Updated March 2021

Purpose of this Policy

The purpose of this policy is to protect opportunities for the full and free expression and exchange of ideas while ensuring the safety of the campus community.

Speaker Policy

Quinnipiac University seeks to foster a powerful learning environment where faculty are encouraged and supported to teach and research the most innovative ideas, and students are encouraged to engage in intense dialog and debate. This learning environment is enhanced by a diverse community comprising individuals from varied backgrounds, and with a multitude of viewpoints that may be controversial, uncomfortable to hear, or foreign to listeners’ experiences. As part of our educational mission, it is the role of the university to bring such speakers into the learning environment so that the community hears, is challenged by, and challenges a broad range of ideas from a diverse set of speakers. Critical to achieving these aims is the expectation that all members of the university community will conduct themselves with truthfulness, openness to new ideas, and consideration for the individual rights of others, including the right to hold, hear, consider or condemn opinions different from one's own views, or life experiences.

An invitation to speak at Quinnipiac does not include any license for unlawful activity, or for any activity that endangers or threatens to endanger the safety of members of the community or the campus physical facilities, or for any activity that disrupts or obstructs the functions of the university or threatens such disruption or obstruction. In the event that an invited speaker’s presence raises concerns that their appearance might endanger personal safety or result in damage to facilities, a committee with representation from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, the Faculty Senate, Public Safety and Facilities will be convened to make an assessment and advise the Management Committee. The Management Committee has final authority on invited speakers.

Nothing in this policy restricts the existing rights of Quinnipiac faculty, staff and students to fully express their ideas and opinions in accordance with university policy. However, each is expected to adhere to high standards of civility and respect in so doing.

Scope of this Policy

This policy pertains specifically to non-university speakers invited by Quinnipiac faculty, staff or student groups to non-class events on campus.

Student groups must consult with the dean of students, or designee, concerning the qualifications and appropriateness of the proposed speaker.

Use of the university’s facilities in no way implies endorsement by the university of the views and opinions of speakers or event organizers.

To ensure that they are “permitted activities,” political activities must be referred in advance to the appropriate office. The appropriate office will respond within one week.

  • Faculty: Office of the Provost
  • Staff: Office of Public Affairs
  • Students: Office of the Dean of Students

Other applicable policies include the university’s Event Management Rules and Regulations.

Payment of Honoraria, Transportation and Lodging for Speakers

Speakers from outside our university serve as important resources for our community as they share expertise and points of view across various disciplines and social issues. In most cases, the expectation is that the university will cover an external speaker’s travel and lodging costs without additional remuneration. In less frequent cases, there may be speakers who are of high interest and value to the student, faculty and staff community who will not present without an honorarium. In this case, an honorarium of up to a maximum of $5,000 may be considered, noting that this will be done infrequently, and that the general policy will be that most speakers will present without an honorarium, regardless of source of funds. Exceptions to pay more than $5,000 for a speaker will be rare, submitted for consideration on a case-by-case basis to the management committee. Any exception requests should include a written explanation of the academic, educational and/or programmatic benefits/outcomes the speaker will bring to the university. Speaking honoraria are separate from consulting or training fees that may be offered by outsiders.