Faculty Bonus Payments from Salary Release Funds in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
To articulate the principles and process to be followed in using grant funds to provide additional income from salary release funds for faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
A faculty member may receive one or more grants from an agency, foundation, corporation, or other organization that pays a portion of their salary. In this circumstance, salary release funds may be generated during the academic year and the faculty member may receive some or all of these funds as personal income, through a bonus payment disbursed to the faculty member through the university payroll system at the end of the academic year. Any bonus payment must comply with the following principles, and shall be obtained through the process articulated below.
This policy was developed pursuant to the Provost Office’s “Salary Savings Incentive Policy for Faculty,” which states the following: “In the case of bonus payments, the schools, College, and Libraries may establish written criteria for one-time bonus payments based upon merit.”
This policy applies to funds obtained through contracts as well as grants.
- Any bonus payment must comply with university policy, including the following provisions from the “Salary Savings Incentive Policy for Faculty”:
- Bonus payments must be based on merit.
- No faculty member may receive more than one bonus payment per year.
- Any bonus payment shall be funded by salary release funds generated in the same fiscal year in which the payment is made.
- Any bonus payment must comply with any pertinent rules and regulations of the funding agencies.
- Any bonus payment must be consistent with the purposes and expenditures for which the grants were awarded, including both personnel expenses and equipment expenses.
- Funds available to be received as income should be received via summer salary rather than bonus payments.
1. Elements of the request
A request for a bonus payment originates from a faculty member. The request shall include the following:
- the financial details
- the faculty-member assurance statement
Because the faculty member may not receive more than one bonus payment in any given year, the faculty member should endeavor to ensure that any request comprehensively accounts for all possible sources of salary release funds for that fiscal year, so that only one request needs to be submitted. However, in some instances, a previously approved bonus-payment request may need to be revised, before the bonus payment is issued, due to additional grant appointments during the academic year. In these circumstances, the faculty member shall follow the same process as for the original request.
2. Financial details
The financial details shall include the dollar amount of the requested bonus payment, the source of the grant release, the dates of the grant appointments, and any other details needed for the request to be implemented, if granted.
The financial details may provide for some flexibility in the allocation of salary release funds between a bonus payment and an expendable account for the purchase of equipment and supplies, travel, and other appropriate expenditures. Any such proposal will be subject to review by the CLAS Director of Finance and Planning (see below).
3. Faculty-member assurance statement
The faculty member shall review the following requirements:
- maximum of one bonus payment per fiscal year: The faculty member must not have already received a bonus payment in the fiscal year that the request pertains to.
- funding-agency regulations: The requested bonus payment must comply with any pertinent rules and regulations of the funding agencies.
- grant obligations: The requested bonus payment must not interfere with the purposes and expenditures for which the grants were awarded, such as salaries and wages for lab assistants, postdoctoral researchers and fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students; fringes and tuition; purchases of equipment and supplies; and other expenses.
If the faculty member is able to verify that these requirements are satisfied, the faculty member shall so indicate in an assurance statement. The assurance statement may say the following (or similar):
“I have reviewed the “Faculty-member assurance statement” section of the CLAS Bonus Payments policy and I confirm that the requested bonus payment will comply with all of the requirements stated there, including the maximum of one bonus payment per fiscal year, funding-agency regulations, and grant obligations.”
4. Submission to supervisor
The faculty member shall submit the request (including both the financial details and the assurance statement) to the faculty member’s supervisor. Typically, this will be in the form of an email message.
Usually, the faculty member’s supervisor will be the chair or director of the faculty member’s academic department or program. In the case of a faculty member with a joint appointment, the supervisor will usually be the chair or director of the academic department or program identified as the faculty member’s primary unit. That chair or director should consult with the chair or director of any other unit(s) in which the faculty member has an appointment.
5. Supervisor endorsement statement
The supervisor shall review the request and consider it in light of the following requirements:
- The supervisor must judge that, to the best of their knowledge, all of the requirements stated in the “Faculty-member assurance statement” section are satisfied.
- The faculty member must be meeting the expectations of the faculty member’s position.
If the supervisor is able to verify that these requirements are satisfied, the supervisor shall so indicate in an endorsement statement. The endorsement statement may take the following form (or similar):
“I have reviewed this bonus-payment request. To the best of my knowledge, Professor _____’s assurance that this bonus payment will comply with the requirements of the CLAS Bonus Payments policy is accurate. In addition, Professor _____ is meeting the expectations of their position. Therefore, I endorse this request.”
In the case of a request submitted to the supervisor by email, the supervisor may supply the endorsement statement by forwarding the faculty member’s message and writing the endorsement statement as the text of the supervisor’s message.
6. Submission to CLAS Director of Finance and Planning
If the supervisor endorses the request, the supervisor shall submit the request and the endorsement statement to the CLAS Director of Finance and Planning. If the supervisor does not endorse the request, the supervisor shall notify the faculty member of the reason for that decision. If the faculty member has concerns about the supervisor’s decision, the faculty member may consult with the associate dean assigned to their unit.
7. Review by CLAS Director of Finance and Planning
Upon receipt of an endorsed request, the CLAS Director of Finance and Planning shall consider it in light of the following requirements:
- The faculty member must not have already been awarded a bonus payment in the same fiscal year.
- In the summer before the academic year in which the salary release funds will be generated, the faculty member must have received full summer-salary coverage. Ordinarily, this means that the faculty member was appointed at an effort of 1.0 FTE for every day of the summer, except where unable to do so due to funding-agency regulations, grant obligations, or other obligations.
- The request must include all financial details needed for the request to be implemented, if granted.
If the CLAS Director of Finance and Planning is able to verify that these requirements are satisfied, the CLAS Director of Finance and Planning will forward the faculty member’s request (with the supervisor’s endorsement) to the associate dean assigned to the faculty member's unit, with a comment on the request.
8. Decision by Associate Dean
Upon receipt of a message from the CLAS Director of Finance and Planning commenting on a supervisor-endorsed request from a faculty member, the associate dean assigned to the faculty member’s unit shall grant the request, deny the request, or ask for further information.
Director of Finance and Planning
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
University of Kansas
200 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
07/02/2021: Minor revision to remove references to associate dean for administrative affairs.
08/05/2019: Major revision to articulate multi-step request and approval process.
07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
05/29/2016: Migrated from previous Policy Library system.