School of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs

Policy on Payment of Faculty Honoraria for Continuing Education Activities in the Schools of the Health Sciences (March 23, 2008)


The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences (“SOHS”) consider continuing education activities to be a core part of their mission. Continuing education seminars provide a service to the community, allow recent research advances to be translated into direct health care practices, and provide supplemental revenues to the SOHS. Because these educational activities are part of the institution’s core mission, faculty involvement in many of the activities should be considered part of regular teaching duties and no extra compensation should be expected or provided. In limited circumstances, supplemental payment to faculty members for participation in continuing education activities may be permitted. This policy provides guidance about the circumstances under which such payments can be made. Payments for honoraria for courses not sponsored by or conducted at the University remain subject to other University policies, including Policy 02-06-01 (Outside Employment) and Policy 11-01-03 (Conflict of Interest – Research/Teaching), as well as the Health Sciences policy on industry relationships (


This policy is subject to the following existing University policies: University of Pittsburgh Policy 02-06-01 (Outside Employment) provides that a course taught by a faculty member in another department or school, which is open to students from the faculty member’s school or department, carries no extra compensation or transfer of funds, but is considered in determining the faculty member’s work load. This policy further provides that additional compensation may be paid for special programs where intensive preparation is required, with payment made to the school or department providing the faculty expertise. Further distribution of funds to the faculty member is at the discretion of the dean.

University of Pittsburgh Policy 02-02-02 (Payroll Base Period and Overload Pay) stipulates that work will be awarded on an overload basis “only in the most pressing circumstances”, with the allowable increment limited to 25% of contracted salary within any academic year.

The Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences (CCEHS) policies permit courses with extramural funding (tuition, industry support, etc.) to allocate funds for the time and effort put forth by internal faculty in preparation and teaching in CE activities. All proposed honoraria payments exceeding $1,500 are reviewed by CCEHS leadership. Honoraria funds are transferred from course accounts to respective University or UPMC departments and divisions. Payment of honoraria by such departments to individual faculty shall be governed by this policy.


Honoraria should only be paid to Health Sciences faculty when involvement in CE transcends customary academic responsibilities and does not negatively impact the level of service or revenue to the University.

A. The following activities are considered part of customary responsibilites and should not bring extra compensation to participating faculty:

  1. Participation in educational activities conducted in University and affiliated teaching facilities in Pittsburgh and targeted to University or UPMC personnel (grand rounds, formal courses, or self-study activities). These activities should be considered as part of normal proefessional responsibilites, with no opportunity for additional compensation to the individual faculty member.
  2. Participation during normal working hours in University accredited and/or University of UPMC-sponsored CE activities conducted in Allegheny County (such as outreach lectures, web casts or formal courses) that are targeted to external, regional audiences. These activities should be considered part of normal professional responsibilities, with no opportunity for additioanl compensation. Permission from the dean, department chair or division chief should be obtained prior to participation in these actiivities.

B. Honoraia may be paid in the following instances:

  1. Participation in University accredited and/or University or UPMC sponsored live CE activities (outreach lectures or formal courses) targeted to external, regional audiences, and not held during normal working hours (e.g. on weekends or evenings ) and/or require travel outside of Allegheny County. These activities may be considered to be supplemental to regular professional responsibilities and therefore may be eligible for additional recognition.
  2. Participation in University accredited and/or University or UPMC-sponsored CE activities targeted to statewide or national audiences (formal courses or preceptorships conducted either locally or nationally, or self-study programs). These activities may be considered to be supplemental professional activities and therefore may be eligible for additional recognition, if it can be demonstrated that the effort is in excess of normal professional responsibilities.

Under these circumstances, the faculty member ’s dean, department chair, division chief, or administrator shall forward to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences prior to the proposed activity a description of the CE activity including preliminary budget, the role of the faculty member, a detailed explanation of why the participation exceeds the ordinary duties of the faculty member, an attestation that participation in the activity will not compromise the faculty member’s routine professional responsibilities, and proposed honorarium amount. This proposal will be reviewed and acted upon by the Assistant Vice Chancellor in a timely manner. The additional compensation for each CE activity shall not exceed the pro-rated salary for the anticipated effort or $2,500 per day of the activity, whichever is less, unless special approval is obtained from the Assistance Vice Chancellor. Honoraria may not be paid if, in aggregate, all overload pay to the faculty member in that academic year exceeds 25% of the University base salary. Travel expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with University policies. All honoraria shall be paid to faculty as individuals. Under no circumstances shall honoraria earned by faculty be directed for payment to a private company in which the faculty member has an interest.


Institutional units sponsoring CE activities with external financing (tuition revenue, industry support, grant funding, etc.) shall budget for reasonable costs of faculty participation and resources associated with conducting these programs, including indirect and administrative costs (as appropriate). Preliminary budgets for all CE activities with external financing shall be reviewed and approved by the CCEHS. Budgets must be overseen by the CCEHS, with delegation of responsibilities to internal business units or jointly sponsoring organizations being determined on a case by case basis. Final budgets must be reviewed and approved by the CCEHS and no honoraria may be disbursed to faculty members until this approval has been obtained. The CCEHS must receive a final budget indicating the distribution of course revenues (including the individuals or corporate entities to which funds were disbursed).

University of Pittsburgh buildings and UPMC facilities used for the conduct of CE activities, e.g., UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, Children’s Hospital, Magee Women’s Hospital.