Administration & Finance


Human Resources

Contact Information: 

Jeannette Peralta / Executive Director of Organizational Development for Human Resources / (415) 338-7187 / peralta@sfsu.edu

Effective Date: 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Revised Date: 

Friday, May 1, 2015


CSU, Technical Letter: Honorarium California Fair Political Practice Commission


To define honorarium payment(s) under the SFSU Honorarium Guideline.



An honorarium is a one-time payment for a special lecture/seminar given by an individual for a specific class or instruction program under the direction of a University faculty member or administrator. If the honorarium is for a University employee, the event must be outside the normal duties and responsibilities and performed outside scheduled work hours. An honorarium is defined as a form of payment and is not considered an additional or overload appointment. Similar to a Performance Bonus, an honorarium does not increase base salary and does not impact benefits, retirement or any future employment.

University faculty and staff shall follow established mechanisms for reimbursement of expenses associated with attendance at a University function including travel, mileage, and other out-of-pocket expenses. In special cases, an honorarium may be provided in the form of a participant stipend when the knowledge, skills or abilities derived from attending the event will provide additional benefits to the University in the future and/or when attendance at the event serves to meet defined objectives of a University sponsored program, e.g., participation in a survey or participation in a special symposium. Additionally, an honorarium may be provided for a singular service, e.g., administering and/or reading a university qualifying examination, participating in a performance or demonstration, etc.

Normally, the amount of payment is based on the salary rate for the primary appointment, not to exceed $500. A different payment rate is permitted if appropriate for the work performed and required under special circumstances. Such circumstances shall include unique skills and abilities required for the class or program not available through any other resource. Furthermore, only those situations that require an excessive time commitment in preparation or presentation and/or where the benefit or acclaim to the University far exceeds any personal benefit to the individual, would honoraria be granted above $500.


Deans/Directors (MPP) have the authority to grant honoraria to external recipients and University faculty and staff not to exceed $500 and shall ensure that honoraria are provided in accordance with program criteria. All requests for honoraria connected with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) must be authorized by the Associate Vice President for ORSP prior to the event. The Director of Human Resources shall review and authorize honoraria above $500 and shall consult with the appropriate Cabinet Officer on all requests for honoraria above $1,000.

The President shall review and authorize honoraria requested for any administrator appointed within the Management Personnel Plan. Honoraria for administrators shall only be granted in exceptional situations where the activity giving rise to the honorarium brings substantial acclaim to the University.


Honorarium Procedures:


Honorarium Form: