Visiting Dignitaries

Visiting Dignitaries

Visting Dignitaries Guidance


John Jay College’s mission and the accomplishments of our faculty, students and staff regularly attract visiting dignitaries from government entities.  This interest and attention helps raise the profile of the College and contribute to the success of our students.  Below is guidance for the campus community, including faculty, staff and students to ensure that the visit of the dignitary is as effective as it can be for the College.

Who is a dignitary?

A dignitary is a current or former elected official or a person who has been appointed by a governmental authority to a leadership position.

Why is it important to have procedures for dignitary visits?

A campus or classroom visit by a dignitary affords students, faculty, staff, alumni and others the opportunity to explore topical issues, engage in discussion about policy and practice, and network with practitioners and policy makers. These visits offer opportunities to initiate and sustain relationships that serve the interests and mission of the College and the University.

In some instances, the presence of a dignitary requires heightened security as well as the execution of logistical arrangements, including formal protocols for high-profile visitors and communications with the media and the University.

Who should be informed when I invite/expect a dignitary visit?

The Office of External Affairs in most instances –serves as the liaison with the office of a dignitary. External Affairs will assist with scheduling, protocol arrangements, and other matters.  The Office of External affairs helps in drafting the invitation, when appropriate, and will follow up with the dignitary’s office before and after the visit.

External Affairs will also assist in communicating with the Office of Public Safety, Facilities, Audio Visual Services, Marketing and Development and others, including the University, to facilitate and manage visits by dignitaries and their staff members.

Planning early, if possible, is important for protocol and scheduling purposes—enabling the President, Provost or another member of the Executive Staff to welcome or greet the dignitary or thank the official for coming to campus.  Advance notice may also allow for greater engagement of our students and alumni. 

If food/gifts will be provided to or for the visiting dignitary, the Office of External Affairs will review and verify to ensure that this is permitted by state law.

The Office of Public Safety will work with appropriate law enforcement agencies/security details, when necessary, to ensure all security issues are addressed.

Where do I go to inform about the prospects of a visit or for questions about these procedures?

Contact the Office of External affairs at