Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth. But with Some Glitter. And a Dancing Dog. And Maybe Barry Manilow is Available?

The boys and girls of USF's junior faculty who are up for tenure and promotion have got to get their apps in next week, so I spent much of the day knocking out letters of rec and signing letters of rec others have knocked out.

It's a kind of art. How do you suggest that you are sincere? You don't want to trash all your previous work in this vein by saying, ".... one of the best I've had the privilege to know. Really. No BS this time. This is not boilerplate! That top ten percent that all of us are wedged into? This one really is. No cooked numbers. No crossed fingers. No desperate hope that if we only get him promoted, he can fake his way into another job anywhere but here."

How do you let the readers know this time you mean it? Well, why do you think the back channel was invented, not to mention the glorious art of sotto voce.

P.S. As it happens, everything I wrote and everything I attested to this time 'round was God's own truth. And you can take that to the bank. Indeed, you can link to it, which is probably more useful.

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