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Policies and Procedures

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. 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 OMB Circular A-21 located on the Research and Sponsored Programs website.

Employees whose primary assignment is paid on an hourly basis or employees on a leave of absence are generally not eligible to receive special compensation. 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 appointment 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 supervisor, director, department head, dean (if applicable) and division vice president or designee and, when applicable, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and/or the UNI Foundation 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 isgoverned 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 they are administering.  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. 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.  The period of appointment includes holiday and break periods.

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 not to exceed seven (7) credit hours in an academic year.  Work justifying special compensation payments must be pre-approved by the individual's supervisor, director, department head dean, and the Executive Vice President and 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, research/scholarly or creative work 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 an additional or an increase to their appointment.

Examples of justification of special compensation may 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; 

  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;

  5. Grading of students enrolled in guided independent study courses 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

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 the working day 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 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 appointment salary.  In addition, department heads may receive one additional month of summer appointment for research 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 Executive Vice President and Provost or designee. 

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, 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. In such a case, the assignment should represent no more than a 25% 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.  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 vice president 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 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 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 vice president or designee. 

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 supervisor, director, department head, dean (if applicable) and division vice president or designee 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. 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 request must be initiated immediately following the completion of the work.

APPROVALS:

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; Executive Vice President and Provost Office; and Human Resource Services, approved July 2013

President’s Cabinet, approved May 12, 2014

President and Executive Management Team, approved May 27, 2014