Chapter 11

Maximum Levels of Appointments and Summer Session Appointments









As of July 1, 2013, Wis. Stat. 16.417(2)(f) states that the $12,000 overload cap does not apply to individuals employed by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, but only with respect to compensation received within the system,  This definition pertains to the faculty, academic staff, and limited appointees employed within the UW System. 


For the 2013-14 fiscal year, overload compensation may not exceed the higher of 20 percent of the employee’s base appointment salary or $18,000, unless the Provost(or Academic Personnel Office as the designee) determines good cause exists to exceed this threshold and issues an exception. 


The salary received by full-time faculty, academic staff and limited appointees is considered full compensation for University activity during the appointment period. Professionals with unclassified appointments (generally exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA] provisions) are expected to work without extra pay until their assignments are completed. Under extraordinary circumstances, a temporary base adjustment or overload request may be approved if a need can be sufficiently demonstrated.


Options such as adjustments in the employee’s current duties in order to release time to meet new responsibilities; or a purchase-of-load arrangement in which funds are transferred from another department or unit into an employee’s current department or unit as a purchase of institutional time should be considered before overload payments are granted.  However, there are instances in which asking an employee to do more than the duties his/her regular appointment requires is the only viable alternative, and it is appropriate to compensate the individual for this additional work. 


Generally, overload payments may be made where (1) 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-term or nonrecurring in nature, or (2) a full-time employee of one UW institution accepts an institution-approved part-time position to perform duties at another institution in addition to his/her full-time position.  If an employee is not full-time (100% FTE), additional compensation is not considered an overload.  If an employee temporarily holds two positions that combined exceed 100%, the compensation paid above 100% is considered an overload.


The determination that an overload is appropriate must be made before the work is performed. It is unfair to ask employees to complete additional duties without first submitting an overload request to ensure approval by all necessary department and division HR Representatives. 



Assignments Involving a Recurring or Continuing Commitment

  1. Recurring needs for a faculty, academic staff or limited appointee to assume special responsibilities must be handled through some method other than overload payments, preferably by making an adjustment in the employee's other duties in order to release time to meet special recurring responsibilities. Alternatively, a temporary base adjustment may be appropriate (see Temporary Salary Base Adjustments below).  Requests for an overload to recur should be infrequent, and divisions should contact APO if they have questions about the appropriateness of approving an exception. 
  2. In those cases where an employee's duties are expected to include a significant continuing commitment to outreach activities, this expectation should be clearly built into the job description and salary structure for the position. The need for overload payment or other budgetary adjustment should arise only when there is no way to relieve the person from other duties in order to permit the desired level of outreach activity and is usually in response to an unexpected or unpredictable program need.

Unusual, Short-term or Nonrecurring Assignments

When unanticipated assignments are of an 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 six months.


Special Consideration for Faculty Overloads

For faculty, overloads for activities other than assuming administrative responsibilities are unusual; they are not appropriate for and will not be approved for service responsibilities, for conducting research (including being the recipient of a grant) or other scholarly activities, nor for teaching within the usual curriculum of the department.  Requests for consideration for overloads (or a temporary base adjustment) for unusual circumstances require prior approval by the APO and the Provost.   



The following information pertains primarily to overloads involving state agencies.  The $12,000 cap remains in place for UW employees doing work for state agencies.  An individual who is employed by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System (defined above as faculty, academic staff, and limited appointees) is not subject to the $12,000 overload cap, but only with respect to compensation received within the UW system. 

  1. Payments are subject to the limitation in Ch.16.417(2)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes:
    No individual . . . who is employed or retained in a full-time position or capacity with an agency or authority may hold any other position or be retained in any other capacity with an agency or authority from which the individual receives, directly or indirectly, more than $12,000 from the agency or authority as compensation for the individual's services during the same year. 
  2. Overload payments for work done in other state agencies are monitored on a calendar year basis (January 1 to December 31) and covers all payments made during that period of time, regardless of when the overload assignment was actually completed (i.e., if an assignment is completed in December, but payment isn't made until January, the money earned in December will be considered part of the following year's overload amount).
  3. If an employee exceeds the allowable overload limit for work done in another state agency, he or she will be ordered to forfeit the amount in excess of $12,000.
  4. UW-Extension and each of the other UW System campuses are considered separate agencies. Therefore, an individual may accept assignments at other UW System campuses. 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.  These payments are subject to the UW System policy allowing a maximum of $18,000 or 20% effort in the fiscal year, whichever is greater.  Requests to exceed these amounts require prior approval of the Academic Personnel Office.
  5. Federal cost principles do not permit charging more than 100% of an individual's base salary to federal awards and/or nonfederal funds that are used as cost sharing on a federal award. The only exception to this restriction is where the arrangement has been specifically provided for in the award or approved in writing by the sponsoring agency. Please check with Research and Sponsored Programs before submitting a request.
  6. If an employee is on an H1-B or other visa, divisions should consult with the International Faculty and Staff Services office prior to approving an overload to ensure the employee is eligible to receive additional payment.
  7. Summer employment for C-basis employees is not considered an overload.  In limited situations, a C-basis employee may receive an overload in addition to the summer session or service payment.  Refer to UPPP 11.02:



Overload payments require the prior approval of the employee, the department creating the overload (or the division if the unit is non-departmentalized), the employee's home department(s), the Dean/Director of the division(s) in which the individual is employed, and the Dean/Director of the unit creating the overload, if different. 


Approval of overloads has been delegated to the division HR offices except for the following four situations:


1.      Overload payments in excess of $18,000, or if a single overload will cause a person to exceed $18,000 in combined overload payments in a fiscal year or 20% (whichever is greater).

2.      Any request involving payment to a faculty member for teaching within the university (also requires prior approval of APO and the Provost).

3.      Request for an overload in the summer for a C-basis employee already employed on a Summer Session or Summer Service position (refer to UPPP 11.02 for more information).

4.      Overload payment that would result in a Category A academic staff employee receiving more than the maximum of the pay range. 


Overloads must be submitted for approval via the automated Overload System. The link is available at: The creating department (or Dean/Director’s office if the unit is non-departmentalized) initiates the request in the overload system. The request is routed via email to the necessary units involved. The routing process is identified within the system based on whether the units involved are departmentalized or not. Please note: only users authorized to approve requests at the division level in the PVL System will be able to mark the “Last Step” box in the Overload Approval System. This checkbox signifies the final approval of the overload and generates an email stating that the overload can now be paid.  Overloads that meet the criteria of one of the four scenarios above need to be routed to Catharine DeRubeis ( in the Academic Personnel Office. 


If approved, lump sum payments can be made directly to the employee subject to any applicable extramural funding restrictions.


A separate appointment with the appropriate title and FTE may also be set up if appropriate.  For example, if the duties of the overload do not fit into the person’s current title, or if the work is being done at a different UW institution, creating a separate job with an applicable title would be the best approach for the overload payment.   The FTE for the overload should not exceed 20% or expected payment of $18,000 (whichever is greater), unless prior approval of APO has been obtained.


Every effort should be made to ensure overloads are paid in a timely fashion based on when the work is done.  An overload should be paid within one month of the services being performed. 


Alternatively, if the rules governing the source of the additional funding permit, payment can be made to the employee's department as "a purchase of institutional service" from that unit, in lieu of making a direct payment. In either case, the calculation of payment should include preparation time and follow-up activities as part of the overload duties.



Unanticipated assignments of an unusual, short-term or nonrecurring nature may also be handled with a temporary salary base adjustment. However, temporary base adjustments typically are for longer periods of time, e.g., 6 months, a semester. As with overload payments, any temporary base adjustment 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. If current title is in the Category A academic staff, the range maximum cannot be exceeded. For information about requesting a temporary salary base adjustment and the approval process, see Chapter 10.



For more detailed and specific information, consult §16.417(2) Wis. Stats.

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures—Ch. 11.01
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Last updated November 7, 2013