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Procedure for Inviting Dignitaries onto Campus

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Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University is committed to fostering important intellectual and cultural experiences/exchanges for students, staff, and faculty by inviting dignitaries, including elected and appointed officials.



The visit of dignitaries or officials to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, especially heads of state, members of the diplomatic corps or high-level United States officials, are guided by standards of international and national protocol. Such a visit can often receive national and international attention from the media. The purpose of this policy is to assure that official events on Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University’s campus comply with acceptable standards of etiquette and an appropriate level of support.



This procedure applies to:


  • Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University’s deans, chairs, coordinators, directors, faculty, staff and students.

  • Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University’s schools, colleges, divisions, offices, centers, organizations, associations, enterprises.

  • External groups/organizations seeking to invite an official or dignitary to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University’s campus or to an event sponsored by Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.



Dignitaries or officials shall be invited to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University only after consultation with the Office of the President and in accordance with procedures outlined in Section V. Once a request has been received by the Office of the President, determination of the President’s involvement and/or the appropriate level of University representation will be made. The President reserves the right to extend an invitation to any dignitary or official.


A Dignitary or Official is defined as the following:


  • President of the United States or spouse

  • Former United States president or spouse

  • Other head of state/government or spouse

  • Sitting United States cabinet member or other high-ranking appointed official

  • Current (or former) United Nations Secretary-General

  • Members of the United States Congress (senator or representative)

  • High-ranking representatives of foreign governments such as ambassador, charge d’affaires, minister or consulate-general

  • Mayor of the City of Huntsville or Madison, county executive of Madison County and other officials who serve as the head of local government

  • High-ranking members of royalty

  • Religious or spiritual leaders, such as the Pope

  • Presidents of Universities, Colleges, Accrediting Agencies, etc.

  • High-profile individuals who may generate substantial media attention and large audiences

  • Any other high-ranking or high-profile individual not specifically named in the above categories



To provide proper reception, observe appropriate protocol and ensure that adequate facilities and public safety concerns are addressed, invitations to dignitaries or officials shall be extended only after consultation with the Office of the President.  The Office of the President must be contacted prior to extending an invitation and before any public announcement or advertisement is undertaken.


Contacting and consulting with the Office of the President concerning an invitation to dignitaries or officials shall be made at least 90 days in advance of the event using Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University's Visiting Dignitary/Official Request Form.


All information requested on this form must be clearly provided to the Office of the President.


Upon notification of approval by the Office of the President, the requestor makes all appropriate arrangements to ensure a successful visit by the dignitary or official. The Executive Director of the Office of International Programs, shall be consulted on protocol matters, particularly regarding visits of foreign dignitaries.


Please use the Protocol and Notifications Checklist in preparing for a campus visit by a high-ranking dignitary or official.


Invitation Protocol

When an opportunity arises to invite a high-level dignitary or official to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University:


  • A faculty member shall consult his/her department chair, dean of the Chief Academic Officer/Provost.

  • Staff member shall consult his/her manager/director or vice president.

  • Student organizations shall consult with the Vice President of Student Affairs.


Event Expenses

Hosting a high-profile dignitary at an event often involves sensitive, heightened and/or costly security measures. As a general rule, these costs are borne by the requestor and/or host department.  The requestor/requesting department must ensure that there is adequate and appropriate funding to host all special events surrounding dignitary/official visits, including security costs, appropriate rental transportation, receptions, meals and gifts.


Dignitary Gifts

For international dignitary visits, it is appropriate that a gift be present on behalf of the University in appreciation for the visit to promote goodwill. Please contact the Office of the President for the gift which will be presented by the President and/or the President’s representative and to coordinate with other units if more than one gift is to be presented, thus ensuring that appropriate levels of gifts are given and duplicates are avoided.



Failure to follow these procedures or any other approved University policy/procedure shall result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment.





​For the following:

  • Protocol and Notifications Checklist


  • Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University Visiting Dignitary/Official Request Form


Please click link below:

Visiting Dignitary Official Request