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Guidelines on Signing Ceremonies for International Agreements

Signing ceremonies are events in which authorized signatories to an approved agreement meet in person to sign the document. Such events are generally proposed for purposes of goodwill. They are not required to implement an agreement. The decision to host or attend a signing ceremony is up to the faculty representative named in the agreement and leadership within their unit. Some factors to weigh when choosing whether to host a signing ceremony on our campus, or to attend a ceremony abroad, include:


There is no central funding available to support signing ceremonies. The faculty representative is responsible for consulting with unit leadership, and the Office of Contract and Grant Administration as needed, to determine whether any proposed expenditure of funds is appropriate. Items marked with **, below, indicate some possible expenses associated with signing ceremonies.

Logistical support

There is no central office that provides supportive services for signing ceremonies. The faculty representative is responsible for coordinating signing ceremonies that are proposed to occur at UC San Diego. Such coordination typically entails, at a minimum:

  • Planning the agenda.
  • Securing the participation of the agreement signatories and any desired speakers.
    • The Office of International Affairs (OIA) will obtain the signatures of UC San Diego signatories who cannot attend.
  • Providing briefing notes to the speakers and signatories a week before the event. Plan to include:
    • Background on former/current ties to the partner university.
    • A summary of the proposed collaborations.
    • Specific talking points that the speakers should include in their remarks.
    • A brief biography on each member of the visiting party.
    • The event agenda.
  • Reserving meeting space for the event. For information, visit Reserving Space at UC San Diego.
  • Inviting deans, chairs, ORU directors, faculty or others with an interest in the collaboration to attend.
  • Providing refreshments, if desired. For catering information, visit UC San Diego Catering.**
  • Purchasing a gift(s) for our signatories to give the visiting signatories.**
    • International partners are often accustomed to an exchange of gifts among signatories. Check with your partner university contact to determine whether a gift exchange is expected, and if so, among which signatories.
    • UC San Diego logo gifts are available in the Bookstore. Some options include: silk tie or scarf, lapel pin, ballpoint pen, or business card holder, depending upon your budget and the position of the visiting signatory (e.g. president vis-à-vis dean).
    • The Bookstore will wrap gifts at no charge.
  • Serving in the role of host for the event, or securing a designate to serve as host.

Additional Recommendations

OIA recommends providing the following to the visiting party:

  • A cell phone number for last minute communications.
  • Detailed maps and directions to campus.
  • A reserved parking spot.**
  • Staff to greet the visiting party in the parking lot when they first arrive on campus.
  • Escorts to/from any additional meetings.

For additional guidance on signing ceremonies or international agreements, email OIA Director Michelle Hermas or call x 2-4739.