Chairs are often considered to be responsible for bringing speakers to campus and being their hosts while they are here. Some departments have endowed funds or grant funds dedicated to bringing speakers. In addition, some endowed funds managed by the Office of the Provost and listed elsewhere in the chairs’/directors’ handbook support visiting speakers for designated departments, generally on a rotating basis:: the Chesley Lectureship (for the sciences, broadly construed), the Light Lectureship (for composers, writers, and artists), the Lucas Lectureship (for the creative arts), and the Wolff Lectureship (on the intersection of science, technology, and public policy). Departments and programs can also apply to the Distinguished Women Visitors Committee to support some visiting speakers.  

The Associate Provost also maintains a Visiting Speakers Fund to support visits to the campus by lecturers or performers who can significantly contribute to the programs of the departments, interdisciplinary programs, or other areas of faculty and student interest. Applications to it need to make the case for bringing the speaker.

The following guidelines will be employed:

  • Any department, interdisciplinary program, or group of faculty may submit applications. Applications must be made in writing and the intended audience (who and how many) must be specified.
  • Preference will be given to those applicants who lack other sources of support for visiting lecturers and performers. Departments or programs having endowments or special grant assistance for speakers should turn first to that source.
  • The speaker should be of broad interest and value to the program involved or important to the course the speaker is coming to. A curriculum vitae or other description should be enclosed if possible, along with a brief explanation of the reasons for the application.

We suggest that you have the colleague responsible for inviting a particular speaker work closely with your administrative assistant. Your administrative assistant should take charge of the project and make all of the arrangements for the visitor. Associate Provost Eric Egge is the contact in the Office of the Provost.

If your visitor is a “non-resident alien,” contact Liz Cody (see International Visitors) and Shari Mayer in the Business Office about appropriate visa paperwork.

See the Business Office website for information about honorariums and ACH payments.

Important information about timing and publicity

The campus always feels overwhelmed with speakers, concerts, etc., during the spring term. Please plan ahead so you can spread events out over the entire year. Be sure to check the events calendar on the College Web site to see what other events are scheduled the week you are contemplating inviting someone. Include consideration of talks by faculty job candidates. Never plan an event to conflict with a faculty meeting.

Remember to add your speaker event (public lecture, faculty seminar, etc.) to the College events calendar on the Web as soon as possible. When you publicize your event on the Web, on posters or elsewhere to the Carleton community and beyond, be sure to choose an engaging heading and an informative paragraph (including a short bio) to announce your speaker’s visit. Please acknowledge also the sponsors of the event. If your speaker is being sponsored by an endowed fund, please send all of the information about the visit to Laura Theobald in the Stewardship office, so that she can report to the donor.