A young philosopher writes:
My institution is considering changing our faculty handbook to make available to faculty coming up for tenure the letters of evaluation submitted by external reviewers. My sense is that at most better institutions, these letters are kept anonymous in order to ensure the candor (and therefore the helpfulness) of the reviewer's letter. Am I correct in assuming that this is, in fact, the case? And:
would you be less likely to participate in a tenure review if you knew that the institution for which you were providing the review did not guarantee anonymity?
It is certainly my impression that tenure letters are treated as confidential, and I imagine an explicit policy of not treating the as confidential would affect the willingness of referees to participate. What do readers think?