End-of-Year Tasks and Planning Information

End of year tasks and planning information for chairs and rapporteurs.

Note from the Director of Administration and Planning

Dear Chairs,

Welcome to the end of the academic year.

Access to the Morningside campus is limited to Columbia students and Morningside faculty and employees. Non-CUID-holders, seminar associates, and faculty and staff from other campuses and schools, including CUMC, Barnard and Teacher's College, will not be able to access the Morningside campus. Restrictions will likely be in place through the end of May. Access to the Faculty House and The University Seminars office is not available at this time, and will be limited through the summer months. Please email The University Seminars office at [email protected] with any questions or concerns. 

Welcoming our new Program Coordinator:

We are excited to welcome Gary Mayta-Lizarraga as the Program Coordinator for The University Seminars. Gary completed his degree in Political Science at the School of General Studies in May of 2023 and began at The University Seminars in March 2024. He has completed training and is available to help with scheduling, planning and logistics for the coming academic year.

New Academic Year Planning:

All seminars are required to submit a New Academic Year Planning Form by June 30, 2024. This form communicates essential information about your seminar: the names of the incoming (or continuing) chair/s and rapporteur, whether your seminar will meet in the coming academic year, and if so, your schedule of seminar dates. See the Meeting Planning page for more information.

If you need a rapporteur, email the central office: [email protected]. All seminars are required to submit a planning form, even if they will not meet in Faculty House. The information contained in the form will be published on the individual seminar web page and will ultimately be used in The University Seminars Annual Report and Directory.

Please refer to the 2024-2025 Calendar of Important Dates on the sidebar. An interfaith calendar is also provided on the sidebar. Seminars should avoid meeting on the evenings of the Annual Dinner or the Schoff Lectures.

Chair Elections:

Each year, elections should be held to select new seminar chairs or reelect current and continuing seminar chairs. Elections can be conducted over email by the rapporteur. Chairs for 2024-2025 must be indicated in the New Academic Year Planning Form. New chairs should contact Pamela Guardia for an orientation.

Travel Fund Requests:

Seminars can and usually do meet without requiring any travel from outside the New York area. If a seminar wishes to invite a guest speaker who will require travel funding, the chair must first submit a Travel Fund Request Form. Seminars are strongly encouraged to seek funding from other sources and cosponsorship is recommended. Many university programs, including The University Seminars, have decreased budgets due to reduced endowment incomes.

In the 2024-25 year, seminars may not request funding for more than four (4) guest speakers who require travel funds to present at a regular seminar meeting. If funds remain after the June 30th deadline, we will consider additional travel funding requests. Travel funding is not guaranteed. Please wait for funding approval before inviting guests. See the Guest Speaker Travel Fund Request page for more details. 

The deadline for New Academic Year Planning Forms and Travel Fund Requests is June 30, 2024.

Annual Report:

Seminar chairs from academic year 2023-2024 are responsible for reviewing their seminars’ page in the Annual Report and Directory and submitting either corrections or confirmations to Summer Hart at: [email protected]. Please review the information carefully. The text will be finalized over the summer and will be published in print and online in the fall.

General Committee Meeting:

The General Committee Meeting will be held over Zoom on Tuesday, October 15, 2024, 4:00-5:30 PM. Attendance by a chair or representative member is required.

Special Events - Save the Dates:

The 2024 Schoff Lecture Series will be held on October 7, 21 & 28, 2024
The General Committee Meeting is scheduled for October 15, 2024
The University Seminars Annual Dinner is scheduled for April 16, 2025

Administrative Portal:

All planning forms, instructions and policies are always available on The University Seminars Administrative Portal. Check the portal for the most up-to-date information on administrative policies and tasks before contacting the office.

Planning Ahead:

Starting in 2024-25, applications for conference funding and publication subventions will be reviewed twice a year rather than throughout the year. The deadlines are September 15, 2024, and March 1, 2025. The application process remains the same. Applications must go through Submittable. See the ConferencesSubventions, and Using Submittable pages for more details.

Thank you all for your work and patience during this very unique year.

All the best,
Pamela Guardia