The visit of a dignitary to the UT campus is a great opportunity for students, faculty and staff to engage with an important local, national, or international figure. It may also demand a heightened sensitivity to security and/or protocol issues; attract a large audience; require coordination with state and federal officials and agencies; and require intense logistical coordination. Visits by certain dignitaries may require the commitment of UT resources far beyond the authority of the person, unit, or entity arranging for the visit. UT has an institutional interest in ensuring that visits by dignitaries are successful, both in terms of how the dignitary is treated, as well as in ensuring that the dignitary’s visit provides the broadest possible benefit to our community.
Point of contact for dignitary visits
The Assistant to the President for Government and Community Relations is the designated campus coordination point for all events involving a national or international dignitary.
Utah elected officials
Utah Tech departments and colleges are welcome to invite Utah’s Governor, first spouse, members of the Congressional delegation, other state-elected officials, and Utah legislators to events on campus. These dignitaries are frequently invited to Utah Tech, so to avoid multiple, conflicting invitations, the Assistant to the President for Government and Community Relations should be contacted before the invitation is issued.
National and international dignitaries
High-Level Dignitaries – A high-level dignitary is defined as any of the following:
• Heads-of-state or government
• High-ranking members of royalty
• U.S. or foreign first spouses
• Former heads-of-state or government
• Sitting United States Cabinet members
• High-ranking representatives of foreign governments, including ambassadors, foreign ministers, and consuls general
• Current and former United Nations secretaries general
• U.S. senators and representatives
• High-profile individuals who may generate substantial media attention and a large audience
Rules of protocol require that the President of the University reserves the right to extend invitations to any dignitary or sitting heads of state or government official. In all dignitary visits, the Assistant to the President for Government and Community Relations will consult with the Office of the President to determine the President’s involvement, coordinate the President’s participation as needed, ensure all protocols are followed, and assist in notifying campus departments that may be affected by these events.
When an opportunity arises to invite a high-level dignitary to visit Utah Tech University:
• A faculty member should consult his/her department chair, dean or director, and the vice president for Academic Affairs
• Staff should consult his/her manager or director, associate vice president, or vice president
• Student organizations should consult with the vice president for Student Affairs.
The requesting department will be responsible for ensuring that the invitation request is directed to the Assistant to the President for Government and Community Relations in advance of an invitation being issued. These offices will coordinate with the Office of the President regarding the possibility of an invitation being issued and advise the inviting organization.
After advising the Assistant to the President for Government and Community Relations, the person in the inviting department should consult widely with other departments at the University who may be interested in assisting and/or required to participate in the visit. This includes University Marketing and Communications, Campus Security, academic areas with related interests, the Alumni Association, and Student Affairs departments such as International Students Services, Center for Inclusion and Belonging, and Utah Tech University Student Association.
Hosting a high-profile dignitary at your event often involves sensitive and heightened diplomatic and security measures involving additional costs. The department hosting the event is responsible for the costs incurred during the visit. Ensure that you have adequate funding to host the special event(s) surrounding the dignitary’s visit, including security costs, transportation, receptions, lunches, dinners, and gifts.
For international dignitary visits, it is appropriate that a gift be presented on behalf of the University in appreciation for the visit or to promote goodwill. It is the responsibility of the hosting department to purchase a gift that can be presented by the President and coordinate with other areas of the University that may wish to present a gift on behalf of their department. This will ensure that appropriate levels of gifts are given and duplicates are avoided. The gift must be approved by the Office of the President prior to the purchase of the gift.