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Provost and VP for Academic Affairs
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Tenure, Promotion, CCE

Obtaining Letters of Recommendation for Distinguished Professor Candidates

Provost’s Office 2004 April 12

(With Thanks to Various Department Chairs)

Reviewers who could write letters of recommendation may be solicited from the candidate and suggested by the department. The writers should be respected scholars in the field who know the candidate’s work and are able to comment on it, but may not be co-authors or from any CUNY college. See the guidelines for more information. It is advisable to speak with prospective reviewers before writing them, to gauge their willingness and ability to write appropriate letters. All letters solicited on behalf of the candidate must be included in the application. The letter to the reviewer should describe the University’s expectations for distinguished professors, as in the example below. For each reviewer, provide short biographical sketch along with an indication of their relationship with the candidate. 


Sample Request Letter for Distinguished Professor


Dear Professor ___:


M___ N___, a member of our department since 19__, and professor of A____ since 19__, has been nominated to receive the title of Distinguished Professor.  This title is conferred by the City University of New York. 

The appropriate committee at Queens College, in consultation with the Provost, Divisional Dean, and Chair of the Department of A____, has agreed to take the next and most important step in consideration of Professor N___’s nomination.  This is to obtain letters from outside evaluators.  I am asking you to write such a letter, to be received, if at all possible, by _____, 20__.

Our institutional guidelines for nominating and appointing distinguished professors state that evaluators should address the following questions: 

a) Are the candidate’s achievements exceptional?

b) Have the achievements had a lasting influence?

c) Are the achievements broad and pervasive?

d) Does the nominee possess a national and international reputation?

For your information, we are enclosing a copy of Professor N___’s curriculum vitae.

Queens College is a comprehensive liberal arts college offering baccalaureate and master’s degrees.  In a number of disciplines, including ours, faculty members may also serve on the doctoral faculty of the City University Graduate School.  The teaching load is generally three, three-credit courses per semester.  In our department this means that professors typically teach 120 to 150 students per semester and thus have sizeable teaching responsibilities. 


My colleagues and I have long felt that M___ N___’s international reputation as an A____ scholar and her continued involvement in research related to A____ deserve the recognition that the title Distinguished Professor would confer.  In addition to maintaining an exceptional level of scholarly activity, M____ has also served our department well as ___.  She has proven to be a thoughtful, dedicated teacher and a valued colleague. 


We very much appreciate your willingness to contribute to the process of promoting M____ to the rank of Distinguished Professor.


___ ____

Professor and Chair


 Office Information


CUNY Queens College
65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Queens, NY 11367-1597

Kiely Hall, 11th Floor

Regular Office Hours: 
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Summer Office Hours: June 25 - August 10:
Monday - Thursday: 8:15 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday: Closed

+1 (718) 997-5900 (Voice)

+1 (718) 997-5879 (Fax)



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