Policies

4.41 Special Compensation

PURPOSE

This policy establishes guidelines for the uniform and consistent payment of special compensation to University of Northern Iowa (UNI) employees for work which exceeds their normal duties.

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 OMB Circular A-21.

This policy generally does not apply to employees paid on an hourly basis. This policy does not address consulting or other work for employers other than the University.  For rules on Extra Compensation see Policy 4.16:  Extra Income Compensation and for faculty members, Paragraph 7.413 of the Master Agreement between the Board of Regents, State of Iowa and the UNI-United Faculty.

POLICY
A.  General Statement

It is the policy of the University of Northern Iowa that an employee's base annual salary is full compensation for the performance of his/her 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:

  1. Does not interfere with the fulfillment of the employee's regular professional responsibilities;
  2. Is conducted outside of or in addition to regularly scheduled working hours and/or regular responsibilities, or exceeds the normal load of teaching, research or creative work, and service for a faculty member;
  3. Is approved by the division vice president before any work begins. Approval may be indicated by a pre-approval form, memorandum of appointment or other documentation sufficient to support approval of a Special Compensation Personnel Action Form (SPC PAF). Service performed in advance of such approval may not be compensable;
  4. 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 the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, 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.  For employees with faculty appointments, the effort on sponsored projects should either be allocated to the 25% of workload designated for research and services 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.

    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.  The period of appointment includes holiday and break periods.
    Special compensation for faculty on nine-month appointments is limited to 20% of the individual's academic year base pay. Work justifying special compensation payments must be approved by the individual's department head or director, dean, and the Executive Vice President and Provost or Provost's 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, research/scholarly or creative work and service.

    Activities justifying special compensation include:

    1. participation in a faculty development activity on non-work days or outside of the faculty member's regular work hours
    2. teaching or facilitating non-credit short courses or presenting special lectures, workshops and conferences for the Executive Development Center or another campus department or unit; 
    3. assumption of additional teaching to cover for an ill or absent colleague for a period of more than one week;
    4. course development work and teaching supported by Continuing and Distance Education or other grant or gift funds;
    5. grading of students enrolled in guided independent studies through Continuing and Distance Education.
    6. 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

    Summer appointments for faculty members with academic year appointments are not considered special compensation because the faculty member has no regularly assigned responsibilities during the summer months.  Summer appointments can begin no earlier than the Monday following spring commencement and must end no later than the working day prior to the start of the academic year appointment.

    In rare cases, a faculty member on summer appointment may also earn special compensation, 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.

     II.  Faculty with non-academic year appointments

    Special compensation for faculty on non-academic year appointments is limited to 20% of the individual's appointment period base pay and is subject to the rules and limitations described in the section on academic year activities above (Section B.I.1).

    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 these additional appointment periods is also limited to 20% of the base monthly rate for the additional appointment period.  In no case may a faculty member receive more than twelve months of base pay.

    III.  Department Heads and School Directors

    Department heads and school directors receive a one month summer appointment for administrative work and, at their option, a one month summer teaching appointment. Each of these appointments is compensated as regular base pay at one-ninth (1/9) of the individual's academic year salary.  In addition, department heads may receive one additional month of summer appointment for research or other assigned duties.  Special compensation during any period of appointment is limited to 20% of regular base pay for that period. Work justifying special compensation payments for department heads and directors must be approved by the individual's dean and the Executive Vice President and Provost or Provost's designee.  In no case may a department head or school director receive more than twelve months of base pay.

    IV.  Non-Hourly Staff With Twelve (12) Month Appointments

    Staff members with less than a forty (40) hour workweek 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. Staff members with full-time twelve month appointments are limited to special compensation equal to 20% of their base pay 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 20% addition to their current workload.

    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 or summer term.  Teaching, generally, 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 division vice president. 

    V. Non-Hourly Staff With Appointments Less Than 12 Months

    Staff members with a forty (40) hour workweek 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 20% of their appointment salary 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 20% 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 not considered special compensation, but should be paid instead as a summer appointment.  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(s) and the division vice president. 

    VI. Employees Paid on an Hourly Basis

    This policy generally does not apply to employees paid on an hourly basis because they receive overtime pay or compensatory time off for additional work performed. Individual requests for special compensation for hourly employees will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and require supervisory and division vice president approval.

    Refer to Section B. IV. above for information on payment for teaching when this is not a regular part of the job duties.

    C. Pre-Approval of Special Compensation and Routing of Personnel Action Form (PAF)

    Pre-approval for special compensation must be obtained before an employee begins the extra work using the Special Compensation Pre-Approval form, a memorandum of appointment or other documentation sufficient to support approval of a Special Compensation Personnel Action Form (SPC PAF).  As soon as approval and/or appropriate documentation has been obtained, an SPC -PAF should be prepared and routed to initiate payment. Pre-approval documentation should accompany the PAF. Payment of special compensation will be made with the corresponding payroll cycle where reasonable. Payment may not be deferred. 

    APPROVALS:

    Human Resource Services, Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Executive Vice President and Provost, approved December 2010

    President's Cabinet, approved December 13, 2010