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Invitations to Dignitaries Vice-Chancellor's Directive


This Directive sets out the requirements for selecting and inviting internal and external dignitaries to UTS events.

The Invitations to Dignitaries Vice-Chancellor's Directive is also available as a PDF document.

Dates Directive approved 13/06/2014
Directive takes effect 30/06/2014
Directive is due for review (up to five years) 06/2019
Directive amendment approved 11/12/2014
Directive amendment takes effect 11/02/2015
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Latest amendment: Director, Governance Support Unit (see change history for details)
Implementation Officer Communications and Projects Manager, Vice-Chancellor's Office
Relevant to All staff, with emphasis on event organisers, their supervisors, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellors as required
Related documents
File number UR14/1203
Superseded documents Visiting Dignitaries Vice-Chancellor's Directive


1. Purpose

This purpose of this Directive is to ensure that:

  • the Vice-Chancellor is consulted prior to the date being set for any major UTS events
  • the Vice-Chancellor is consulted prior to invitations being extended to internal or external dignitaries.

This consultation will enable a strategic, coordinated and whole-of-University approach to be taken in the selection of both internal and external dignitaries to participate in UTS events, and will ensure the appropriateness of invitations extended and that the University is mindful of the demands placed on dignitaries' time. It will also help to secure participation by a wide range of internal and external dignitaries in UTS events in the long term.

Managing relationships with dignitaries can be complex and easily jeopardised by any apparent lack of coordination by the University. It is vital that this Directive is followed to mitigate potential reputational risk or damage.

2. Scope

While this Directive applies to all staff at all levels and in all positions, it is particularly relevant to event organisers and their supervisors. It addresses the requirements for selecting and inviting internal and external dignitaries to University events.

3. Definitions

Internal dignitaries means the Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor, members of UTS Council and Vice-Chancellor's Industry Advisory Board (which includes high profile industry leaders and the Director, External Relations), and UTS Luminaries. (Contact the Communications and Projects Manager, Vice-Chancellor's Office, for a current list of Vice-Chancellor's Industry Advisory Board members.)

External dignitaries means heads of state; representatives of foreign governments such as ambassadors and other consular officials; executive members of federal, state and local governments such as the Prime Minister, Premier, members of parliament, mayors, etc.; senior representatives of other universities, equivalent to the Vice-Chancellor or Chancellor; former holders of any of these positions; major donors and sponsors.

The event organiser is the UTS staff member responsible for the coordination and management of the UTS event at which an internal or external dignitary will be in attendance.

A UTS event means any occasion that warrants the presence of internal or external dignitary or dignitaries, including:

  • a visit to the University by an external dignitary for the purpose of a tour of facilities or other official function
  • signing or witnessing of a document such as a memorandum of understanding
  • celebrations of University milestones (for example, openings of buildings or facilities, anniversary events)
  • launches of programs
  • guest lectures
  • openings of conferences, exhibitions
  • fundraisers
  • award ceremonies
  • graduation ceremonies
  • other official functions of the University.

PACE means the UTS Partnership, Alumni and Community Engagement database. This database is the appropriate repository for all data relating to external relations activity.

EPS means the University's Events Planning System. This is a calendar and planning tool for events that are being managed at and by the University. Details of all events covered by this Directive should be entered into this system.

4. Directive principles

The intent of this Directive is to ensure the following in relation to the selection and invitation of internal and external dignitaries to participate in UTS events:

  • that unrealistic expectations are not placed on the diaries of senior UTS (or UTS-related) office bearers
  • that invitations are issued by the correct UTS staff members as outlined in this Directive
  • that invitations are only issued following the correct approval processes as outlined in this Directive
  • that the University adheres to a consistent set of procedures in relation to engagement with external dignitaries
  • the presentation of UTS as a coordinated, professional and respectful institution, both internally and externally
  • the development, maintenance and enhancement of important relationships with highly influential individuals
  • that protocols of official positions (for example, Vice-Regal, Prime Minister, Mayor, etc.) are adhered to by the University.

5. Directive statements

Refer to Appendix A for a detailed step-by-step guide.

5.1 Communicating with and making approaches to internal and external dignitaries

This section outlines the University's protocol for selecting and inviting internal and external dignitaries to UTS events.

The Vice-Chancellor must be consulted prior to setting a date for any UTS event (as defined in section 3). Staff may not announce the event or issue invitations (including to the Chancellor or members of Council) until consultation with the Vice-Chancellor has taken place.

Event organisers should note that invitations to UTS Luminaries, Vice-Chancellor's Industry Advisory Board or external dignitaries must be discussed with the Director, External Relations prior to any confirmation of date or announcements. The Director, External Relations will consider proposed invitations from a University-wide, strategic perspective, providing advice for the Vice-Chancellor.

Event organisers should familiarise themselves with PACE and EPS (see section 3).

The following procedural steps should be taken to ensure appropriate consultation:

  1. Event organisers should direct all requests through their director and then through their respective Deputy Vice-Chancellor or for faculties, through the respective dean, then the Provost.
  2. Supervisors should provide their Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost via email, an outline of the event, proposed date options, draft running order, strategic advice from the Director, External Relations, proposed budget and who will fund the event, and a list and role description of the proposed internal and external dignitaries to be invited. Draft text of the official invitation should also be included.
  3. If the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Provost endorses the request, the proposal may then be escalated to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.
  4. Where appropriate, the Vice-Chancellor (or the Vice-Chancellor's Office) will consult with the Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement) and the Government Relations Adviser, to determine:
    • the date on which the event should proceed
    • who will host the event
    • internal and external dignitaries who are to be invited
    • if the draft text of the invitation is appropriate
    • if the UTS Events Team should be involved in managing the event (at the expense of the area proposing the event).

The Vice-Chancellor's Office will provide a response to the event organiser within four working days.

Upon approval of the event by the Vice-Chancellor, the event organiser is given responsibility to manage all aspects of the event, and to provide full briefing and/or speech notes to the Vice-Chancellor's Office when requested.

Once the event is approved, the event organiser should enter the event in EPS, the University-wide events management system (defined in section 3). This system is administered by the Events, Exhibitions and Projects Team, who can direct staff to relevant training.

The Vice-Chancellor's Office can provide further advice upon request regarding Acknowledgement of Country, running order, meeting and greeting dignitaries, Vice-Regal protocols, etc.

5.2 Events with international participants

Where an event requires UTS to invite or host international partners, visitors and students, the event organiser must ensure that UTS International has been consulted in advance of undertaking the steps outlined in section 5.1.

UTS International plays an important role in managing these relationships and, to support this function, has developed protocols and procedures for hosting international visits. These protocols and procedures are good references for faculties and organisational units in coordinating or hosting visits and events with international representation.

5.3 Contacts management system

Event organisers must familiarise themselves with the University-wide contacts management system, PACE, which contains contact details, relationship notes and the name of Relationship Manager assigned to internal and external dignitaries. PACE is managed by UTS External Relations, who may be contacted for training and guidance.

6. Roles and responsibilities

The following roles and responsibilities are consistent with the UTS Standing Delegations of Authority.

Accountable Officer: The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for managing compliance with this Directive and for initiating the review process.

Implementation Officer: The Communications and Projects Manager in the Vice-Chancellor's Office is the primary point of contact for advice on implementing and administrating this Directive, for establishing and maintaining the official file, for proposing amendments as required and for managing the consultation process when the Directive is under review.

Other positions and committees

Members of the Senior Executive are responsible for communicating this Directive to their direct reports and for reviewing all requests for UTS events and appropriate internal and external dignitaries pertaining to their area of responsibility for approval by the Vice-Chancellor.

Deans and directors are responsible for communicating this Directive to their direct reports and for communicating with the relevant members of the Senior Executive on behalf of the event organiser.

Event organisers are the primary project managers for a UTS event involving an internal or external dignitary. They are also responsible for the general management and coordination of the event, for ensuring familiarity with the appropriate software systems (EPS and PACE) and for undertaking the necessary consultation in advance of making an official request for Vice-Chancellor approval for an event.

Director, External Relations is responsible for providing, upon request, strategic advice from a whole-of-University perspective on events involving UTS Luminaries, Vice-Chancellor's Industry Advisory Board or external dignitaries.

UTS International is responsible for providing, upon request, strategic advice on events involving international participants or international external dignitaries.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) is responsible for infrastructure, storage and technical support services required to implement, coordinate and maintain the systems supporting this Directive as implemented by the Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Division (ITD).

7. Version control and change history

Effective date Version Approved by (date) Amendment
30/06/2014 1 Vice-Chancellor (13/06/2014) New Directive
11/02/2015 1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (11/12/2014) Changes (approved under Delegation 3.17) to implement 2014 Senior Executive restructure.

Appendix A. Step-by-step guide to inviting dignitaries

Appendix A. Step-by-step guide to inviting dignitaries (133kb PDF)