StATS: External scholars needed to review my promotion materials (August 31, 2007)

Although I do all my work at Children's mercy Hospital, I have a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In a previous weblog entry, I described the process that I would have to follow to get a promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor. One of the more difficult things that the promotion committee is asking for is five external scholars who would review my portfolio. Here's a description of the process from the UMKC promotion materials.


Please Note: The five (5) external evaluators (scholars) should be credible experts in the candidate’s specialty area who can judge the candidate’s contributions and activities in relation to his/her field involving Teaching, Professional/clinical service, and/or Advancement of Knowledge (Research) endeavors. The reviewers must hold full-time faculty titles at the same or higher faculty rank than the rank the candidate is seeking. These evaluators must be from an AAMC accredited school. A complete list of AAMC accredited schools may be reviewed at The evaluators must be impartial, should not be personal friends, ex-colleagues, research/publication collaborators, direct supervisors/mentors from the candidate’s postgraduate institution(s) and/or university/college of terminal degree and not be retired from an academic institution. Only provide one (1) evaluator per institution, who must not be affiliated with UMKC (UMC and/or KU may be selected). Preferably the evaluators should reside geographically in different localities throughout the country.

The candidate must contact the external evaluators to seek their initial acceptance to review the candidate’s credentials for a faculty promotion. During the process of contacting the reviewer, necessary and up-to-date information required on the List should be obtained. The candidate should inform the reviewer that the SOM will be sending him/her credentials for an evaluation and to expect the material around a given time period. Only when the evaluator accepts should the candidate add the name to the External Scholars’ List.

It will be necessary for the candidate’s Department Promotions Committee (if one exists), the head of applicant’s unit, the Institution’s Associate Dean if applicable, and SOM Faculty Coordinator to review the candidate’s List of Five (5) External Scholars to make sure the candidate complies with the above requirements. Only when the Office of Faculty Affairs formally approves the List can the SOM send the candidate’s credentials to the reviewers. The requirement of external reviewers is very important to the UMKC SOM, and the letters will be vital documents in judging the candidate’s credentials.

The five (5) evaluators will receive the SOM Full-Time Non-Regular, Non-Physician and Non-Clinical Physician Promotion Guidelines, all of Part I Application Forms, a summary of the teaching evaluations, and three (3) publication copies which the candidate believes best represent his/her research endeavors if research is one of the scholarly endeavors selected by the candidate, and any other essential information that further enhances the candidate’s activities and performance. The evaluators will be asked to assess the above information, to render an opinion regarding a promotion and whether the candidate holding the same full-time/non-tenure non-physician/non-clinical physician faculty appointment would be promoted at their academic institutions.

It is important to also note that the credentials sent to the evaluators not be too cumbersome, detailed and lengthy as too much data may appear to be too time-consuming and too much of an effort for the reviewer which may induce a non-response or negative response.

Please remember that the SOM cannot recommend nor submit the candidate’s credentials to the SOM Faculty Promotions Committee for a faculty promotion UNLESS the SOM receives at least three (3) external evaluations for the SOM’s review process.

I'm sending out a few emails to people hoping to find someone who could help me out with this review. Here's the text of a sample email.

Subject: Help needed for promotion materials


I am a biostatistician at a Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City who also has a joint appointment at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine.

I am seeking promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor at UMKC. I need some help identifying five external evaluators who will review and comment on my promotion materials. According to the guidelines, these evaluators “must hold full-time faculty titles at the same or higher faculty rank than the rank the candidate is seeking. These evaluators must be from an AAMC accredited school.” I can’t choose personal friends, ex-colleagues, research collaborators, etc. I also cannot choose more than one person from any institution.

I’m at a loss as to who to identify in these roles, and was hoping you might help me find someone, either at your institution or at another institution. The actual review would not take an excessive amount of time. I have briefly outlined this process on my web pages at: and

Any help or leads you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Steve Simon, ssimon (at) cmh (dot) edu, Standard Disclaimer

This page was written by Steve Simon while working at Children's Mercy Hospital. Although I do not hold the copyright for this material, I am reproducing it here as a service, as it is no longer available on the Children's Mercy Hospital website. Need more information? I have a page with general help resources. You can also browse for pages similar to this one at Category: Professional details.