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Dignitary Visits to Campus

> Protocol guidelines and templates

UCLA VISITING DIGNITARY POLICY AND GUIDELINES

The Visiting Dignitary Policy (UCLA Policy 106: Visiting Dignitaries) governs the way dignitary visits to UCLA are managed.  The policy and guidelines are intended to ensure these visits are well coordinated and that event goals and objectives are met and applies to all dignitary visits to campus, whether they are university-initiated or requested by an outside entity.




1. Invitation Protocol and Review Process

The Visiting Dignitary Request Form must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Vice Chancellor, External Affairs before you commit to a dignitary visit. The Chancellor has placed administrative responsibility for dignitary visits with External Affairs, to serve as the office of record and campus resource for protocol and assistance for dignitary visits. The request form is available for download here.

Please send the completed form to Rhonda Wade, rwade@support.ucla.edu. If the visit involves an international dignitary, please copy Elsie Walton, ewalton@international.ucla.edu, in the International Institute.

The Chancellor reserves the right to extend the invitation to high profile dignitaries including but not limited to the sitting or former President of the United States and high-ranking representatives of foreign governments. Dignitaries may be defined as any of the following:

  • Current or former chiefs of state/heads of government or their spouses
  • High-ranking members of royalty
  • United Nations secretary general
  • High-ranking representatives of foreign governments
  • Religious or spiritual leaders, such as the Pope
  • United States Cabinet members
  • United States members of Congress (senators and representatives)
  • California governor and/or first spouse
  • Mayor of Los Angeles
  • President of the University of California
  • Regents of the University of California

Once your request has been received, External Affairs will consult with the Chancellor to determine his involvement, including but not limited to his extending the invitation and his participation in the visit. If the visiting dignitary does not fall into one of these categories, you must still submit the Visiting Dignitary Request Form in advance so the Chancellor’s Office can be advised, protocol guidance may be provided, and impacted campus departments may be notified.

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2. Chancellor and Administrator Roles

In addition to the Chancellor reserving the right to extend the invitation to any dignitary, his role may also include:

  • Personally extending invitation letters to dignitaries
  • His name included as host/co-host on any printed invitations sent to guests
  • Greeting dignitaries and their delegations upon their arrival
  • Providing welcome remarks and introducing the dignitary at any program
  • Presenting any honors bestowed upon the dignitary
  • Presenting an official university gift

The Chancellor may recommend his role be conducted by another appropriate university official of his designation. External Affairs will advise on the appropriate protocol.

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3. Event Expenses

Before UCLA departments/units consider sponsoring a dignitary visit to campus, be aware that dignitary visits, at any level, may involve significant costs, including security. These costs are the responsibility of the UCLA department or unit sponsoring the visit. Prior to submitting a Visiting Dignitary Request Form, the requesting unit must ensure there is adequate funding to host these events. It is recommended you consult with Tracy Hershey, Special Events & Protocol, tracyh@support.ucla.edu, early in your planning to avoid unanticipated expenses that could negatively impact your event.

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4. Visitor Notification Email Alert

There are campus departments, such as Parking, UCPD, etc., that must be notified of dignitary visits to campus. Upon visit confirmation by the dignitary, Special Events & Protocol will send out a Visitor Notification email to campus representatives informing them of potential logistical coordination. The alert is not an invitation or promotion for the event. Please contact Marina Banach, Special Events & Protocol, mbanach@support.ucla.edu, with event details.

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5. Dignitary Gifts

For dignitary visits, high-profile program participants or honorees, it is appropriate that a gift be presented on behalf of the University in appreciation or to promote goodwill. It is the responsibility of the hosting department to purchase a gift that could be presented by the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Vice Provost, Dean or appropriate designate. For more details, please visit the UCLA Dignitary Gift website, or contact Elsie Walton, International Institute, ewalton@international.ucla.edu, or Marina Banach, Special Events & Protocol, mbanach@support.ucla.edu.

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6. Protocol for Dignitary Introductions

When hosting a high-profile dignitary at your event, the University has established a protocol for greetings and introductions. Please be mindful that one or more of the appropriate university administrators should attend the formal greeting when a high-level dignitary visits UCLA. For more details, please visit the UCLA Protocol for Dignitary Introductions website.

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