DAVE SACKETT’S GROUND RULES FOR VISITING LECTURESHIPS/PROFESSORSHIPS
I’m really flattered by, and appreciative of, your kind invitation to me to come and visit
your conference/ meeting/ institution. And I’ve tentatively accepted your invitation because
I think that my reluctance to leave my forest home, coupled with the exasperations of
contemporary travel (perhaps exacerbated by border crossings), will be outweighed by the
wonderful people I’ll meet (again and anew) and the interesting and important new things
that I’ll learn from you.
At the same time, because I have no secretary, no professional assistant, no accountant,
and – after surviving close to 1,000 lectureships and over 100 visiting professorships – no
remnant of either sympathy or patience with bureaucracies of any description – I would far
rather stay home than fall into the hands of your administrators, whether they be of the
educational, administrative, or financial varieties.
Accordingly, if you can’t abide my curmudgeonly insistence on the following ground rules,
we will both breathe a sigh of relief from the withdrawal of your invitation.
1. In addition to the primary purpose for my visit, I’m happy to provide one or more of the
additional sessions described in the attached “stuff that Dave Sackett can do…”
2. The total number of minutes I spend filling out all forms of any sort for your bureaucrats
must be shorter than the length of my main address (prior to the question period).
3. I don’t ‘do’ tax forms, especially those imposed upon ‘foreign visitors’ (Alien
Certificates, Form 8233s, etc). If you’re not skilled/devious enough to work around these,
please reconsider your invitation.
4. As I have never seen any speaker’s “head & shoulders” photo that didn’t make its
subject look like a total dork, I shall not send you mine.
5. I will not provide any biosketch, manuscript, précis, summary, ‘educational objectives,’
slide set, or other material that is not requested by you in your first, formal letter of
6. I value comfortable travel (Business or First Class) and accommodation far above
honoraria, happily sacrifice the latter for the former, and may require an advance payment
for travel, including transport between my forest home and the nearest airport.
6.1. Similarly, I request that you handle my hotel bill directly.
7. I enjoy informal dinners as opportunities for conversation (especially with the young),
and (‘tho my hearing is normal) refuse to compete with loud background music or other
noise. My tastes are distinctly proletarian and run to simple Italian. Fine wines are wasted