Seminar Coordinator Instructions and Resources

Thank you for agreeing to coordinate the seminars for the Economics Department.  Below you will find resources, instructions, and forms necessary for coordinating a seminar over the course of a semester. 

Where To Start

  1. Contact each Seminar Professor/Faculty Supervisor: 
    • To get a list of booked speakers and open dates that the Faculty Supervisor intends to fill.
    • To confirm which seminars will be joint with another seminar (you may need to confirm this directly with the people coordinating other seminars.  Check the seminar webpage.  
    • To discuss who will be hosting lunches and dinners with the speakers.
    • To confirm which faculty members might be interested in a standard appointment with each speaker.
    • To review the faculty, visitor and student email contact lists for seminar announcements.
    • To determine whether and how many parking permits need to be ordered.
    • To go through standard communications with speakers.  The following are sample templates for communication with speakers:
    • To discuss any special arrangements.
  2. Create the Calendar web page for the seminar.
    • THIS IS KEY – unless you list the seminars in the calendar system they will not be announced.
    • Refer to the Seminar_Calendar_Guide.doc for specific instructions on how to add your seminar schedule to the calendar webpage.
  3. Contact Econ Staff
    • Millie Calingo Budget Officer
      • oversees the seminar budget allocations

      • monitors monthly balances to prevent deficits
    • Jane Youn Seminar Financial Services
      • To gain a general overview of travel and entertainment forms and reimbursement processes.
      • Review current funding balances (may not be available until the semester starts).
      • Report any joint seminars in advance.
      • For help with requesting parking permits from the Parking and Transportation Office.  Note:  Parking permits are usable for one day only. Leave the permit with the kiosk at the entrance to the Evans Hall roundabout on the day before or the morning of the seminar and instruct the speaker to collect the permit there. The permit will allow speakers to park in any C lot (the most convenient is probably on Hearst and Euclid). Note that these are only necessary if the speaker is driving to campus.
      • To confirm reimbursement or any related questions.
    • Seth Novogrodsky  -  Seminar IT
      • To adjust your print quota for printing seminar handouts.


Coordinating a Seminar in 4-Steps

Step #1:  (at least one month prior to each seminar)

  1. Make initial contact with the visiting speaker. Send him/her your seminar-specific updated version of Seminar Speaker Info Email or Visitor_Initial_Email. (see attached).
  2. Request a Title for the talk (even if there is no paper available)
  3. Update Calendar web pages with visiting speaker information, title of the talk, and his or her presentation paper (when available). See item #5 of the Seminar Calendar Guide.
  4. Lodging:  Determine lodging arrangements where necessary (BOOK EARLY - you can always cancel):
    • Lodging: Please use Hotel Shattuck or Graduate Berkeley Hotel (formerly Hotel Durant).   Email or fax the Direct Bill Authorization Form for the Hotels (Contact Jane for these forms).  We will cover ROOM & TAX ONLY as is marked on the form.  Meals and incidentals charged to the hotel should be paid by the traveler and submitted for reimbursement if applicable.
      • Hotel Shattuck and Graduate Berkeley Hotel:  If you are booking a reservation at either of these hotels, complete the attached form for Shattuck or the attached form for Graduate Berkeley (please note that these need to be printed as two sided).  The front side will be familiar and needs to be completed and emailed/faxed to the appropriate hotel.  You are able to request this directly.  The back side of the form is for internal use.  Be sure to list the seminar course number and submit it to Jane.  This will allow us to match up the expenses with the invoices we receive.  If the price exceeds $275/night before taxes and fees, talk to Jane.  
      • If the guest wishes to stay somewhere other than these two hotels, they will need to cover the expenses and seek reimbursement via the appropriate paperwork (see below).  There is a maximum of $275/night before taxes and fees.      
  5. Ground Transportation:   
    • For ground transportation, we encourage visitors to take BART although some may prefer a taxi/Uber. Whatever works best for the visitor at the time of their arrival.  Expect to pay about $40 for a taxi from the Oakland Airport to campus and about $70 to $100 for a taxi from the San Francisco airport.  
    • Please note for BART:  The train from SFO is a direct connection and avoids commuter traffic coming over the Bay bridge (2:30 - 7pm) -  it takes about 60 minutes or less. From Oakland Intl airport the BART ride is even shorter because you do not cross the Bay Bridge. 
    • From SFO airport, take the air shuttle to the SF Intl Bart station. Catch the Pittsburg/Bay Point train and transfer at 19th street/Oakland (or MacArthur) to a Richmond train, which will bring you to the Downtown Berkeley station. 
    • From Oakland airport, take the air shuttle to the Coliseum station and then transfer to the Richmond train.
    • From the Downtown Berkeley BART station, walk South on Shattuck Ave; the hotel is on the corner of Shattuck Ave and Allston Way, about a 1 minute walk from the station.
    • Provide directions and other information such as where to go upon arrival, flying coach (anything that needs a justification), etc.  See Visitor Resource page. 
  6. Coordinate with other faculty administrators from other campuses regarding shared expenses.  Our contact at Stanford is Kelly Carson  
  7. Example_Checklist for Scheduling a Speaker.xls


Step #2:  (at least one week prior to seminar):

  1. Reserve office space for the visiting speaker.  (see faculty supervisor)
  2. Send out an announcement to the seminar faculty, visitor and student email contact list to arrange appointments in accordance with the specifics of the seminar. Discuss with your faculty advisor regarding appointments with Berkeley professors, lunch and dinner plans, and appointments with graduate students in the department. You may also ask the visiting speaker if there are any professors they’d like to speak with while they’re in Berkeley to be sure they have a chance to meet with that professor.
    • Prepare a Google document (similar to this example_Speaker_Schedule.doc  in Google Drive and include it in your announcement.  The Google doc will allow others to sign up for times in which to meet with the speaker. 
  3. Make lunch and dinner reservations – common favorites include Free House, Five (@ Hotel Shattuck) and Gather. 
  4. Copy the visiting speaker’s paper and place it in room 611 (Peixotto Room) and distribute to faculty in the related field. (The number of copies will depend on the seminar. For Development 271 for example, normally 35-40 copies are enough. On the day of the seminar if you notice all or most of the copies are gone, you can make 10 or so more copies and place them in the seminar room).


Step #3  (a few days before the seminar):

  1. Contact the speaker to:
    • Request the copy of the paper if you don’t have one yet.
    • Send speaker his or her meeting schedule for the day.
    • Send a campus map with the location of Evans Hall and information on where to go upon arrival to the department, and your phone number.  See visitor information

Step #4  (day of seminar):

  1. Send out a reminder email about the talk with the speaker’s meeting, lunch, and dinner schedule.
  2. Place the announcement flyer on the door to the office that the visiting speaker will be using.
  3. Meet the visitor when he or she arrives to the department and get them settled into the guest office.
  4. Supply an air bears account, You can create a temporary airbears account here:
  5. Reimbursement Process:  Supply appropriate reimbursement forms, and link to visitor information.  The forms are linked on the visitor page.  Work with visitor on completing the forms as needed.  Best practice is to get all paperwork (especially for international visitors) on the day of their visit so you will not need to ask them for it once they have left.  Once packet is complete, give/email to Jane.

​​IMPORTANT NOTES on Reimbursements

  • Speakers will generally be required to pay for all travel expenses upfront (airfare, transportation, etc.) and be reimbursed in a single-check after the seminar. Please check with Jane to see if speaker is currently in our system well before the day of the seminar.  If they are not in our system, the day of the seminar they will need to complete the UCB Substitute W-9 and Supplier information Form, so they can be reimbursed.  Give this form to Jane along with the completed reimbursement forms. 
  • If the speaker is not a US citizen or permanent resident, have him or her fill out the UC W8-BEN form and the Certification of Academic Activity form(link is external), and make copies of their passport photo page and I-94.  If the I-94 is not available, the visa stamp page and page with the most recent entry stamp can be used.  ESTA holders need a copy of their ESTA document and visa stamp page/most recent entry stamp
  • When seeking travel reimbursements associated with seminars. Aside from working with the speaker in terms of completing the form and attaching the required documentation, be sure to (a) write the seminar course number in the 'fund source' box and (b) have the form signed by the faculty member responsible for the seminar as the 'approver'.  
  1. If you or the faculty member will be hosting (paying for) a meal for a seminar speaker, please complete an Entertainment Reimbursement Claim Form.  Have the host sign for it. The host and payee should be same person. 
  • Note: Women's Faculty Club:  If a seminar lunch is at the Women's Faculty Club, it will need to be charged it to the Econ account.   The WFC asks only that you (or the faculty member) sign a bill, which they will then forward to us.  They do not give you a copy.  To ease the payment process and bring us in compliance, could you (or the faculty member) please be sure to write the name of each guest on the back of the receipt  (it is a triplicate form, please write the names on the back of  the 'ORIGINAL') along with the funding source (often this means no more than the seminar course number).  You leave the receipt at the faculty club and they will send it to us for payment.  If each step is followed, that is all we need. 
  • For reimbursements, please keep the itemized receipt as well as the proof of payment since it is required.
  • There is a maximum meal amount per person limit for each meal category and they are listed on the reimbursement claim form.
  1. Supply a copy of the speaker’s schedule for the day.
  2. If the speaker does not have his or her own computer, they should inform you ahead of time and you will need to check out a department laptop from Joe Sibol  in 530 Evans.
  3. Supply water for speaker. (Water is in the main office)
  4. Bring visiting speaker presentation papers to the seminar room.


How to follow-up on a Seminar (post seminar)


  1. Submit the speaker’s receipts (each individually taped to an 8.5X11 sheet of paper) and reimbursement form:
    • All reimbursement forms, if scanned electronically, should be emailed to Jane's email.
  2. Faculty who paid for lunch or dinner will normally complete the reimbursement form themselves (although sometimes they may just give you the receipts in which case you prepare them as with speaker receipts). Include any necessary additional information such as a list of event attendees. 
  3. These should also be forwarded to Jane (if scanned electronically) or placed in the "Reimbursement" mailbox in the front office.
  4. Coordinate with other faculty administrators from other campuses regarding shared expenses.
  5. For expense tracking and seminar budget control, please request a monthly report from Millie so that the seminar budget is not exceeded. For most seminars, the budget is $1000 per seminar per semester.  Faculty supervisors need to cover expenses once the seminar funds have been spent.
  6. Send the faculty supervisor the final seminar expense report. This can be obtained from Millie