Chair’s Letter of Solicitation

Professor ________________________________
Department of ____________________________
University of _____________________________
City, State zip

Dear Professor ___________________________:

I am writing to ask you to evaluate Assistant Professor ________________________ who is being considered for promotion to Associate Professor in the Department of _______________________ at the University of Washington. Your letter will be used in our Department, School and University review. I enclose a copy of Professor ____________________________ curriculum vitae and bibliography for your assistance in making this evaluation, in addition to other material the candidate has provided for your review.

Your letter, which we need to have no later than __________________________ should contain the following information:

  • How and for how long have you known the candidate?
  • Your view of the significance, independence, influence and promise of the candidate’s work, and the degree of his/her national/international reputation.
  • Some comparison of the candidate’s accomplishments with others at a similar career stage in the same or related fields.

The opinions of outside reviewers are a necessary and valued part of the University of Washington’s promotion review process. Your letter will help us to document the external evaluation of Professor ___________________ work. Because I would like to include a statement about the referees when I forward their letters to our Dean, I would appreciate it if you could return a copy of your cv with your letter.

Under University of Washington policy your letter, as part of the official personnel file, will be held in confidence. While not given access to it, the candidate and/or members of the public may be, upon formal request in accordance with the Washington State Public Records law, provided with excerpts of all such confidential evaluations in the candidate’s file without disclosure of the identifications of the evaluators.

Interpretations by the courts of the Washington State Public Disclosure law have held that external letters of evaluation sought in the normal course of promotion reviews are exempt from disclosure. The University treats these letters as internal confidential documents and does not release them to the candidate nor others outside of faculty and administrators directly involved in the promotion decision process. We commit to retain your evaluation in such confidence, except to the extent we are required to disclose its contents by adjudication or court order, and even then, we will make every effort to protect your personal identity.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to this request.

Sincerely,