a statement as to if or when the person might be transferred into a state-funded position.