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letters of recommendation

November 2023 


Dear Friends, Colleagues, Former Students, Mentees, and Members of My Broader Communities: 


It has reached the point in my life and work where the volume of requests for letters of recommendation I receive exceeds my ability to take on any further requests at this time.  


I have always considered the work of writing letters of recommendation to be meaningful and important—I have such gratitude for the kindness and support offered to me by my own mentors that I have tried to pay forward, as well as a true passion for helping the cohorts of folks I’ve worked with move on and move up to the next stages of their education and careers. In particular, I feel a great sense of ongoing responsibility to support former doctoral students now in the academic job market and in the professoriate.  


I have tried to increasingly tighten the filters regarding what I say yes to, in the name of treating all requests equitably, but try as I might, whatever criteria I set with the goal of balancing support for others, equitability in my decision-making process, and my own needs, the workload for this task keeps increasing to the point that it crowds out other things I need to do. I retired from full-time employment in 2019, and since that time I have been doing the service work of writing letters of recommendation on a pro bono basis. I don’t feel able at this time to continue doing in the future what I have gladly done in the past.  


With real regret, I’ve decided I cannot entertain requests for letters of recommendation at this time. I know there are others who can do what is being asked of me in this regard, and trust that your needs will be met. Thank you for your understanding, and best wishes in all your undertakings. 

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