Seminar Coordinator Instructions and Resources

Thank you for agreeing to coordinate the seminars for the Economics Department this fall.  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
    • Jane Youn Seminar Account Budget/Financial Services
      • 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 gain a general overview of travel and entertainment forms and reimbursement processes.
      • To confirm reimbursement or any related questions.
    • Seth Novogrodsky  -  Seminar IT
      • To adjust your print quota for printing seminar handouts.


How To Prepare for a Seminar


Step #1:  (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. Set up lodging and transportation arrangements where necessary:
    • Lodging: Please use Hotel Shattuck or Hotel Durant.   Email or fax the Direct Bill Authorization Form for the Hotels (Contact VACANT for these forms).
      • Hotel Shattuck and Hotel Durant:  If you are booking a reservation at either of these hotels, complete the attached form for Shattuck or the attached form for Durant (please note that these need to be printed as two sided, or you pick up copies from VACANT).  The front side will be familiar and needs to be completed and 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 funding source (seminar course number), have the faculty member overseeing the seminar sign-it, and submit it to VACANT mailbox in the main office (530 Evans Hall).  This will allow us to match up the expenses with the invoices we receive
      • 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).     
    • Provide directions and other information such as where to go upon arrival, flying coach (anything that needs a justification), etc.
  5. Coordinate with other faculty administrators from other campuses regarding shared expenses.  Our contact at Stanford is Kelly Carson
  6. Example_Checklist for Scheduling a Speaker.xls

IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.   BE SURE TO SEND the following form to any speaker who has not been reimbursed in the past by UC Berkeley: UCB Substitute W-9 and Supplier information Form a vendor so that they can be reimbursed for travel expenses.


Step #2:  (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. 

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.  

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. Supply Domestic Travel Reimbursement Form or International Travel Reimbursement Form  and a self-addressed envelope for the return of receipts from the visiting speaker. Address it to: Your Name, Dept. of Economics UC Berkeley, 530 Evans Hall #3880, Berkeley, CA 94720. (Make sure to check your graduate student mailbox frequently).
    • 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, and make a copy of their passport and their ESTA/I-94
    • Itemized receipts are required for airfare, lodging, rental car, and other expenses over $75. (For airfare reimbursement, a proof of payment such as e-receipt and a flight itinerary are required.)
    • Please have the speaker sign the form as the 'Traveler'.
    • NoteUse the attached 'Domestic or International Travel Rreimbursement' Form 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'.  These forms should be submitted to Jane's mailbox in the main office.
  6. 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 will be reimbursed. 
    • 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.
  7. Supply a copy of the speaker’s schedule for the day.
  8. 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.
  9. Supply water for speaker. (Water is in the main office)
  10. Bring visiting speaker presentation papers to the seminar room.

Step #5 (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 instead of VACANT email.
    • This form must be signed by the faculty supervisor prior to submission, along with the direct billing form!
  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 the following email address (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 Jane Youn 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 Jane Youn