Distinguished Visitors-in-Residence


The Distinguished Visitors-in-Residence program brings prominent individuals to campus, either academic or non-academic, for short-term residential visits typically between one to two weeks in length.  The purpose of the Distinguished Visitors-in-Residence program is to enrich the liberal arts, residential experience by strengthening the intellectual community of the College. The program encourages close consideration of the work of noteworthy scholars, artists and public intellectuals. Our hope is that the program provides opportunities to explore the achievements and commitments of our guests as well as their distinguished scholarly, artistic and public service careers.

Distinguished Visitors-in-Residence will normally give a public talk (a convocation, for example) in addition to participating in activities scheduled by the host departments, programs, or even ad hoc groups of faculty with a common interest. Visitors will be expected to meet informally with small groups of students, faculty, or staff.  Distinguished visitors may offer "short courses" for one to two credits during their visit. Ideal plans for a visitor’s stay will balance the specific purposes of the host group with the wider educational interests of the College.

Following are examples of Distinguished Visitors-in-Residence:

  • Marion Ritchey Vance '60
    Formerly field representative for Columbia, regional director of the Andrean region, and director of learning and evaluation at the Inter-America Foundation; grassroots organizer and expert in international community development
    Hosted by Sociology and Anthropology
    Supported by the C. Angus Wurtele Environmental Studies Fund
  • Lila Abu-Lughod '74
    Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University
    Co-Director, Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference, Columbia University
    Hosted by Middle Eastern Languages and the Middle East Initiative
    Supported by the Ira Wender Visitor for Cultural Understanding Fund
  • Michael H. Armacost '58, H89
    Former ambassador and president of the Brookings Institute
    Fellow, The Asia/Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
    Hosted by Political Science
    Supported by the Harold Stassen United Nations Lectureship Fund
  • Margaret C. Simms '67
    Institute Fellow and Director, Low-Income Working Families Project, The Urban Institute, Washington, DC
    Hosted by Economics
    Supported by the Helen Andrus Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor Fund

For information about the Distinguished Visitors-in-Residence Program, or to discuss possible visitors, please contact Associate Dean George Shuffelton at gshuffel or x4300.

Timeline for planning a visit

Nine to twelve months prior to the visit

  • DEPARTMENT: discuss the possibility of a Distinguished Visitor with the Associate Dean. Share CV and other relevant information
  • DEPARTMENT: once funding has been identified, the Associate Dean gets in touch with the speaker, discusses expectations and dates, negotiates, and sends out the contract. Start conversations with the visitor about his or her future responsibilities on campus (course, public talk, etc.).  Guide the visitor about possible topics.
  • DEPARTMENT:  work with the Registrar on a timeline for submitting the visitor's new course proposal.
  • DEPARTMENTAL ASSISTANT (D.A.): if your Distinguished Visitor is a "non-resident alien," contact Brisa Zubia (see International Visitors) and Shari Mayer at the business office about appropriate visa paperwork. 
  • D.A.: request lodging for your guest in Faculty Club by completing the request form.

Six months prior to the visit

  • D.A.: reserve spaces for lectures, workshops, or other activities via Campus Scheduling/Virtual EMS
  • D.A.: add public events to the Campus Events Calendar.
  • DEPARTMENT: be sure to include engaging headings, short paragraphs about the speaker’s bio and research, the name of the hosting department(s), and the events’ funders. Refer to the visitor as a “Distinguished Visitor-in-Residence.” If the visitor is an alumnus/a or has received an Honorary Degree from the College, please include this information in publicity (e.g., Michael H. Armacost ’58, H’89).

Three months prior to the visit

  • D.A.: work with speaker to arrange travel to campus – flight, ground, etc.
  • D.A.: contact Catering to arrange food and beverage for dinners and events.
  • D.A.: complete the Set-Up Requests Forms necessary for the specific locations/events, and submit to the appropriate offices. 
  • D.A.: contact PEPS to make arrangements for the guest’s audiovisual needs at events/talks and to arrange video recording of the public lecture if requested by the Office of Stewardship. Request permission from the speaker to videotape the lecture for donor relations purposes for limited broadcast at the College or on the Northfield cable station.
  • DEPARTMENT: help speaker plan appropriate additional activities: class visits, meals with students, faculty seminar, tour of Carleton or Northfield, book signing, etc. The speaker’s Programming Expenses account can cover these expenses (this account is mentioned in the letter of contract).

For Distinguished Visitors Supported by Named Funds, work with the Office of Stewardship to:

  • DEPARTMENT: extend invitations for the public lecture and any special dinners or other events with the speaker.
  • DEPARTMENT: be in conversation with the Publications Office to create the program announcement and posters. In all publicity, please refer to the visitor as a “Distinguished Visitor-in-Residence” and acknowledge funding sources. For named funds, the Director of Stewardship can provide background information on the fund for use both in printed materials and in introductory comments during the public lecture.
  • DEPARTMENT: collaborate with the Director of Media Relations on publicizing information to the broader community (e.g., announcement on the Carleton Web, local radio, press release in the Northfield News, etc.)

Three weeks prior to the visit

  • D.A.: submit the Payment Request Form to the Business Office for the honorarium. Visitors who have not been paid by the College in the past will need to complete a W-9 form to accompany the Payment Request Form.

Two weeks prior to the visit

  • D.A.: notify faculty and staff about the upcoming visit and submit word of the event to the Carleton Weekly.  Submit any student events to the NNB.
  • D.A.: confirm dinner arrangements: guest list, room reservation, catering, and Facilities set-ups.
  • D.A.: for dinners and events involving guests associated with named funds, meet with the Director of Stewardship to review event details (RSVPs, seating, nametags, etc.)

One week prior to the visit

  • D.A.: confirm itinerary with the speaker and copy those who will be in contact with the guest. For visitors supported by named funds, send a copy of the final itinerary and copies of printed materials (poster, etc.) to the Office of Stewardship.
  • D.A.: distribute posters around campus.
  • D.A.: confirm accommodations and transportation (flight and ground) for the speaker.
  • D.A.: confirm count for the dinner with Catering.
  • DEPARTMENT: encourage colleagues to publicize the public talk in their classes.

Week of Visit

  • D.A.: arrange for pick-up of keys for the guest’s accommodations.
  • DEPARTMENT: send electronic reminders to invited groups, majors, etc. about the upcoming events.
  • DEPARTMENT: give continued support to the speaker.
  • DEPARTMENT: give the speaker his or her honorarium check.

After the Visit

  • D.A.: take care of reimbursements for the speaker.
  • DEPARTMENT: e-mail or send a thank you note to the speaker.
  • DEPARTMENT: ask students, faculty and staff about the speaker’s visit and its impact on the life of the department and beyond.
  • DEPARTMENT: assess the visit with the Associate Dean.