As a new faculty member, I have just received my first request to write a recommendation letter for an undergrad student who is looking to transfer to a more prestigious university.
I taught this student in a class in his first semester, and have met chatted with him twice informally for about one hour each time because I am his academic advisor.
What should I write in my recommendation letter? I have some information about the student, but I don't know the student as well as I might know my PhD student for example. Is there some kind of standard template that I can follow, so that I can do a good job but also be done with it quickly?
A second smaller but related question. This student has a very high GPA. Should I persuade this student to stay, or let someone in my department know that this student wishes to transfer, so that someone can persuade him to stay? Needless to say, I would not try to sabotage his application by writing a bad reference letter.