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Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior

Hosting EEBB Seminars

These instructions summarize the sorts of things that hosts should plan for, and to mention current policies on certain financial matters.  The EEBB Seminar Committee will appreciate it if hosts will look after all "hostly" responsibilities.  Please let us know how we can help.

The EEBB Director's Office and the EEBB Seminar Committee assume the responsibilities of obtaining commitments from speakers, arranging dates for their visits, arranging housing, advertising talks, booking places and times for talks, providing refreshments at talks, providing audiovisual support, arranging funding and co‑funding, and handling the paperwork for reimbursements.

Here is a list of things the host should do or make sure are done by others:

1.      Pick up the speaker at the airport if necessary and return to the airport.

2.      Introduce the speaker and perform other moderator functions at the speaker's presentation.  Be certain to bring speaker to seminar room with ample time to set‑up LCD projector or slide projector.  Do not arrive at the last minute and expect the seminar aide to set‑up projector system. You, as host, along with the speaker are responsible for checking out projector system especially if speaker brings his/her own laptop.  In the past we have frequently encountered compatibility problems when the speaker brings a personal laptop. We inform the speaker in advance to bring a backup of visuals.  The seminar room (118 Eppley) is equipped with a PC computer and LCD projector.  Your cooperation on this issue will greatly reduce the chances of projection problems, the bête noire of any seminar presentation.

3.      Arrange academic visits for the speaker with interested MSU faculty and students, as well as meals and other social events.  If a student host organizes a gathering (e.g., brown bag lunch) for students to interact as a group with the speaker, please try to include as broad a range of students as possible. For more detailed information on organizing and scheduling a speaker’s visit, please see the (very good) advice offered by Heather Eisthen at the end of this message.

4.  Arrange for all transportation around campus and around town.

Please bear in mind that only the EEBB Seminar Committee can obligate funds from the EEBB seminar budget.  The Committee has voted unanimously in these hard budgetary times to maximize the use of available funds for bringing speakers to campus and minimize their use for food and drink.  The Committee wants to hear how it can help, but without special arrangements, the following policy applies:

Per speaker, the Committee will pay for a few faculty and/or graduate student meals at restaurant gatherings up to a maximum total of $40 for breakfast and lunch and $100 for supper.  No exceptions!  Please note that one of the best ways to involve graduate students in meals is to patronize eating establishments where the cost is modest.  Bar bills should be kept separate from food bills; alcohol is non‑reimbursable!  Open house receptions for EEBB speakers are very welcome, but no financial reimbursement is possible.

Contact Barbara Bloemers ahead of time with any questions about finances and reimbursements.  Also, all original receipts (credit card receipts must include the itemized meal receipt) for reimbursement should be submitted directly to Barbara as soon as possible after the speaker leaves MSU.



Checklist of tasks

1. Two to three weeks before the speaker comes to campus, start working on scheduling the speaker's time on campus. Send him/her an email asking the following questions:

2. About 10 days before the speaker arrives, send an email (through Barbara Bloemers; eebb@msu.edu) to people in EEBB asking if they would like to meet with the speaker.
In this email, you should include:

In this same email, you should include a deadline (about 2-4 days away) for notifying you that the recipient would like to meet with the speaker. Ask anyone who's interested in meeting with the speaker to reply by that deadline with the following information:

You should also send this email to any other groups on campus with members who might be interested in meeting with the speaker.

3.  About 5 days before the speaker's talk, you should send emails advertising the talk to any groups other than EEBB that include people who might want to attend. In this email, include the following information:

4. About a week before the speaker arrives, you should be organizing the speaker's schedule. Depending how many people are lined up to meet with the speaker, you may have to construct a few small groups of people to meet with the speaker simultaneously. Try to arrange it such that the speaker doesn't have to run back and forth across campus; give people with nearby offices adjacent appointments when possible. Give higher priority to EEBB members than to people from other programs, and give higher priority to the needs of students and postdocs than to faculty members. In particular, you may want to reserve meal times for students and postdocs. Don't forget to schedule time for yourself!

5. For speakers arriving for Thursday talks, you should have the schedule in semi-final form the previous Monday. Email the tentative schedule to every person on the schedule, as well as the speaker and Barbara Bloemers. Be sure to make careful arrangements to have the speaker escorted from one appointment to the next.  Usually it is reasonable to ask each person meeting with the speaker simply to escort him/her to the next appointment on the schedule, but don’t assume this will happen unless you have sent around explicit instructions to do so. In case the schedule is disrupted, be sure to include phone numbers and email addresses of everyone on the schedule.

6. By Monday afternoon before the speaker’s talk, you should have straightened out any problems with the schedule. Send the final copy to the speaker, Barbara Bloemers, and everyone who is scheduled for an appointment. Bring an extra copy to the airport to hand to the speaker.

7. The day before the speaker is to arrive, send a brief email confirming that you will meet him/her at the airport. If you’ve never met, send a photo or a link to a URL with your photo, or at least describe yourself and what you will be wearing, so that s/he can recognize you; also, look for a photo on a website to see what the speaker looks like.


Things to keep in mind