Related Policies and Additional References:
A dignitary is any person holding prominent local, state, national or international recognized high public or non-governmental office. All campus offices, programs and individuals should in all such instances provide reasonable notice to the Office of the President before inviting a dignitary to campus, for purposes of coordinating schedules, protocols and logistics.
The purpose of this policy is four-fold. First, there may be safety and security concerns. In these circumstances, the University may need to work with external security officials or the University itself may need to provide enhanced security. Second, the dignitary may require or expect that a certain protocol, or process should be followed, e.g., an invitation from the President. Third, the Office of the President or some other University office or program may already be working to bring the same to campus. Fourth, the Office of the President may want to urge that a wider audience be invited, e.g., the entire University. Consequently a larger campus venue might be necessary.
The Office of the President may elect to invite the dignitary or let the requesting office or program extend the invitation, on behalf of the University, which in most instances, should be in writing on University stationery.
It is recommended all invitations to dignitaries be issued at least four weeks in advance of the event. It is recommended the dignitary be provided background on the University; along with some desired speaking points if applicable.
University Police Department should be contacted for purposes of reserving parking and coordinating security-related protocols. Communications regarding media will be facilitated through the Office of University Communications, as well as with the office of the invited dignitary.
Registered Student Organizations (RSO) must have the approval of the Dean of Students and/or the Vice President of Student Development before inviting a dignitary to campus. The Dean of Students and/or the Vice President of Student Development will consult with the Office of the President.
Note: Diplomats and ambassadors would be considered dignitaries, and examples of local public figures include, the Archbishop of San Antonio, Mayor of San Antonio and Bexar County Judge.