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Great summary Rachel. I agree that standardization of these reference letters will definitely help produce a more thorough and perhaps candid assessment of applicants. However, as Dr. Hookey mentioned, the fear of damaging an applicant's career with a somewhat mediocre or negative comment would most likely still have a strong influence on this process. Nonetheless, I believe that standardization may go a long way to reduce this "fear" slightly, particularly if it is mandatory to comment on an area of weakness of an applicant.

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Edwin Ocran

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