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Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation

A letter of recommendation/evaluation is required for all promotion and renewal action. Letters of evaluation will always remain confidential.

The intent of these letters is one of assessment in the three categories under review. This is particularly important in the teaching category where a corpus of student reviews, whether good or bad, needs to be acknowledged and addressed.

For instance, if there are negative reviews, is there a pattern to the comments or are they an anomaly? Are the negative reviews limited to a particular course or are they present regardless of the course taught? If there is a pattern, what steps is the faculty member taking to address the problem?

When APT receives letters from chairs that do not adequately address problems in the classroom, the committee must delay consideration of promotion and ask the chair to resubmit a letter.

The reasons for this level of scrutiny are many:

  • it allows the college to celebrate and promote excellence in teaching;
  • it provides an opportunity for instructors to be mentored and guided by their directors or chairs so that they may refine their teaching approach;
  • it gives due respect to student voices;
  • in extreme cases, it can protect students from inferior teaching by leading to dismissal.


Reiterating information found within student evaluations or relying heavily on quotation is discouraged.

The most helpful letters provide contextual information that provides an additional understanding and assessment of the faculty's teaching beyond what is already evident in student evaluations. What additional knowledge do you have of this faculty performance that might help APT to understand a particular student comment? Do the faculty's courses meet the course learning outcomes? What have you observed of that faculty's teaching from your interactions with them?


Promotion to Rank of Full Professor or Tenure

Letters of evaluation from the relevant chair is required.

Chairs must review the files submitted to Academic Affairs by the candidate, as well as the candidate's student evaluations, before writing letters of evaluation.

After reviewing these files, chairs write an evaluation that specifically addresses the three categories considered by APT, which are, in descending order of importance:
1. Teaching effectiveness (45%)
2. Professional achievement (33%)
3. Service to the college and the external community (22%)

Letters must address each performance category under a separate heading. See information on performance evaluation for each of the three categories.

If there is any additional relevant contextual information (i.e., the faculty member’s role in and/or service to the program), it must be included under a separate heading.

Each letter must conclude with a recommendation for or against promotion.


Promotion Within Rank and Promotion Within Rank and Renewal of Appointment

A letter of evaluation from the relevant chair (or dean, if the candidate is a chair) is required.

The chair must review the files submitted to Academic Affairs by the candidate, as well as the candidate's student evaluations, before writing letters of evaluation.

After reviewing these files, the chair writes an evaluation that specifically addresses the three categories considered by APT, which are, in descending order of importance:
1. Teaching effectiveness (45%)
2. Professional achievement (33%)
3. Service to the college and the external community (22%)

Letters must address each performance category under a separate heading. See information on performance evaluation for each of the three categories.

If there is any additional relevant contextual information (i.e., the faculty member’s role in and/or service to the program), it must be included under a separate heading.

Each letter must conclude with a recommendation for or against promotion and/or renewal.