Promotion to Professor in the University Tenure Line

  • Confidential letters from professional peers are the cornerstone of the evaluation process at Stanford and other top-tier institutions.  External, independent letters are the mainstay of the promotion case, validating the candidate’s stature and impact in the field.
  • Five to eight external referee and three to five internal referee letters are required for promotion to full professor in the UTL.
  • Most of the external referees must be independent (non-mentor, non-collaborator) experts.  Their letters are given more weight than those of collaborative referees.
  • Faculty members preparing for the promotion review have the opportunity to propose the names of up to three potential referees. Taking the candidate’s recommendations into consideration, the department chair or his/her designate is responsible for compiling the full list, which is subject to approval by the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • The faculty member will not know the final composition of the referee lists and must not contact anyone whom they think could be a referee during the review process.