Prior to the pandemic, the committee had conveyed to faculty that the volume of requests for funding far outstrips the resources under the committee’s purview annually. Expectations of de-densifying in space usage related to operations protocols, combined with a general support for a pivot away from the prior, heavily scheduled programming model will inform the committee’s decision-making for 2023-24. While still working under the constraints of COVID, the current year should remain under-programmed.
We hope that faculty will continue to be creative in their approach to programming under these circumstances. To that end, in 2023-24, we will consider requests for traditional in-person events and virtual guest speaker engagements. Both types of events have enriched the intellectual and cultural life of the college and the wider community, and we provide the following guiding principles by which applications for funding will be reviewed under what we expect will be continued, exceptional, evolving circumstances of ongoing pandemic protocols related to space usage, travel, and other elements of events.
Application Deadlines for 2023-24 Events
August 31, 2023 - deadline for Fall 2023
September 29, 2023 - last call deadline for Fall 2023 events
December 1, 2023 - for Spring 2024 events
January 31, 2024 - last call deadline for spring 2024 events
Lecture Committee Guidelines and Criteria for 2023-2024
Applications that address the following three tenets will be given highest priority in review:
- Connection to Currently Offered Course(s)/Student Centered Planning: Public events that are explicitly connected to currently offered courses, with an identified student audience, particularly those with a broad appeal to introductory courses or other courses that amplify the first-year experience. Departments & programs might also partner with student stakeholders, including the Student Recreation Committee, to develop curricular and co-curricular programming.
Additionally, the Committee looks favorably on applications for events that:
- Invite an interdisciplinary perspective, incorporating courses, engagement, and sponsors across disciplines and divisions;
- Provide opportunities to engage in discourse on current events;
- Inform the scholarly work of early-mid career faculty.
Informed by these principles, the criteria below apply to all applications in 2023-24:
- All events funded by the Lecture Committee must be accessible to the Smith community, open to the public, and free of charge: Events that supplement specific courses as advised above may be scheduled during a class block, but must be made open to all members of the Smith community and general public. Faculty who hope to host an “in-class” speaker under these criteria should add a public lecture/performance made widely available, preceded or followed by a class-only discussion or similar. Events must be publicly advertised through the existing college channels: E-Digest; Five College Calendar, etc.
- $1,000 pp maximum honorarium for a public lecture/performance for an individual from outside the Five College consortium; justification for this honorarium should include explanation of balance between on-campus vs. remote lectures plus the value added by the lecturer to both students and faculty.
- $150 pp maximum for non-Smith speakers from within the Five Colleges;
- The Committee cannot increase the limits to the funding above to pay a speaker’s taxes. Honoraria for non-U.S. citizens are subject to varying tax-treaty and visa laws/regulations. Host applicants and their departments are responsible for reviewing the Controller’s Office policies on Payments in advance of planning an event or making an offer of payment to an individual;
- The Committee cannot approve funding for direct donations to an organization.
- Funding for travel, lodging, meals, poster printing, etc is conditional on approved operating mode, as dictated by College COVID-19 operating modes and other college policies regarding travel, entertainment, and on-campus space reservation policies for the date the event is scheduled. A promise of Lecture Committee funding does not override operating modes and as always, approved line item funding for these items may not be redistributed to other lines should operating prevent all or part of a planned event.
- The Lecture Committee will uphold published application deadlines to ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to share in a finite pool of resources. While the Committee is open to helping faculty address unanticipated opportunities that arise spontaneously, the Committee urges faculty to avail themselves of this openness only when absolutely necessary As always, the Committee cannot award new or additional funding after events have already taken place. We will, when necessary, revise guidance and deadlines for 2023-24 events in alignment with operating mode updates.
- In an attempt to make sure its resources reach as far as possible, the Lecture Committee carefully scrutinizes multiple requests from the same applicant or academic unit and funding requests that exceed $2000. The Committee encourages applicants to consider ways of reducing the overall cost of an event (e.g., Five College speakers, generally judicious use of honoraria). The Committee prioritizes funding requests from individual academic departments and programs before considering those from established co-curricular and other centers. Potential funding sources to be considered beyond the Lecture Committee include teaming with another Five-College department or program to host a series and split costs, and the Five-College Lecture Fund.
- The Lecture Committee expects all applicants to first consult with their chair and administrative assistant for advice as to scheduling opportunities and conflicts, review the Smith online calendar, and to check with interested related departments or programs and the Office of College Events, to avoid scheduling conflicts and over-saturation of events.
- All requests must be accompanied by the approval of the chair of the applicant’s home department/program.