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HR policy - Policy on overload payments for faculty, instructional academic staff and non-instructional academic staff

This procedure provides guidance for assigning overloads to faculty, instructional academic staff, and non-instructional academic staff. It also provides parameters for related compensation.
 Functional Owner  Chief Human Resources Officer
 Executive Sponsors  Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance
 Policy Contact  Assistant Director for Payroll and Operations, Human Resources

Who this policy applies to:
Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees, and Ad Hoc Program Specialists, other exempt level employees.

Any employee who is non-exempt may be eligible for a lump sum payment, but not an overload.  

This procedure provides guidance for assigning overloads to faculty, instructional academic staff, and non-instructional academic staff. It also provides parameters for related compensation.

Policy Detail:


Overload payments may be made where, with the consent of the employee, substantial additional work requirements are added to the existing duties of a full-time employee creating a workload in excess of 100% of the employee’s time and the performance of these additional duties is unusual, short-time or nonrecurring in nature. Overloads include courses taught, grant stipends awarded, and other paid activities that occur that occur when an employee is under contract (for most 9-month faculty/IAS this refers to fall, spring, and winter terms) over and above what is considered a normal full load.


Faculty and Instructional Academic Staff

Tenured and tenure-track faculty are expected to engage in teaching, research, and service activities. For instructional academic staff, workload is defined as a standard minimum teaching load plus additional workload activities. The guidelines for workload assignments are outlined in the Faculty Senate Policies (
  • Full-time faculty members engaged in undergraduate instruction, without special class or extra-class responsibilities, typically teach no more than 12 contact hours of group instruction per week. Full-time faculty members engaged in graduate instruction, without special class or extra-class responsibilities, typically teach no more than 9 contact hours of group instruction per week.
  • The total workload for a full-time equivalency for instructional academic staff shall not to exceed 15/16 contact hours (e.g., 12 contact hour teaching load plus up to 3 contact hours of additional workload equivalency).
  • High quality instruction is an expectation in all courses. Faculty and academic staff overload assignments should only be made if the chair is confident that consistent, high-quality instruction will be demonstrated in all courses taught, including the base assignments and the overload assignments.
Non-Instructional Academic Staff and Limited Appointments

Non-Instructional Academic Staff and Limited Appointment positions are generally not eligible for non-instructional overload payments. For vacancies in positions at the director level or above, a stipend may be provided until the vacancy has been filled otherwise non-instructional Academic Staff are not eligible for non-instructional overload payments.

Non-instructional academic staff and limited appointments may accept occasional instructional assignments that are outside of and in addition to their assigned position. These assignments must be approved by the current supervisor in advance of accepting the additional work load and cannot be performed during the employee’s established work hours. Exceptions may be made for certain classes not offered outside of established work hours.


Overload payment forms must be completed and approved through each step prior to the work being started for which a person will be compensated. In unusual circumstances, when exact specifics cannot be known and in consultation with Human Resources (HR), a form may be approved and submitted but payment delayed. For non-instructional overloads, it is required that the reasoning for the duties and payment be articulated in an attached short description.

Summer school instructor remuneration counts toward the overload payment total. The process differs from other overload payments and involves an email from HR with a summer session appointment document attached (for which no signature is needed) prior to the start of the summer session under consideration.

  1. Prior approval by the college/unit manager, dean or director, division administrator, and Administration & Finance is required for overloads.
  2. Faculty and staff have the right to reject overload assignments. Deans, directors, and department chairs cannot require anyone to work an overload assignment as part of their regular responsibilities.
  3. Overloads may not be assigned in the event that job responsibilities are not met in an acceptable manner as determined by the immediate supervisor of the faculty or academic staff.
  4. Normal expectations in terms of performance are not different for overload assignments. The act of volunteering for, or declining from, an overload shall not be considered as contributing to, or detracting from, faculty and staff performance reviews.
  5. Faculty members with intentionally reduced teaching loads are not normally eligible to teach overload courses during fall and spring semesters. They may teach courses during Winter term and Summer terms.
  6. Faculty and academic staff should not exceed workload that is equivalent to a 3 or 4 contact hour course overload in any Fall, Spring, or Winter term, unless approved by the Office of the Provost.
  7. Unique or emergency situations, such as extended sick leave by another faculty or staff may result in the chair seeking volunteers to accept a teaching overload to relieve the situation. These situations will be handled on an individual basis and these guidelines may be modified to accommodate each unique scenario.
  8. Summer session courses, grant payments, and other salary or overload payments paid through UWL that occur during the summer (outside of a 9-month contract) count toward the 2/9s limit but not toward the $18,000 limit.
  9. Faculty members working on overload assignments are not to reduce, as a direct result of the overload, research and scholarly activities and are expected to contribute to a normal amount of service activities as determined by their immediate supervisor.
  10. Departments should manage recurring non-teaching assignments or continuing commitments through methods other than overloads, such as by adjusting employee duties to provide time to meet the special recurring responsibilities.
  11. When assignments are of an unanticipated, unusual, short-term, or nonrecurring nature, overload payments may be approved if sufficient need is demonstrated. The general rule for overloads is that they should not exceed 6 months.

The salary received by full-time faculty and academic staff is considered full compensation for university activity during the appointment periods. However, when circumstances lead to a demonstrable need for additional assignments, a temporary overload request may be approved. The following compensation parameters apply to overload requests:
  • Overload payments for faculty and IAS require the prior approval of the department chair for the academic unit creating the overload and college dean. If the department creating the overload is different from the home unit of the faculty or IAS employee, the chair of the home department must also approve the overload. Overload payments for Academic Staff require the prior approval of the director for the work unit and division administrator.
  • Each fiscal year, nine-month faculty or academic staff can earn a combined maximum overload income of $18,000 plus 2/9ths of the previous fiscal year’s year-end base salary. Although the fiscal year ends June 30, all summer payments are counted toward the previous fiscal year. The 2/9ths portion of this limit must be earned in the summer and the $18,000 limit must be earned during the academic year. UW System policy allows for $18,000 or 20% of base salary, whichever is higher, but UWL utilizes the $18,000 limit. The overload limit is monitored on a fiscal year basis. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Provost.
  • Each fiscal year, faculty or academic staff on annual appointments can earn a maximum overload income of $18,000 of the previous fiscal year’s year-end base salary. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Provost.
Example: An employee with base pay of $63,000 in 2015-16 may earn up to $14,000 in the summer and $18,000 in overload income in the academic year, totaling an additional $32,000 for the year, beyond the 9-month base. This maximal situation would allow, for example, an individual to teach a three credit overload in each of the Fall, Winter and Spring terms and earn an additional two months (full time) summer salary that is calculated from their base salary. Compensation funded through federal grants and programs may be subject to, and capped by federal regulations (e.g. NSF’s 2/9ths rule).


Departments are responsible for maintaining records of overload payments and ensuring that no individual violates the institutional policy. Human Resources is responsible for maintaining copies of approved payment forms.
If an employee exceeds the allowable overload limit, the employee should consult with their department chair and dean to discuss the Dean requesting an exemption from the Provost. Should an exemption not be granted, the employee forfeits the amount in excess of the limit.

Additional information
  • Overload Payment information - HR

Revision history:
Original development November 2015
Last revision was August 2017

Supporting tools:
See "Links to related information"

Departments are responsible for monitoring overload limits, timeliness of processing the overload request, and ensure the subsequent approval through HRS is completed. 

Links to related information:

Keywordsoverload, lump payments, summer payments   Doc ID103891
OwnerCarri O.GroupUW-La Crosse
Created2020-07-11 07:28:58Updated2020-07-14 09:44:47
SitesUW-La Crosse
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