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General Information

Updated September 10, 2013


The 2013-2014 Lecture Committee invites faculty to submit proposals for funding of upcoming events.

In general, the Committee funds: traditional individual lectures/seminars, departmental and interdisciplinary seminar series, faculty performances/exhibitions and special one-time events. (We do not fund book tours and provide only nominal support for class visits.) We encourage the faculty to think broadly and creatively about events that both appeal to the Smith community and fall under our funding mandate.

In 2012-2013, the Lecture Committee funded 80 applications (many comprising multiple events) at a total of over $170,000, including seven for the coming year -- almost double the amount funded in 2011-2012. We applaud the faculty for their thoughtful and well-planned proposals; we look forward to more of the same this year and extend our thanks for your continued assistance in maintaining the Lecture Committee's sustainable funding situation.

Deadlines for the 2013-2014 academic year are:

Friday, August 16, 2013 (for Fall 2013 events)
Friday, September 13, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
(for Spring 2014 events)
Friday, January 24, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
(for Fall 2014 events)

The Committee strongly encourages applicants for Spring 2014 events to submit proposals by the November 15 deadline.

As you prepare your proposals, please remember the following:

The Committee upholds its published application deadlines to ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to share in the pool of resources. As always, the Committee cannot fund events that have already taken place. While the Committee is open to helping faculty address unanticipated opportunities that arise spontaneously (i.e., a leader in your field is passing through the area and just contacted you about presenting a seminar next week), the committee urges faculty to avail themselves of this openness only when absolutely necessary.


The Committee reminds faculty that only the 2013-2014 Lecture Committee Application will be accepted for funding consideration (link below); applications submitted on outdated forms will be returned to applicants for resubmission on the appropriate form.


In an attempt to make sure our resources reach as far as possible, the Committee carefully scrutinizes multiple requests from the same applicant/department/program and funding requests that exceed $2000. The Committee encourages applicants to consider ways of reducing the overall cost of an event (e.g., invitation of local speakers, and judicious use of honoraria). All requests must be accompanied by the approval of the chair/director of the applicant’s home department/program.


The Committee strongly encourages members of departments and programs to coordinate events among themselves before applying for funds, and looks favorably on events that have more than one source of funding. A brief list of potential sources includes the Connections Fund for junior faculty members, the Five College Lecture Fund, use of endowed departmental funds, and teaming with another 5-College department or program to host multiple lectures and split travel costs.


The Committee endorses the practice of inviting guests to lecture or lead discussions in courses. Students benefit from such opportunities to hear new voices and to learn from experts whose knowledge or approach might complement those of their professor. Moreover, a guest lecture for a course guarantees an audience for the invited speaker. Given demands upon endowed lecture funds, however, the Committee cannot fund large honoraria, travel, and entertainment expenses for guest-speakers in classes. Instructors who wish to invite guest speakers to their class should try to find Five-College or other “local talent” and should consider offering an exchange of guest-appearances or a meal in lieu of honorarium. The Lecture Committee will entertain proposals intended to defray minor expenses for guest-speakers in classes: up to $100 for travel and a speaker's lunch. Instructors who wish to invite more prominent or distant speakers should arrange for the speaker to deliver a public lecture in addition to the guest appearance in class and should bring their proposals for such invitations to their departments for due consideration before forwarding them to the Lecture Committee, where they will be judged according to the criteria applied to all proposals the Committee receives. Please note that the maximum honorarium for a public lecture (not a class lecture) by a non-Smith Five College speaker is $150.


Proceed to the 2013-2014 Endowed Lecture Fund Application
[requires Smith log in]

Lecture Committee, 2013-2014
Emily Anderson '14, Student Events Committee
Ibtissam Bouachrine, Chair (2014)
Jennifer Guglielmo (2015)
Elizabeth Jamieson (2014)
Daphne Lamothe (2014)
Cristina Suarez (2016)

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