Commencement Speaker Committee

The Commencement Speaker Committee is responsible for suggesting and prioritizing a list of potential commencement speakers for the spring commencement ceremonies to the executive committee. The committee will seek to generate a list of interest, focusing on speakers with a relevant and resonant story of interest to students and graduates, and/or those who have made significant contributions to the State of Arkansas, the nation and the world. The committee will use information gleaned from student surveys to gauge campus interest by name or industry sector.

Commencement speakers are not necessarily honorary degree recipients – or vice versa. The Commencement Speaker Committee may elect to submit names of potential speakers/honorary degree recipients to the Honorary Degree Committee through the normal process.

The committee shall meet no less than annually, and no later than October when it submits its list and recommendations to the chancellor for executive committee review.

Membership consists of no more than eight people. Committee shall include an undergraduate student member who serves on the Distinguished Lecture Committee and appointed by the DLC chair; one representative from the Graduate Student Congress appointed by the GSA speaker; one graduate student at-large appointed by the dean of the Graduate School; two faculty members at-large appointed by the provost; the associate vice chancellor for the Arkansas Alumni Association (or designee); the vice provost for enrollment services (or designee); and a representative from the Graduate School and International Education, appointed by the dean. Appointments may be renewed annually and membership recommendations should be made to the chancellor. 

A chairperson shall be elected from the committee membership with the role of convening the group annually, establishing a speaker discovery process, reporting committee member changes and speaker recommendation(s) to the chancellor.

Approved: October 17, 2016