Obtaining Letters of Recommendation for Distinguished Professor Candidates
Provost’s Office 2004 April 12
(With Thanks to Various Department Chairs)
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.
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__.
institutional guidelines for nominating and appointing distinguished
professors state that evaluators should address the following
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.
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
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
We very much appreciate your willingness to contribute to the process of promoting M____ to the rank of Distinguished Professor.
Professor and Chair