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External Review

External Reviewer Feature in NAE4-HYDP Online Profiles


At the 2020 Spring Board Meeting, the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP) Board of Trustees, voted to include an option to self-identify as a willing external reviewer in their online profiles on www.nae4ha.com. Dependent upon the home university of an Extension Professional and their personnel status, Extension Professionals could be subject to a tenure, promotion, or permanent status process. Many Extension Professionals struggle with finding individuals of their level or higher to review their dossier or packet as an external reviewer and this tool has been developed to help our membership with finding those individuals.


External Reviewer for Promotion & Tenure and Publications


For the question in your profile of “External Reviewer: Peer Review for Promotion & Tenure and Publication,” you should simply select yes or no. The focus of the letters of evaluation by qualified external reviewers have different requirements from each university. The Extension Professional’s administration typically sends a letter describing requirements for letters and asking if you are willing to be an external reviewer. Letters present evidence of recognized contributions and are not usually to support or recommend. Letters should evaluate the candidate’s record holistically to determine if it supports the claim that the candidate’s work has made a significant contribution to the field, as well as being nationally and/or internationally recognized.


External Reviewer for Promotion & Tenure and Publications Areas


Listed for the area of “External Reviewer for Promotion & Tenure and Publication Areas” are the working groups and other areas and could be helpful to candidates looking for external reviewers. Typically, Extension Professionals are recommended to select external reviewers that have specialty areas similar to theirs. Letters from faculty who are at the top of the candidate’s field and at the very best institutions are particularly valued.


External Reviewer: Description of your University Promotion & Tenure Process


Letters of evaluation should normally be written by faculty of higher rank than the candidate is seeking. However, it is very difficult to know how Promotion and Tenure Processes compare across different universities. Titles vary including: Extension Agent 1-4; Assistant, Associate, Full, Senior - Professor, Extension Educator; and even public service titles. In 2005, Shawn Olsen inquired with all State Presidents involved in the National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) and reported the results in his JOE Article, “County Agents and University Tenure and Promotion Systems,” available at https://www.joe.org/joe/2005june/rb5.php.


Extension Professionals are recommended to select colleagues from peer institutions when possible for external reviewers.  Definitions of peer institutions vary widely, and there is no comprehensive list for what is accepted at what university. Extension Professionals can consider (but should not be limited by) the following suggestions: the Association of Academic Universities list of member research institutions (https://www.aau.edu/about/default.aspx?id=16710), the top 20 institutions from the ARL Investment Index (https://www.arlstatistics.org/analytics), and the member institutions in their Academic Alliance.  Depending on university requirements, Extension Professionals can also select external reviewers who are from non-peer institutions or from non-academic institutions of recognized importance and quality if they have appropriate and substantial credentials–expertise, reputation and publication record. Please refer to your university’s promotion and tenure guidelines for recommendations in this area.


Searching for External Reviewers


Once, members input their willingness to serve as external reviewers, this function in membership search system will be available. To search for willing external reviewers that meet your university requirements is simple. Log into nae4ha.com and select ”Directory” from the menu bar. Select the option for advanced search and choose your membership status as well as the membership type. Click “Continue” to reach step 2 of 2. Select “Yes” if you are willing to serve as an external reviewer. You may also filter even further by selecting the specialty areas of willing external reviewers. Select “Search” and go through the results provided. If you find an individual that you would like to connect with, visit their profile and reach out to them either through their NAE4-HYDP profile or by sending an email to the email address listed on their profile.


For further information on suggestions for achieving promotion and tenure, refer to the article by Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, “Promotion, Tenure, and Merit-Based Pay: 15 Keys to Success” at https://www.joe.org/joe/2008august/tt2.php.

National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals


701 Exposition Place, Suite 206 | Raleigh, NC 27615 | T: (919) 232-0112 | E: contact@nae4hydp.org