4.41 Special Compensation and Summer Appointments
This policy establishes guidelines for the uniform and consistent payment of special compensation and summer appointments to University of Northern Iowa (UNI) employees for work which exceeds their normal duties. This policy does not address work performed by those who only work for UNI on a one time or intermittent/call-in basis with no regular, ongoing assignment or the payment of incentive awards.
The standards established in this policy under which employees may receive special compensation are intended to conform to relevant state and federal regulations, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, and those governing grants and contracts including the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s guidance in the Code of Federal Regulations, 2 CFR 200, located on the Research and Sponsored Programs website.
Employees whose primary assignment is paid on an hourly basis, employees on a leave of absence, and employees on Phased Retirement are generally not eligible to receive special compensation. This policy does not address consulting or other work for employers other than UNI. For rules on Extra Compensation see Policy 4.16: Extra Income Compensation and any relevant section(s) of the Faculty Handbook.
A. General Statement
It is the policy of UNI that an employee's appointment salary is full compensation for the performance of their regular job duties and responsibilities, including any duties which are not specified but are necessary to fulfill job functions. However, the university also recognizes that infrequent or extraordinary circumstances may require employees to undertake additional work for the university which adds substantially to regular duties or is substantially different from regular assigned responsibilities. Any additional work to be compensated under the terms of this policy must be clearly demonstrated to exceed the work normally required to fulfill the regular position duties. In those cases, special compensation will be allowable, provided that the additional work:
- Does not interfere with the fulfillment of the employee’s regular professional responsibilities;
- Is conducted outside of or in addition to regularly scheduled working hours and/or regular responsibilities, or exceeds the normal load of teaching, scholarship, and service for a faculty member;
- Is approved by the supervisor, director, department head, dean (if applicable) and division head or designee and, when applicable, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and/or the UNI Foundation before any work begins. Approval is indicated via a Special Compensation Personnel Action Form (SPC PAF). Service performed in advance of such approval may not be compensable. In rare cases, there is a need for approval for Special Compensation to occur after the work has started. It is the responsibility of the division head or designee to determine whether the compensation will be approved after the work has started.
- Is consistent with all policies of any program sponsor(s). Special compensation of any kind is generally disallowed on sponsored research projects. Additional compensation on contract and grant accounts is governed by 2 CFR 200, which allows for payment of extra compensation on federal grants only when all of the following conditions are met:
- Consultation is across department lines, or involves a separate or remote operation.
- The work performed is in addition to the employee’s regular department assignment. The terms are specifically provided for in the contract/grant agreement or have been approved in writing by the sponsoring agency and appropriate UNI responsible authorities.
Principal investigators and co-principal investigators are not permitted to earn special compensation on federal grants they are administering. For employees with faculty appointments, the effort on sponsored projects should either be allocated to the 25% of workload designated for scholarship and service obligations or from a buy-out of teaching obligations. For staff members, the effort on sponsored projects should be from a buy-out of a percentage of their regular position duties.
Special compensation is intended for short-term arrangements and is not an ongoing compensation strategy. Special compensation is not intended for employees who are simply working in excess of their scheduled hours to complete regular job duties. Payment of special compensation is to be requested by the payroll deadline of the next available pay date following the completion of the work.
B. Rules for Specific Employee Classifications
I. Faculty on Academic Year (9 Month) Appointments
1. Academic Year Activities
An academic year appointment begins two working days before the start of fall semester classes and ends on the date of spring commencement. Special compensation for faculty on nine-month appointments is limited to 25% of the individual’s academic year appointment salary per fiscal year. For the purposes of special compensation, faculty are limited to teaching no more than four (4) credit hours per semester or winter term. Work justifying special compensation payments must be pre-approved by the individual's supervisor, director, department head dean, and the Provost or designee. The department head/director is responsible for determining that the proposed extra service does not interfere with the performance of the individual’s regular professional responsibilities and exceeds the faculty member’s regular professional obligations of teaching, scholarship, and service. Faculty who work part-time during the academic year may earn special compensation for intermittent, short-term work. Longer term work such as teaching an additional class should be accounted for through an increase in their appointment.
Examples of justification of special compensation may include:
- Participation in a faculty development activity on non-work days or outside of the faculty member’s regular work hours;
- Teaching or facilitating non-credit short courses or presenting special lectures and workshops;
- Assumption of additional teaching to cover for an ill or absent colleague for a period of more than one week;
- Course development work and teaching supported by Online and Distance Education;
- Grading of students enrolled in guided independent study courses through Online and Distance Education;
- Any other activities which are explicitly approved in advance, as being eligible for special compensation, by a faculty member’s department head or director, dean and the Provost or Provost’s designee.
2. Summer Appointments
Faculty members may receive up to 3/9 of their appointment salary through summer appointments (9 credit hours of teaching or the equivalent without exceeding 100% time in any summer term). Payment for approved work beyond the 3/9 is considered special compensation. Generally, work conducted by faculty members in the summer that is five (5) days or more in a calendar month is considered a summer appointment and not special compensation. However, if the work duration is less than five (5) days in a calendar month, it may be considered special compensation and is subject to the rules and limitations described in the section on academic year activities above (Section B. I. 1). Additional work meeting the eligibility requirements for special compensation must not interfere with the faculty member's summer term university obligations and duties, and payment for sponsored research must be consistent with any policies of the program sponsor.
Summer appointments can begin no earlier than the Monday following spring commencement and must end no later than two working days prior to the start of the academic year appointment.
II. Faculty with Non-Academic Year Appointments
Faculty with non-academic year appointments may receive an additional appointment for any month outside their normal appointment period and be compensated at their monthly rate. Special compensation for faculty on non-academic year appointments is limited to 25% of the individual’s appointment salary per fiscal year and is subject to the rules and limitations described in the section on academic year activities above (Section B.I.1).
III. Department Heads and School Directors
Department heads and school directors may receive a one- or two- month summer appointment for administrative work. The Deans’ Council is responsible for determining the criteria for the one- or two-month summer appointment. For those department heads whose summer appointment is a one-month appointment, a summer one-month teaching appointment may be added, pending course enrollments and availability of appropriate courses for that head to teach. Each of these appointments is compensated as regular base pay at one-ninth (1/9) of the individual’s academic year appointment salary. In addition, department heads may receive one additional month of summer appointment for scholarship or other assigned duties. Special compensation is limited to 25% of regular appointment salary per fiscal year. Work justifying special compensation payments for department heads and directors must be approved by the individual's dean and the Provost or designee.
IV. Non-Hourly Staff with Twelve (12) Month Appointments
Staff members with less than a forty (40) hour work week generally must first have their weekly work schedule and compensation adjusted to reflect their work up to a maximum of forty (40) hours before becoming eligible to earn special compensation, unless the additional work is less than thirty (30) days in duration. Staff members with full-time, twelve-month appointments are limited to special compensation equal to 25% of their appointment salary per fiscal year unless the assignment involves work which would normally be compensated at a higher rate than their current position. The assignment should also represent no more than a 25% (.25 FTE) addition to their current workload. Special compensation pay for part-time teaching is calculated on a per credit hour amount for part-time teaching stipulated by the Master Agreement, Section 1.2: Part-time Salaries.
Full-time staff members for whom teaching is not a regular part of job duties may have a second appointment teaching no more than one (1) course per academic semester. Generally, teaching should be scheduled for periods outside of the staff member’s regular work hours. In unusual circumstances a staff member may be allowed to teach his or her allowed course during the normal working day. The request to teach the course for additional pay during the staff member’s regular work hours must be accompanied by a justification of why such teaching assignment is necessary and beneficial to the university and include a plan for making up the regular work hours on a weekly basis. The individual’s supervisor must certify that the plan will not disrupt delivery of regular work duties or services to other members of the university. The plan must then be approved by the supervisor, director, department head, dean (if applicable), and division head or designee for which the work will be completed. Compensation for teaching courses is applied towards the 25% fiscal year limit for special compensation.
V. Non-Hourly Staff with Appointments Less Than 12 Months
Staff members with a forty (40) hour work week schedule with nine (9), ten (10) or eleven (11) month appointments who perform additional work during their normal appointment period as defined by this policy are limited to special compensation in the amount of 25% of their appointment salary per fiscal year unless the assignment involves work which would normally be compensated at a higher rate than their current position. In such a case, the assignment should represent no more than a 25% addition to their current workload.
If the staff member’s weekly schedule is less than forty (40) hours, the weekly work schedule generally must first be adjusted to reflect their work up to a maximum of forty (40) hours before earning special compensation.
Payment for summer effort of staff members with less than a twelve (12) month appointment is generally not considered special compensation, but should be paid instead as a summer appointment, unless the work is less than five (5) days in a calendar month. Compensation for such additional appointments should be commensurate with their normal monthly salary unless the work being performed is normally compensated at a higher or lower rate.
Refer to Section B. IV. above for information on payment for teaching when this is not a regular part of the job duties.
Work justifying special compensation payments must be approved by the individual’s supervisor, director, department head, dean (if applicable) and the division head or designee.
VI. Employees Paid on an Hourly Basis
This policy generally does not apply to employees paid on an hourly basis because all hours worked must be recorded on their timecards and they receive overtime pay or compensatory time off for additional work performed over 40 hours in a workweek. Any employee who is paid on an hourly basis in their primary position may not hold a second assignment for teaching.
C. Pre-Approval of Special Compensation and Routing of Personnel Action Form (PAF)
To initiate payment and obtain all necessary approvals, including the employee's, a Special Compensation Personnel Action Form (SPC PAF) must be submitted prior to the extra work beginning. As noted above, in rare cases, the SPC PAF may be submitted after the extra work has started but those cases require the division head or designee to determine whether the compensation will be approved. In compliance with Department of Labor regulations, payments may not be deferred beyond the next reasonable pay period following the completion of the work and therefore the SPC PAF must be initiated immediately following the completion of the work.
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; Executive Vice President and Provost Office; and Human Resource Services, approved March 8, 2023
University Council, approved September 18, 2023
President and President’s Cabinet, approved September 25, 2023
[Last reviewed and/or updated 9/2023, 2/2017]