Letters of recommendation

at academic institutions:

"Nasi Lemak (a pseudonymous UK political scientist) talks in his blog about a disturbing phenomenon. Students applying for a Ph.D. usually need good letters of reference from well-known academics to get into the better programs. One of Nasi Lemak’s former students recently asked a professor at a top US research university for a reference letter, and was told to write a draft of the letter himself, which the professor would then edit and sign. Nasi Lemak did some asking around, and found a surprising number of people who seem to believe that this is acceptable practice."

A somewhat interesting discussion follows the blog. This actually hasn't happened to me, but I've heard of it plenty of times. I guess maybe I just tend to gravitate towards bosses / mentors who take the time to dial the number and call my current boss / mentor to ask them personally. Note to self: probably the way I'd do it as well.