(Still) Damning with Faint Praise

I am in the midst of reading applications for a graduate fellowship.  I can't tell you which one, but in a way that doesn't matter.  At this point in my career I have read hundreds of applications to our own graduate program here at the University of Minnesota, have evaluated more fellowship, grant, and job applications than I can count, and have read a respectable number of promotion and tenure files.  And the problem of unintentional bias in letters of recommendation is common across all of these evaluative processes.

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