Showing posts from January, 2024

Academic References for Promotion + some advice

For those unfamiliar with academic promotions (e.g., moving from assistant to associate or to full professor) the process remains labor intensive. It frequently involves lengthy documents where a candidate explains why they are worthy of promotion* alongside assessments from line managers, Deans, and senior academics from other institutions. Once all of these documents are amassed, committees discuss what should happen next. These meetings happen a few times a year.  It's all rather stressful.  As an external person, I’m starting to get more reference requests and these tend to occur around the same time of year. Whenever I feel able to provide something useful, I will prioritize these because they are essential to the candidate and without them, the promotion process can drag on even longer.  All one can do is make an assessment of someone's contributions while keeping in mind the institutional criteria. That said, I still feel universities probably place too much emphasis on