REQUEST: Letters of Support to the Newhouse Tenure Committee

After six years, I am being considered for tenure at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University on a model of teaching excellence. I define teaching excellence as providing dynamic and sustainable tools to help individuals engage critically with a world that is perpetually in flux, inspiring them to try harder, be better, and apply these tools in their personal and professional lives, despite fear or apprehension regarding difficult topics.

This approach can make students uncomfortable during the semester, a point I describe in my address at the Chancellor’s New Student Convocation in Fall 2017, but the long-term impacts are undeniable, as evidenced by the Award for Teaching Excellence bestowed upon me by the Newhouse 2017 Senior class.

I want to continue helping media makers make meaningful media (1) in the classroom, (2) through individual student mentorship, (3) and through public conversations at Newhouse, Syracuse, and beyond.

Given this wide-ranging definition, my argument for tenure would be greatly enhanced by support from students and alumni, faculty and staff colleagues, and industry professionals, all of which are essential to my definition and embodiment of teaching excellence.

I would be honored and appreciative for all letters commenting on my teaching, scholarly/creative work, and service activities.


For those of you unfamiliar with the tenure process, I will be making my case to a committee of 9 Newhouse faculty members who will draw on my course materials, course evaluations, and student work, as well as my research, other scholarly/creative work, and service to determine whether I have earned a permanent position at Newhouse.

They will also incorporate letters from students, alumni, faculty, staff, co-authors, industry professionals, and any one else interested in speaking on my behalf. These outside letters are incredibly important and can provide unique insight into my value to Newhouse, to Syracuse University, to the field of Communications, and to the academy.

  • For Students/Alumni: The committee would appreciate information regarding the long-term impact of my teaching (broadly defined) on your approach to professional (and personal) life, especially examples that were not included in the course evaluations. Please be as specific as possible in recounting any of our interactions, inside or outside the classroom, and how they have impacted you.
  • For Faculty/Staff Colleagues: The committee would appreciate information regarding my impact on the environment of Newhouse and the field of Communications. Please be as specific as possible in recounting any of our interactions, both in education and research, that have fostered cognizant individuals at any level (e.g., students, educators, research, industry).
  • For Industry Professionals: The committee would appreciate information regarding my ability to teach outside of the classroom and how I have translated the academic areas of diversity and media technology for application to the changing media and social environment. Please be as specific as possible in recounting any examples or interactions that are emblematic of my ability to apply theory to industry.
  • For None of the Above: Everyone is welcome to write letters to the committee, including individuals who do not fall into the above categories. I am very public in my educational efforts, and the committee would appreciate any information about how my work has impacted you. Do not hesitate to write if you have anything to say that you believe will be of interest to them.

Submit by FRIDAY SEPT 20, 2019

Please address letters to the Newhouse Tenure Committee. All comments will be kept confidential by the committee and will not be available to me unless you choose to share them with me directly. They can be emailed to Chelsea Huitink at with the SUBJECT: Review Letter Charisse L’Pree COM. Or you can drop off a paper copy to the Newhouse Dean’s Office, Room 400, Newhouse 1.

Thank you in advance for your ongoing support professionally and personally.