Overload Compensation

0400 Compensation and Job Categorization of Positions
Policy Number

Human Resources Manual

Policies, Guidelines and Reference Material
Statutory Authority
  • ORS 351.070


Full-time faculty at Oregon State University may be requested to perform service in excess of full-time effort for institutional-funded activities. Such activities are considered overload and may include instruction, education and outreach programming, and consulting. The University, in delivering the work, has an interest in and obligation to insure fair compensation across units for work of similar scope, complexity, and disciplinary content.

The Oregon University System (OUS) has established rules and policies regarding additional pay to full-time faculty when the faculty member has provided substantial service over and above the regular services expected (OUS Fiscal Policy Manual 10.33, Oregon Administrative Rule 580-021-0025, and Oregon State University’s (OSU) Conflict of Commitment Policy). These state that “activities involving overload time should not exceed one day in a seven day week, on an average, or its equivalent during the academic year or other period of appointment” and that no full-time employee “shall engage in any outside employment that substantially interferes with duties.” The cumulative total of overload activities and outside professional activities must not interfere with the performance of the faculty member’s University duties.

Overload Compensation Definition

Overload compensation is monetary remuneration, other than administrative stipend, paid to an unclassified employee (faculty member) for services in excess of full-time effort for institutional-funded activities.


Eligible Employees

Unclassified employees appointed at 100% (or 1.0 FTE) may be eligible to receive overload compensation from the University. They may also be eligible to receive overload compensation from another OUS institution.

Ineligible Employees

President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans and other equivalent level employees are ineligible for overload compensation

Eligible Oregon University System Employees

Unclassified employees employed by other OUS institutions may be eligible for overload compensation for services provided to Oregon State University. Review and approval of these requests are to be based on the same policy guidelines applicable to OSU employees.

Overload Activities Request

A request for authorization to permit and compensate for overload services performed by an unclassified employee requires signature approval from: the employee’s supervisor (e.g. academic unit supervisor, dean, vice president, director, etc.); senior administrator of employing college or division (dean, vice president, vice provost, etc.); and Business Center Human Resources Manager or the Office of Human Resources authorized representative. Approval authority may not be delegated below these management levels.

The Athletic Director may request authorization to permit and compensate for overload services or to address a contractual agreement for post-season competition and other contractual requirements. Intercollegiate and non-Intercollegiate Athletics employees may receive overload compensation for instructional services, camps, and pre-post season overload work commitments. Overload requests for Intercollegiate Athletics Department employees or non-Athletics employees requires prior approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

A request for authorization to permit and compensate for overload services provided by eligible Oregon University System employees to OSU requires prior approval of the employee’s supervisor (e.g. department chair/head, dean, vice president, director, etc.) and an appropriate institutional Human Resources representative. Approval must be indicated on the request form before the OSU employing college or division requests approval of the overload compensation. It is expected that as part of authorizing the request, the Human Resources representative from the OUS employing institution will verify appointment percent/FTE of the non-OSU employee.

Allowable and Non-Allowable Overload Service Activities

Allowable Service Activities

ECampus curriculum development and course instruction, continuing education courses, University Honors College, Extension Service education programming, consulting, seminars, and similar services are allowable activities for overload compensation. Regular on-campus classes are allowable only under extraordinary or emergency circumstances with prior approval.

Non-Allowable Services

Time spent in support of Sponsored Agreements is rarely allowable for overload compensation. Exceptions are limited per OMB Circular A-21 and must be approved in writing in advance by the sponsoring agency and the University Office of Post Award Administration.

Work considered part of an employee’s “in-load” responsibilities may not be paid as overload except under extraordinary or emergency circumstances.

Time and Service Level Limits on Overload Activities

Overload activities, regardless of type or compensation, must be such that the employee remains in compliance with the University’s Conflict of Commitment Policy and OUS policies on outside activities.

Overload teaching is not to exceed, on average, the equivalent of one additional course per term. Further, overload teaching may not be assigned at any time when the quality of instruction may be jeopardized or when such overload work interferes with regularly assigned duties.

Allowable service loads for non-teaching activities are established by the deans, directors, vice presidents, or vice provosts for employees in their college or unit.  Overload duties may not be assigned at any time when such assignments interfere with regularly assigned duties.

The allowable overload limits defined here are considered maximum loads. The appropriate dean, director, vice president, or vice provost may set a lower limit for overload work in cases where there are concerns that additional commitments would interfere with the full performance of an employee’s normal duties.

If employees have time commitments to other outside activities covered by the policy on “Outside Activities and Related Compensation” (e.g. consulting, start ups, etc.), the amount of time allowed for overload activities must be reduced effectively to stay within allowable limits set by the dean, director, vice-president, or vice provost.


Instructional Overload Compensation

Compensation for overload teaching is set by course, not by the number of students or student credit hours (SCH).

Courses, whether delivered face-to-face or in an asynchronous mode, vary in complexity and the time they require from an instructor. Instructional faculty members are assigned to courses based upon their skills and their ability to provide a quality educational experience. Compensation for instructional work is not done on an hourly basis.

Compensation provided for overload courses should be consistent with the compensation provided for similar courses delivered by instructional faculty in their normal duties. Academic unit supervisors or deans, in consultation with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs, are responsible for identifying an appropriate range for overload instruction in their units with a clear justification for how those compensation levels are set.

Other Overload Compensation

Compensation for non-teaching overload work is to be consistent with compensation for similar work delivered by an employee in the course of her or his normal full-time duties. An employee is to be paid their current rate of pay at the time the work is performed, unless justification supports an alternative rate of pay based on supporting justification.

Overload Activities Request and Compensation for Ecampus Instruction

Much of the instruction delivered on an overload basis is for Ecampus courses. While the limit of “one average course per term” applies, some additional discussion is required as Ecampus courses vary greatly in their size and complexity. This policy provides a threshold that when exceeded requires the academic unit supervisor to verify the quality of instruction and to examine alternative solutions to ongoing overload assignments.

Faculty will confer with their academic unit supervisor to establish specific safeguards for assuring quality and for protecting the faculty member from additional work that interferes with regularly assigned duties. Ongoing exceptions to the limitation may be made upon recommendation of the appropriate dean and with the approval of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs.

Exceptions may also be approved when, because of critical program needs and an absence of alternatives, an exception is necessary and, because of evidence of current high quality teaching (on- and off-campus), such an exception is also appropriate. In this latter case, an exception will be short-term and the academic unit head is expected to develop alternative programmatic approaches to meet the critical program need(s). There may be rare cases where delivery of more than one course per term on an overload basis may be appropriate. Such exceptions require approval by the academic unit supervisor and the dean and will not be approved on an ongoing basis. In any case, exceptions will not be granted for more than four overload courses taught in an academic year.

If an ECampus course does not have sufficient enrollment to cover the costs of instructor pay, the unit offering the course is responsible for funding the difference to ensure the instructor receives the overload compensation agreed upon. Exceptions can be requested for courses that are in development mode or that have other unique circumstances. Generally, below minimum compensation for a course will not be approved more than twice in an academic year. Failure to receive authorization prior to performing work may result in the request being denied and overload compensation not awarded.

Accounting for Overload Compensation

All overload compensation, and the income and expenses of activities for which the compensation is paid, shall be channeled through the payroll system on an overload request form. The academic unit supervisor or unit head is responsible for the expenditure of funds when authorizing the overload activity.

Overload compensation for instructional services during the period of an employee’s contract is not considered salary for purposes of Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) contributions. When computing SAIF premiums, overload is treated the same as overtime, i.e., one-third of the gross is excluded from the premium base.

If an employee is employed full-time by another employer participating in PERS and is receiving PERS contributions, all pay for instructional services is to be paid under account code 10201, Supplemental Unclassified Pay.

Instructional service (Account Code 10201) activities that are typical overload compensation services include extended education, extension services, consulting, teaching a course for a faculty member who is on leave or sabbatical, seminars, and other similar services.

Non-instructional service (Account Code 10202) activities that are typical overload compensation services include staff support for athletic functions and services in excess of full-time effort for institution-sponsored activities, including combined FTE for work done at any of the OUS institutions.

Compensation to a nine-month academic faculty member who teaches a short course any time between June 15th and September 15th is considered salary and is subject to PERS contributions. If the same nine-month faculty member holds a full-time appointment to teach summer session, any overload compensation earned during the summer term is not subject to PERS.

Payment of Overload Compensation

Payment for services provided through an approved overload request is to be made after the work has been completed, either on a monthly basis or at the completion of the period of service. If payment is made to an OUS employee, he or she must be appointed to an OSU academic wage appointment in order for payment to be made.

Policy Exceptions

Policy exceptions may be made by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs or her designee. Exemptions that request service loads beyond the allowable limits noted above must clearly document how the time committed to the overload work does not exceed that allowed by OSU and OUS policy.

Records Retention

Approved overload compensation request forms are a part of an employee’s official personnel file and are subject to the University’s retention guidelines for personnel records.