I am applying to a university teaching position, and I would like one of my committee members to write a letter of recommendation for me. During my initial interview with the head of the department at this university, I was told that the application may be taken down swiftly depending on several factors. Hence, I'm in a bit of a time crunch.

I have an excellent relationship with the professor I am hoping to get a letter of recommendation from. But they have not responded to my email, and I'm concerned that the delay may make me miss this opportunity.

Since I have a good relationship with this professor, is it safe to assume they will be willing to write me a letter of recommendation, or should I contact the department I am applying to and let them know of my predicament? I have no concern that this professor would write a negative review, but I'm hesitant to assume they'd be willing or available to do it.

  • 1
    What do you mean by "the application may be taken down quickly"? Do you mean the job advert? It's good to be aware that this could be because they have someone in mind for the position already, but may be mandated to advertise the job publically for a short period. Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 20:49
  • No I mean the position may just not be available due to logistics. When I had my initial interview I was told they had not received any applications, and the job has only at this time been posted for a month.
    – WnGatRC456
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


Rather than contact the other university, make sure that the professor in question is aware of the time situation. But, if everything else is in place for your application, it seems unlikely that the university would withdraw the position for any single piece of information that isn't completely in your control.

You might want to consider asking an intermediary, such as another professor or the department head, to make contact with the professor to provide a bit of a nudge.

Let the other university know, perhaps, that you have requested the letter from Prof XYXXY.

  • I also have a good relationship with the professor's husband, who is also a faculty member in my current department but not on my Ph.D. committee. Would it be appropriate to contact them first before going to the HOD?
    – WnGatRC456
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 18:39
  • Sure. I can't think of many reasons other than illness or miscommunication that would lead to you being turned down. For a spouse, of course, the form of the letter/request would be a bit different.
    – Buffy
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 18:40
  • Yeah. Basically, all I'm looking for is to get the professor to check their email.
    – WnGatRC456
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 18:46

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