UWM Overload Guidelines

  • Date:
  • March 24, 2022

  1. General Policy

    The salary received by full-time faculty, academic staff, limited appointees and FLSA exempt University Staff is considered to be full compensation for university activity during the period of appointment. Professionals with appointments [generally exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)] are expected to expend the total effort necessary to complete their assignments without additional compensation. Thus, such employees may not receive compensation for an overload activity from any funds administered within the University System, regardless of source, except through procedures and within standards provided in this policy.

    There are instances in which asking an employee to do significantly more than his/her appointment requires is the only viable alternative and additional compensation is appropriate. There may also be other situations in which the individual is asked to assume on a temporary basis different duties and responsibilities within the full-time appointment period such that the base salary for performing those functions needs to be examined. The purpose of this policy is to define the circumstances in which such payments may be provided, and to describe the associated UWS limitations on such payments.

    In general, options such as adjustments in the employee’s other duties in order to release time to meet new responsibilities; a temporary base adjustment; or a purchase-of-load arrangement in which funds are transferred into an employee’s department or unit as a purchase of institutional time from the department or unit should be considered before overload payments are granted.

  2. Overload Payments: General Policy

    Overload payments may be made where:

    1. With the consent of the employee, substantial additional work requirements are added to the duties of a full-time employee, in effect creating a workload exceeding 100% of the employee’s time, and the need for the performance of the additional work is unusual, short-term or non-recurring in nature1; or
    2. A full-time employee of one UW System institution accepts an institution-approved part-time appointment to perform services at another UW System institution, in addition to his/her full-time position.2
    3. Non-exempt employees who are asked to perform additional duties and responsibilities shall be compensated per UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1277. Where applicable, additional payment is considered overtime under the FLSA and may be compensated as premium pay or compensatory time.
  3. Overload Payments: General Payment Limitations
    1. Approvals for overload appointments must be obtained from the Dean/Director’s office and the Chancellor’s designee 3 prior to the effective date for overload service. The only exception will be for the most extraordinary circumstances (such as sudden illness, death, or other circumstances that could not have been anticipated). Approval must be obtained via the Overload Appointment Request process; requests for overloads shall be routed to the Central Human Resources Office for review and submission to the Chancellor’s designee for final approval.
    2. Overload compensation may not exceed the higher of 20 percent of the employee’s base appointment salary or $18,000, unless the Chancellor’s Designee determines good cause exists to exceed this threshold and issues an exception in writing. This limit is calculated on a fiscal year basis.
    3. Executive Positions are not eligible for overloads as these positions are deemed to be at a level within the organizational structure where their purview and responsibility impacts a department or division. Generally, this includes any employee holding a Limited Title appointment as defined at the Institutional level. In addition, these individuals by virtue of their appointments, are earning fair and adequate compensation, and have the ability to reassign or delegate work to a manager or another employee within their organization.
    4. An overload request for an employee whose base salary is funded, at least partially, by extramural funding, or an overload request funded through external funds, may be considered for approval if it is consistent with the policy of applicable federal and non-federal sponsors. Any questions about making an overload payment on a sponsored account (fund 133 or 144), should be directed to the Office of Sponsored Programs post-award specialist.
    5. Summer compensation for academic year employees for teaching, research and/or any other University service is not normally included in the 20% or 18,000 overload cap. (see also the section on Summer Appointments)
    6. Service to the UWM campus community is generally expected of all Faculty and Staff. Requests for overloads for guest lecturing, covering an ailing colleague’s class, publishing articles is strictly prohibited.
    7. Temporary base salary adjustments are not considered to be overload payments as provided under section 8 of this policy and the overload shall be calculated on the budgeted base salary not the salary inclusive of a temporary base adjustment.
    8. Additional payment for non-exempt employees paid as overtime need not require approval through the overload process, but should be monitored to ensure appropriateness.
  4. Special Requirements and Limitations on Overload Payments in Specific Situations
    1. Inter-institutional instructional consulting or technical service on an overload basis. Sharing of expertise among various UW System units is considered part of what is expected of full-time employees. However, where the need for this inter-institutional service is in addition to a full-time appointment at the “home” institution and is short term in nature, compensation on an overload basis may be appropriate. Approval must be secured from the employee’s “Home” Institution per UW System Administrative Policy SYS 324.
    2. Off-campus credit instruction. Off-campus credit courses should, when taught by full-time faculty members during their appointment period, be considered in the institution’s definition of full-time teaching load. However, it may be necessary in order to maintain flexibility in the use of instructional funds and in adapting off-campus offerings to rapidly changing needs to staff some part of the off-campus credit offerings through use of overload payment and ad hoc employment. The UW System sets as a standard that no more than one-third of the staffing of off-campus credit instruction by any System institution be provided through overload or ad hoc arrangements and that such staffing be recommended by the relevant academic department or its functional equivalent and approved by the Chancellor (or designee). The level of use of overload payment and ad hoc arrangements for off-campus credit instruction shall be monitored by the Provost’s Deputy for Continuing Education For the purposes of this section, any campus credit offerings scheduled and taught on campus through a campus extension division shall be considered within the same policy applying to off-campus offerings.
    3. Non-credit continuing education and public service programs. The University of Wisconsin System commits itself to respond to the continuing education and public service needs of Wisconsin residents. To the extent that these needs can be anticipated for any regular budget period, budget arrangements should be developed to structure such assignments as part of the regular load of full-time faculty members. If these assignments have not been anticipated, or cannot be accommodated in the regular load, overload payments may be authorized according to the policy and limits established in accord with this policy document.
  5. Monitoring

    The Chancellor is responsible for the overload practices at UWM. The Department of Human Resources is responsible for monitoring and evaluating overload payments. Human Resources will provide reports and analysis, as requested to UW System or Deans/Division Heads.

  6. Calculation of Overload Payments

    Overload payments must be reasonable in terms of the original base salary and the time spent, effort involved, and level of skills required for the additional assignment. Calculation of overload payments and charge backs shall be made pursuant to the methodology set forth in UW System Administrative Policy SYS 230 and UW System Administrative Policy SYS 324.

  7. Summer Appointments
    1. Summer appointments for the equivalent of 4.5 biweekly pay periods (9 full-time weeks) or less of the previous academic year’s compensation do not require prior approval.4
    2. If the combined appointment for teaching, research, and service during any period in summer exceeds 100%, the excess appointment for that period shall be considered as overload but the overload payment earned in summer does not count towards the annual cap.
    3. Summer Appointments in Excess of 4.5 Biweekly Pay Periods

      UW System policies state that compensation received in the summer period may not, in aggregate, exceed the equivalent of 4.5 biweekly pay periods of the academic year salary of the person appointed unless an explicit exception is granted by the Chancellor or designee, regardless of source of funds. At UWM, this requires that any faculty, academic staff, or limited appointee, on an academic year appointment must obtain prior approval from the Dean/Director and the Chancellor’s designee for summer appointments resulting in compensation in excess of 4.5 biweekly pay periods of academic year. The following conditions apply for summer appointments in excess of 4.5 pay periods:

      Faculty and academic staff are eligible to receive up to the equivalent of 6.5 pay periods (13 weeks) of summer salary provided at least 2 pay periods (4 weeks) of salary comes from extramural sources. In exceptional cases, to allow faculty and academic staff to meet ongoing institutional commitments, this policy allows all 13 weeks of the summer appointment to be provided from non-extramural funds.

      1. Summer Appointments in any one summer may not exceed 6.5 biweekly pay periods (13 weeks) of academic year salary.
      2. Faculty and staff on summer appointments for 6.5 pay periods (13 weeks) commit 100% of their time during the entire three month period. This precludes the possibility of summer vacation time.
    4. Requests for summer service occasioned by work done during the academic year are not acceptable.
  8. Temporary Base Adjustments (TBA)

    Temporary base salary adjustments should be utilized in cases where a full-time employee is appointed in an acting or interim capacity, or to assume temporary administrative responsibilities at a specified percentage of his/her full-time position with concomitant release from usual and customary responsibilities. These adjustments do not constitute overload payments. The level of the base salary adjustment appropriate for the new assignment is determined pursuant to UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1277. The basic distinction between cases justifying overloads and temporary base adjustments is that an overload applies in cases where the staff member continues with all of his/her existing duties in addition to the new responsibilities undertaken, whereas a TBA is appropriate in cases where the new responsibilities taken on are offset by partial or full release of existing duties.

  9. Footnotes

    1 Examples include a faculty member who teaches a mini or inter-session (i.e., WinterIM) course scheduled during the academic year that results in a teaching load that exceeds the institution’s regular expected teaching load for the academic year; or a staff member who assumes some of the responsibilities of a vacant position during recruitment, in addition to his/her full-time assignment.

    2 Examples include a full-time lecturer who accepts an appointment to teach a weekend course at another institution during the appointment period; or a staff member who continues to work full-time at his/her home institution while filling a position at another institution during recruitment.

    3 Chancellor Designee = Provost; Provost Designee: Academic Units (Vice Provost, Academic Affairs), Administrative Units (Chief Human Resources Officer)

    4 Biweekly payment, determined in accordance with UW System Policy SYS 230, equates to the division of academic year salary by 19.5 pay periods.

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