I am up for tenure. I am allowed a maximum of 5 letters of support. I have two from department colleagues (both long-term tenured and one is a sub-dean) and three external. My chair has asked to remove the two department ones as this is basically just ‘not done’ (against the spirit of the guidelines, the guidelines make no mention of who can or cannot write letters). It is not written in either the department tenure guidelines or the university tenure guidelines that you cannot use department faculty for references.

Is it common not be able to use tenured department colleagues to write letters of support for tenure?

USA.
Regional Comprehensive 4-year primarily undergraduate University.
Mostly teaching school but 10-15% graduate students.

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