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General Information

Updated November 18, 2014


The 2014-2015 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 2014-2015, the Lecture Committee funded 93 applications (most comprising multiple events) at a total of over $160,000, including twelve for the coming year. 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 2014-2015 academic year are:

The Committee strongly encourages applicants for Spring 2015 events to submit proposals by the November 14 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 2014-2015 Lecture Committee Application will be accepted for funding consideration (link below); applications submitted on outdated forms will be returned to applicants for resubmission on the appropriate form.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.


FUNDING FOR IN-CLASS GUEST SPEAKERS: 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 2014-2015 Endowed Lecture Fund Application
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Lecture Committee, 2014-2015
David Bickar, Chemistry (2015)
Anna Botta, Italian Language & Literature (2017)
Floyd Cheung, English Language & Literature, Chair (2016)
Pinky Hota, Anthropology (2017)
Elizabeth Jamieson, Chemistry (2017)
Elizabeth Atkins '15 (Student Events Committee Representative)

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