New Resource for Tenure, Promotion and Program Reviews

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Linda A Bennett
Keri Brondo

Anthropology as a discipline has become both vast and varied in recent decades. The number of people graduating with doctoral, masters and bachelor degrees in the discipline has continued to expand and flourish. These anthropologists are entering a myriad of careers in which they apply their anthropological knowledge and skills. Concomitantly, preparation for careers in the discipline has become much more complex. Increasingly anthropology programs, especially those with an explicit focus on applied and practice, are hiring faculty members who can contribute to both research and teaching agendas that involve students in community-based projects whether domestic or international. Evaluating the contributions of such faculty members and the departmental programs themselves can be a challenge. External evaluators with expertise in applied and practice anthropology are essential for the review process.

To help the departments meet this challenge, AAA has launched the AAA Resource Panel for External Tenure and Promotion Review and External Program Review. Developed by the Committee on Practicing, Applied, and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA) in conjunction with the Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs (COPAA), an independent organization, the AAA Resource Panel currently consists of 36 anthropologists from academia and practice who have substantial experience in and a commitment to applied and practicing anthropology. In short, they have the expertise to evaluate work in specific areas of research within applied and practicing anthropology.

The need for such a resource became evident when CoPAPIA and COPAA organized sessions to discuss the development of the 2011 AAA Guidelines for Evaluating Scholarship in the Realm of Practicing, Applied, and Public Interest Anthropology for Academic Promotion and Tenure ( We learned through those meetings and conversations that departments of anthropology often had limited knowledge about appropriate anthropologists to evaluate applied, practicing and public interest scholarship for the tenure and promotion of faculty. We were encouraged to develop this Resource Panel to aid departments in identifying potential external reviewers to evaluate a faculty member being considered for tenure and promotion. Similarly, the AAA regularly receives requests for suggestions of anthropologists for departmental external program reviews. Therefore we decided to encompass program reviews within the overall Resource Panel initiative.

The Resource Panel is now available on You will find considerable information about each panelist: a short statement indicating the panelist’s professional expertise, a curriculum vita, a photo, and an indication of willingness to be invited for the Tenure and Promotion or the Program Review components of the Resource Panel. Each panelist has volunteered their services to the AAA and has the option to accept or decline a particular invitation to conduct a review.

The Resource Panel can be found on the AAA website at

This is a living entity and as such, membership will be updated biannually. We welcome nominations to serve on the Resource Panel and feedback about this initiative. Please direct such communications to Linda Bennett ( or Keri Brondo (

Linda A Bennett is professor of anthropology and associate dean at the University of Memphis. She has been actively involved in issues of tenure and promotion and external reviews of programs for many years and is past chair of CoPAPIA and COPAA.

Keri Brondo is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Memphis. In her roles in AAA leadership positions, she has emphasized improving the work climate for practicing anthropologists, as well as creating new spaces and places for practicing, applied, public interest and engaged anthropologists within the AAA.



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