Bringing Scholars and Artists to Campus

Faculty members lead the vibrant intellectual community on campus. Gaining the perspectives from experts in many disciplines and areas of creative production is an essential ingredient of a dynamic intellectual climate. We applaud faculty efforts to bring visiting scholars and artists to campus, and offer these guidelines and suggestions for doing so. Throughout the process, your AAA can be of great help to you in hosting a visitor.

Scheduling a Visiting Scholar or Artist
Bates has MANY events. When scheduling visiting scholars or artists, consider what else is going on at the same time on campus. Are there other speakers scheduled in the same week? Are mid-terms underway? Will your guest be visiting classes? Check with Christine Schwartz ( or 786-8279) in the Events Office, or the online schedule of events ( ) to find a time when there would be the fewest scheduling conflicts with your event. 


Identifying Other Interested Parties
Your visitor’s work may be of great interest to other faculty members, students, and staff, so cast a wide net in search of co-hosts. They can help you broaden your audience and enrich the visitor’s experience, and they may be able to help fund the visit. 

Developing a Budget
When developing a budget, please include ground and air travel, lodging, meals, including any special receptions or dinners for interest groups, and/or an honorarium.

The Dunn House, the on-campus guest house, is a convenient and reasonably-priced lodging option, though booking in advance is essential. Contact Michelle Lewis ( or 753-6957) in the Events Office for details. The reservation form for the Dunn House can be found here.

Catering can give you an estimate for receptions or dinners, as well as charges for regular meals in Commons. Remember, if you are having an event where alcohol will be served in any on-campus location except Commons, Catering must secure a liquor license several weeks in advance, so planning ahead is critical. Contact Donald Desrosiers ( or 786-6298) or Christine Schwartz ( or 786-8279) for info on meals and catering, or go to the Catering website.

Funding for Guests
Securing funding for visiting lecturers almost always includes a written proposal. While the application requirements may vary, be sure to provide who the visitor is, the visitor’s areas of specialization, the subject of the talk or other activities, the prospective audience(s) for the activities, the budget, and why you wish to bring this particular individual to campus.

Securing funding can be the greatest challenge for faculty seeking to bring scholars to campus. Bates’ funding for speakers is both limited and widely dispersed. Here are the places to start:

Your Department or Program. Are there department or program operating funds that can be used for programming? Does your department or program have an endowed fund for speakers? Check with your chair.

Division Lecture Fund. Each division chair has $2,500 annually to support speakers and guest artists within the division. The division funds for Natural Sciences and Math are divided evenly among those departments for seminars and weekly talks. The other division chairs consider requests made in writing or via email for support of speakers. Your planned program may be eligible for funding from more than one division chair. So contact all appropriate Humanities, Interdisciplinary Programs, or Social Sciences chairs.

Bates Learning Associates Program. Your visitor may qualify as a Learning Associate, if they will have significant interaction with students. Full guidelines for the Learning Associates Program are found here. Deadlines are in September, November, March, and April and funding is not distributed retroactively.

Bates Faculty Development Fund. If appropriate, a speaker may be funded through the Bates Faculty Development Fund, overseen by the Committee on Faculty Scholarship. More information can be found here.  Deadlines are in September, December, and April.

NEH Language Support Fund. This fund supports on-campus programming that enriches the study of language and enhances cultural understanding. Proposals may encompass cultural study broadly defined, but usually are generated by faculty in the ancient and modern languages. Deadlines are in September, November, March and May.  Complete guidelines can be found here.

Brandow Fund for the Arts. This fund ($3,000 annually) supports on-campus programming in the arts. Proposals are generated by faculty in the arts. The deadline is in early October.

Other Offices of the College. Depending on your visitor’s expertise and planned program, you may find funding from other offices, including the Center for Purposeful Work, the Office of Equity and Diversity, the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Information and Library Services, the Museum of Art, the Office of Intercultural Education, Multifaith Chaplaincy, among others. Think outside the box.

AV and Media Needs
If your visitor is using presentation media, be sure to determine the speaker’s specific needs and convey that info to Classroom Technology and Event Support in advance of the visit. Most speakers bring their presentations on thumbdrives and have no problems. Visitors who bring their own Macintosh laptop should bring their own dongle (hardware key), as there are many different types. Keynote is not supported at Bates. Contact Ben Lizzotte ( in CTES for more information.

“If I host it, they will come.” They will if they know about it. Be sure to advertise your visitor’s public events: do not underestimate the power of marketing. You respect your visitor’s work and you know others will, so make sure the visitor makes a big impact. Your AAA can create posters, email announcements, and press releases to Maine media outlets through the Communications Office. If your visitor is particularly newsworthy, contacting Doug Hubley ( or 786-6329) in the Communications Office might yield some media coverage and a larger audience.  And don’t be shy about requiring your students to attend!160127_McGrory_Baughman_0031-copy-900x600

International Scholars
Bates welcomes international scholars and artists, but we must make certain the visitor has the necessary documentation especially for an honorarium. Please contact Kerry O’Brien (, who can help determine what visa or credentials the visitor needs.

Paying Visitors
Most visitors who give presentations are paid an honorarium. A U.S. citizen or permanent resident must complete a W-9 Form to be paid, unless you are paying the person through a booking agent. An international visitor must visit the Payroll Office to complete an international visitor form. Note: Bates does not pay speakers or performers until AFTER their presentations, so keep this in mind if you have a visitor returning to their home country right after the presentation or speech, which may require special arrangements for payment.

After the Visit
In an effort to better manage funds available for speakers and artists, the dean of the faculty’s office wants to know how things went. If you have received funding through the dean of the faculty’s office, we ask that you complete a short feedback form after your visitor’s presentation.

More Questions?
Consult your knowledgeable AAA. Or contact the dean’s office staff:

Alison Keegan ( or 753-6952)
Kerry O’Brien ( or 786-6065)
Jason Scheideman ( or 753-6982)