I’m an undergrad student at a small liberal arts school, and while communicating with a professor whom I’ve had a course with, they mentioned they are applying for a tenure position in the department I am majoring in.

Is it appropriate for me to send a short email to the department head mentioning my support for hiring this professor? I feel rather strongly about this because I’d very much like to take more courses with this professor, and would be disappointed were they not hired. Also, I feel like I have a piece of information that is to this professors benefit that the hiring committee know, but may not come up from other sources.

I have not taken a course with the department head but I have met with them a handful of times and we know each other to some degree.



Of course you can write to the head. Make it a formal, printed, mail, however. Email might just get mislaid. But also note that most tenure decisions go through committees. It might be more appropriate to write a formal letter to the head of that committee.

The letter on paper will become part of the tenure file to be discussed within the committee.

Also, say more than that you support the professor. Say why. How has he/she helped you or others, for example. Inspired you. Whatever.

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  • Absolutely! Teachers love hearing stuff like this from students and so do department heads! – Dave Kanter Oct 18 '18 at 21:10
  • Thanks! I sent an email, if I don’t receive a response I’ll send real mail too. I’m off campus and across an ocean, and my generation has a real fear of the postal system. – Student_hiring__ Oct 18 '18 at 21:21
  • @Student_hiring__ Using hardcopy mail means that you went beyond that obstacle of hardcopies, so it is really important to you. Be factual with your reasons why you want this candidate tenured. – Captain Emacs Oct 19 '18 at 11:28

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