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.  

Campus Coronavirus Resources: Travel | Reimbursement | Campus Access Requirements

Forms: Travel Reimbursement Form | Entertainment Reimbursement Form | Certificate of Lost/Missing Receipt

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 discuss any special arrangements.
    • 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 7-26-21_Seminar Calendar guide.pdf for specific instructions on how to add your seminar schedule to the calendar webpage.  Enter info for the entire semester using "Topic Forthcoming" as a placeholder.
    • The weekly email announcement goes out Thursday mornings so be sure to have all info updated by Wednesday nights for the coming week.
  3. Contact Jane Younjyoun@berkeley.eduSeminar Financial Services Analyst
    • To gain a general overview of travel and entertainment forms and reimbursement processes.
    • Review current funding balances
    • For reimbursement related questions.
    • For speakers' parking permits if they are driving to campus. Request from Jane at least 2 weeks in advance. Note:  Parking permits are usable for one day only. Best practice is to mail the permit to the speaker 2 weeks prior to the event.  If they decide not to use the permit, please ask them to return it to you. Another option is to leave the permit at the East or West Gate kiosk (check which gate is open) on the day before or the morning of the seminar and instruct the speaker to collect the permit there. Place the permit in an envelope. Include the speaker name and in case it needs to be returned: Jane Youn, 530 Evans Hall MC3880. The permit will allow speakers to park in any C lot (the most convenient is probably on Hearst/Gayley or Hearst/Euclid).
  4. Review "Important Notes On Reimbursements" at the bottom of the page.  Familiarize yourself with the Seminar Visitor Resources page and the Travel Policy in a Nutshell.  

Coordinating a Seminar in 6-Steps

Step #1:  (prior to the beginning of the semester)

  1. Send Jane your list of speakers and keep her apprised of any changes.  Jane will check to see if the speakers are in the campus system so they can be reimbursed for travel expenses.  Jane will need to know if they are non-US citizens so she can send the proper invitation.  If they are not in the system, they will need to complete an online process.  If they need to complete the online process, copy and send the information below to the speaker so that the speaker will not think the email is spam:
    "You will receive an email "invitation" to become a UC Berkeley supplier so that we can process your payment.  This email will come from Do_Not_Reply@berkeley.edu and be titled something like "UC Berkeley - Refund/Foreign Supplier Registration Information".  Please follow the steps to register online.  If there is a space for a UC Berkeley contact, please put Jane Youn, jyoun@berkeley.edu so that she will be alerted when this process is completed."
  2. Send Jane a list of joint seminars - this will determine which seminar gets charged for expenses.
  3. Update the Event Calendar, inputting information for the entire semester.  See 7-26-21_Seminar Calendar guide.pdf
  4. Book hotel for the entire semester.  You can cancel later if necessary.  Please use Hotel Shattuck or Graduate Berkeley Hotel.  Email or fax the Direct Bill Authorization form to the hotels and copy Jane (Contact Jane for these forms).  We will cover ROOM & TAX ONLY as is marked on the form.  If the price exceeds $275/night before taxes and fees, talk to Jane.  Meals and incidentals charged to the hotel should be paid by the traveler and submitted for reimbursement if applicable.

Step #2 (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 Visitor Communication Sample#1.doc or Visitor Communication Sample#2.doc.
  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). 
  4. Confirm lodging arrangements. If the guest requests to make a change to the reservation you've already made or if they are staying elsewhere, please make sure to cancel the reservation otherwise the department will be charged. 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.  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; Hotel Shattuck is on the corner of Shattuck Ave and Allston Way, about a 1 minute walk from the station.
  6. Provide directions and other information such as where to go upon arrival, flying coach (anything that needs a justification), etc. See Visitor Resource page.  Answers to common travel related questions are addressed in the Travel Policy in a Nutshell.
  7. Ask the speaker if he/she/they is presenting at another institution in the Bay Area. If so, ask who their contact is at the other institution and email the coordinator directly so that we may be able to share expenses.
  8. Create the checklist for the entire semester so as to not forget any steps.  It is highly recommended to use the example found here because things will fall through the cracks: 2021Example Speaker Checklist.xlsx. Please track your expenses so you don't exceed the budget.

Step #3:  (at least one week prior to seminar):

  1. Email econmainoffice@berkeley.edu to reserve office space for the visiting speaker. 
  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.
  3. Prepare a Google document (similar to this Example Speaker Schedule.pdf) 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. 
  4. Make lunch and dinner reservations – ask faculty for favorites. 

Step #4  (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/her/their 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 Seminar Visitor Resources.
    • If the speaker does not have his or her own computer, they should inform you ahead of time and you will need to reserve/check out a department laptop from Joe Sibol  in 530 Evans.

Step #5  (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/she/they arrive(s) to the department and get them settled into the guest office.
  4. Supply appropriate reimbursement forms, and link to Seminar Visitor Resources. The forms are linked on the Seminar Visitor Resources page. Work with visitor on completing the forms as needed, particularly non-US citizen/permanent resident speakers as we will need a scan of their passport and other documents. 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, email to Jane.
  5. Supply a copy of the speaker's schedule for the day.
  6. Supply water for the speaker. (Water is in the main office).
  7. If you must print the speaker presentation papers, bring the copies to the seminar room. Paperless is highly encouraged.

Step #6  How to follow-up on a Seminar (post seminar):

  1. Email the speaker's receipts and signed travel reimbursement form and additional documentation to Jane.  See "Important Notes on Reimbursements" below and Seminar Visitor Resources page
  2. Faculty may request you complete the reimbursement form for speaker lunches/dinners.  Make sure the forms are signed by the payee (host) and include a guest list and 2 receipts - itemized receipt as well as a payment receipt. 
  3. If applicable, coordinate with faculty administrators from other campuses regarding shared expenses.
  4. Please track your expenses so you don't exceed the budget.  You can do so on the Example Speaker Schedule.pdf that you've been using during the semester.  Faculty supervisors will be asked to provide another funding source if they exceed their budget.

 

​​IMPORTANT NOTES ON REIMBURSEMENTS: 

SPEAKER TRAVEL

  • 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. If you haven't already, 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 an online process so they can be reimbursed. (See Step #1) This step should be taken as early as possible.
  • Have the speaker complete a Travel Reimbursement Form.  
  • Reimbursement requests should be received ideally within 14 days of their visit. If you have not heard from your speaker after a week, please reach out to them.  
  • See Travel Policy in a Nutshell for common travel-related information.
  • If the speaker is not a US citizen or permanent resident, document guidelines by visa classification are here but in general, they will need:
    • Copy of their passport photo page
    • Copy of their 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, visa stamp page and most recent entry stamp
    • Completed UCW8-BEN form
    • Completed Certification of Academic Activity form

MEALS/ENTERTAINMENT

  • For reimbursement of meals/entertainment, two things are required: 1. an itemized receipt 2. proof of payment.  Some restaurants do not give you an itemized receipt unless you ask (i.e. Gather).  If the itemized receipt is missing, complete the Certificate of Lost/Missing Receipt and have the host sign the form.  If alcohol was consumed, it's helpful to note it on the form as that's one of the things campus looks for.
  • Meals can be reimbursed for up to the maximum per person meal amount which is listed on the reimbursement claim form ($27 breakfast, $47 lunch, $85 dinner, $19 light refreshment). If the total exceeds the maximum, adjust the total reimbursement amount on the bottom of the form.
  • If you or the faculty member will be hosting (paying for) a meal for a seminar speaker, please complete an Entertainment Reimbursement Form. Have the host sign for it. The host and payee should be same person.  Please remind faculty that their reimbursements must be processed within 45 days of the event or it will be subject to tax withholding.  This means Jane must receive it within 30 days to ensure that this deadline can be met.
  • Women's Faculty Club (WFC) and The Faculty Club (FC):  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 Seminar# on the front of the receipt.  You leave the receipt at the (Womens) Faculty Club and they will send it to us for payment.  Jane has further instructions in her google drive that she will share with you.  It is possible to pay out of pocket at The Faculty Club and seek reimbursement.