Smathers Libraries Career Development Handbook

II. F. Sample Letter for Tenure and/or Promotion

[today’s date]

[inside address]

Dear Referee:

 [Candidate's name] is being considered for [tenure and/or promotion] to the rank of [associate university librarian/university librarian] in the University of Florida Libraries. It would be very helpful to receive your evaluation of [his/her] contributions to the University of Florida and/or the library profession.

We would appreciate your response by [DATE]. A self-addressed envelope is enclosed for your convenience.

[Candidate's name] knows that I am contacting you and that the [tenure and/or promotion] process has begun. [She/He] has not waived the right to see letters of evaluation. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please contact me.

[Candidate's name] knows that I am contacting you and that the [tenure and/or promotion] process has begun. [She/He] has waived the right to see letters of evaluation. However, even when a candidate waives [his/her] right to see letters, in a case involving a grievance or litigation, the University may not be able to adhere to the confidentiality of the letters of recommendation. Also, because your assessment will offer a unique perspective that is critical to our review, your comments may be referenced or quoted in letters written by me or the Dean of Libraries, both of which will be made available to the candidate. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please contact me.

The purpose of the [tenure and/or promotion] decision is to acknowledge and support individuals whose record shows that they have accomplished significant library work and show potential for continued growth and contributions to the library, the university, and the profession.

[Candidate's name] will be evaluated according to the Libraries’ Tenure and Promotion criteria (1. Professional Responsibilities and Working Relationships; 2. Professional Development and Scholarship; and 3. Service to the Library, the University and the Profession). You will find these detailed criteria attached along with a general description of the [associate university librarian / university librarian] rank, and [Candidate's name] current vita.

When reviewing the record, please consider that librarians normally devote 85-90% of their effort to Criterion One activities. Candidates must achieve distinction in this criterion as well as in either Criterion Two or Criterion Three. Distinction is recognized when the evidence demonstrates sustained, high-quality contributions to librarianship (or the candidate's area of responsibility) that enhance library services, foster new knowledge, support the University’s mission, and provide leadership to the profession.

We would appreciate your candid and evaluative assessment of [Candidate's name] performance in those areas where you have worked with [him/her] or can offer useful comments based on your familiarity with the records of other librarians at or outside the University of Florida. In your response, it would be helpful if you could comment on the following:

  1. The extent and nature of your professional relationship to the candidate (amount of time spent, projects worked on together, etc.)
  2. The candidate’s distinctive contributions and achievements with which you are most familiar.
  3. An assessment of [his/her] scholarship and/or professional service and the degree of recognition achieved in the librarianship at this stage of [his/her] career.
  4. Comparisons with other librarians of similar responsibility at other research libraries or with other University of Florida librarians of similar responsibility would be particularly valuable.
  5. Any additional insight that may be helpful to us in determining whether or not to recommend that [tenure and/or promotion] be awarded.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to provide an evaluation for [Candidate's name] packet. Receiving feedback from a number of individuals that have worked with [him/her] or can objectively assess[ his/her] contributions will be enormously helpful as we attempt to develop a balanced view of [his/her] accomplishments for our review process.



cc: Library Human Resources Office

Attachments:  Tenure/Promotion Criteria and Description of Rank; Vita

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