An honorarium is normally a one-time payment granted in recognition of a special service or distinguished achievement for which propriety precludes setting a fixed price, such as a special lecture, participation in a workshop or panel discussion, or similar activities. If the fee is prescribed by the individual or if it is negotiated, an honorarium situation does not exist, rather a contract for services exists. Further, it is inappropriate to pay honoraria to individuals who make significant instructional contributions to a course, or to pay honoraria over several months, such as to visiting scholars. Visiting scholars may be paid an honorarium but it must be processed via the VSPA Living Allowances payment process. Honorarium payments are generally not allowable charges to federal funds unless a contract or grant specifically authorizes such payments.
Honoraria Payments to Non-University Personnel
The maximum honoraria rate that can be paid to non-university personnel is $10,000. All honoraria of $10,000 or less require the written approval of a Dean, the university Librarian, Vice Provost, Vice Chancellor or Department Chair.
Exceptional honoraria paid to non-university personnel in excess of $10,000 will require advance written approval by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.
Honoraria payments to non-university personnel are processed through the BearBuy system with a Payment Request Form. Please refer to the Payment Requests (BearBuy) page for more information. Appropriate documentation (for example: copy of flyer or announcement of speech, letter of invitation to the recipient, etc.) should be scanned and attached to the Payment Request Form in BearBuy. Honoraria should be classified with BFS expense account code 56726.
For further information, please refer to Section D-371-35 of the Accounting Manual.