Confidentiality in Faculty Recruitment, Promotion, and Tenure Reviews

April 14, 2008

MIT’s Policies and Procedures include provisions designed to ensure that candidates for appointment, promotion, and tenure receive a thorough and fair review of their qualifications and accomplishments.  Implicit throughout these provisions is the need for appropriate confidentiality of sensitive information. Among other things, P&P specifically says, “An essential component of the evaluation process at MIT is the solicitation of written assessments from persons familiar with the individual’s character, research and teaching capabilities, and academic qualifications. In order to assure the most candid and useful evaluations, MIT has traditionally accorded such assessments the highest degree of confidentiality.”

Honoring these policies is an obligation of everyone at MIT, but especially of faculty members. MIT requires all faculty members who participate in faculty recruitment and in promotion and tenure reviews, and all those faculty and staff who may otherwise come to know confidential information, to safeguard that information, including the identity of authors of such assessments and their specific content. Not only is a breach of confidentiality a serious violation of MIT policy, but without conscientious diligence, we will eventually find that this essential component of our process is unavailable or unreliable.

Rafael Reif, Provost
Bish Sanyal, Chair of the Faculty