Dossier Service

Tokyo, Japan. Photo Contributed by Yajun Mo.

How to Establish a File

The Department of History offers a dossier service free of charge to all history graduate and PhD students. The purpose of the dossier service is to serve as an official repository for documents supporting an application for academic employment. It is important for individuals to establish a file before beginning their job search.

Submit the following to Cindy Morris in the History Department office:

  • Completed and signed application form.
  • Materials for the dossier  (e.g., statement of teaching philosophy, CV, sample syllabi and student evaluations).

How to Request Letters of Recommendation

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 gives you the right to request confidential or non-confidential letters of recommendation. It is important that you discuss with your letter writers the issue of confidential/non-confidential letters (confidential means that you waive the right of access to your letter; non-confidential means that you retain your rights). Once the department receives a letter, the confidential or non-confidential status cannot be changed.

You must complete the Letter of Recommendation Waiver Option Form and provide it to the writer so she/he can submit it with the letter. The top portion of the form is to be completed by you and indicates your identifying information and your waiver of confidentiality. The letter writer completes the bottom portion of the form and includes it with the recommendation.  Each letter must be composed on official letterhead, signed and dated. Completed recommendation forms must be on file with the department office before letters will be included in your dossier file.  Please note that you will be required to file a new waiver option form for updated letters of recommendation.

According to current UC policy, the department cannot inform the recipient whether or not you have waived your right to read the letters; your waiver statements will not be included in the mailing. If you and the letter writer would like to inform the recipient that the letter is confidential, the letter writer must say “This is a confidential letter for…” in the body of the letter.

How to Request Mailing

Submit your request in writing (e-mail is fine) to Cindy Morris, Please specify which letters/documents you want us to forward to the institution. Your request should include the following information:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Complete address of the institution
  • Position title and/or job number
  • Application deadline
  • If you are requesting your file to be sent overseas via Federal Express, you must provide the phone number of the recipient.

Once your request is received, your file will be sent by First Class mail within two working days. During the busy months of January through May, processing may take up to four working days. Submit your requests as early as possible to ensure that your file arrives in time to meet the deadline. Please remember that the campus is closed for Thanksgiving break, winter break, and various holidays throughout the year. The Academic and Administrative Calendar is available online. Please refrain from placing “rush orders.”

You will be notified by e-mail when your file has been mailed. You are encouraged to follow-up with the recipient to confirm that it has been received.

Keeping Your File Active

It is your responsibility to update your file. The department will retain your dossier for five years from the date of last file activity. “File activity”: includes starting a new file, adding materials to the file, or making mailing requests.


If you have any questions, contact Cindy Morris.