Evaluators

The appointments and promotions processes require letters of evaluation from individuals in a relevant field who can critique the candidate's work and scholarly contributions.  The Office of Faculty Affairs uses two main categories to distinguish types of evaluations per Provost Guidelines:

Non-Arm's Length

  • Letters must be from an academic institution.  May be from any school, unit, or department including the faculty's current department.
  • Mentor, colleague in same department, collaborator
  • Any letter deemed not arm’s length
  • Equal to or greater than the proposed rank
  • Reviewers must be from the research or tenure track

Arm's Length

  • External Reviewer/Referee (from outside of the University)
  • Not more than 2 from any one institution
  • Reviewers must be arm’s length
    • Must not have ever been in a mentor/mentee/supervisor relationship (no time limit)
    • Must not have collaborated in the past 10 years (on a grant or published)
      • Includes published together (unless it was a part of committee service and identified within evaluator reason)
      • Research Project (Grants and/or Clinical Trials)
  • Must not have worked at the same place in the past 10 years including adjunct and secondary appointments
  • No personal friends/relationship
  • Equal to or greater than the proposed rank 
  • Reviewers must be from the research or tenure track

What constitutes an “Arm’s Length” relationship?

The potential Reviewer/Referee should be well-qualified scientists, scholars, educators, and/or clinicians who are able to provide a fair and objective evaluation of the candidate’s work, and whose rank is equivalent or higher than that of the proposed candidate.  Adjunct reviewers are not qualified reviewers.

Examples as to what qualifies as arm’s length?

  • Select peers (research, educational, or clinical) working in your same field who should be familiar with your presentations, work, and publications
  • Current appointment at an academic institution that is not an adjunct appointment.
  • Been on national committees together
  • Editors or section editors of journals for which you review
  • Chairs of grant review boards on which you serve
  • Chairs who have invited you to speak at national meetings or give an invited lecture
  • Know of the person
  • Have shared patients
  • Leaders at the national level with whom you have interacted in any professional setting

Rank Specific Information

There are different requirements for evaluators based on the proposed rank of the appointment or promotion.   All letters should be dated within the last year and on institutional letterhead.

Research Associate Professor, Research Professor, Associate Research Scientist and Research Scientist 

  • Minimum of 5 External Arm’s length
  • Two reviewers must be recommended by the chair
  • Evaluators must be on research or tenure track
  • Emeritus Reviewers:  Must be recently retired and academically active.  A current CV must be provided at the time the letter is submitted in order to be accepted.
  • Adjunct reviewers are not qualified reviewers

Research Investigator, Research Assistant Professor, and Assistant Research Scientist

  • 3-5 non-arm’s length letters are required
  • Evaluators must be at the candidate’s proposed rank or higher and from an academic institution
  • Evaluators must be on research or tenure track
  • Emeritus Reviewers:  Must be recently retired and academically active.  A current CV must be provided at the time the letter is submitted in order to be accepted.
  • Adjunct reviewers are not qualified reviewers

Soliciting Evaluation Letters

The department chair of the candidate should ask the candidate to suggest names of reviewers, but also include other appropriate reviewers in the final list of possible evaluators who will receive a solicitation letter. All evaluation letters must be solicited through Meridian.

The solicitation letter explains that we seek a measured, unbiased evaluation. Evaluators will be asked to describe, very specifically, a candidate's impact in field — or seminal contributions in the case of senior-level faculty. The evaluators receive the candidate’s CV, the school's descriptions of faculty tracks and ranks, and other pertinent documents as required by proposed faculty rank. FOIA considerations are also mentioned.

Several chairs send the external evaluators a note of thanks after receiving the evaluations. This costs little and garners goodwill from those asked to study and report on our faculty.