9.07 Payment of Honoraria


To provide guidance when issuing honoraria payments with University funds.

Policy Statement

Honoraria payments, regardless if made by cash or check, gift certificate/card or other tangible item to the recipient as income, must be recorded.  An honorarium is a one-time payment made to an individual who is not an employee of the University for a special and non-recurring activity or event. Honoraria are typically paid to persons of scholarly or professional standing with the intent of showing appreciation for participation in University educational activities or events. If payment is negotiated and agreed upon, this is considered a contractual agreement, and should be processed as a payment for professional services, not as an honorarium.


  1. Payment should be requested on the Request for Payment (RFP) form.  Provide a flyer/poster from the program, conference, speaking engagement announcement, etc. as supporting documentation and include with the RFP.
  2. If the recipient is not a US Citizen, the hosting department should contact the Office of International Programs to discuss visa, immigration, and other requirements in addition to completing the required Host Entry in the UNI International Visitor Registry.  This should be done prior to offering an honorarium or travel expense payment to the recipient.  Prior to the recipient’s arrival, the department should also coordinate with Office of Business Operations Payroll to obtain a Foreign National Information Form, W-8BEN, and other documentation needed to determine the taxation and reporting of the honorarium.  A Supplier Form must also be submitted with the RFP for any new vendor. 
  3. Reimbursement of travel expenses may be included as a separate item on the same RFP.  Reimbursement of travel expenses should be in accordance with travel guidelines as established for reimbursement of University of Northern Iowa staff and must be itemized and supported by receipts in the same manner.  Any travel allowance paid as a lump sum reimbursement or that is improperly itemized or receipted will be considered a part of the honorarium.
  4. The honorarium will be paid after the event has taken place.

Office of Business Operations, approved February 21, 2018
University Council, approved April 23, 2018
President and Executive Management Team, approved April 30, 2018