Honorarium Or Contracted Service

What is considered a honorarium?

The term is sometimes inappropriately used by faculty and staff as it relates to the payment of a professional for services rendered as a guest speaker, contest judge, etc. Webster's definition of "honorarium" is "a payment as to a professional person for services on which no fee is set or legally obtainable". In other words, the professional person does not discuss or expect any material or monetary compensation for his or her time and there is no verbal or written contract expressing payment for the services to be received by the University. A " honorarium" is offered strictly as a goodwill gesture to cover any transportation and lodging expenses the invited professional person may have to incur in response to an invitation to speak, judge or act in some other honorary capacity.


A " honorarium" amount shall be a reasonable estimate of the anticipated expenses to be incurred by the invited professional. Honorarium should be charged to expense code 550800 (Professional Travel-Other).


A Personal, Professional, Consulting or Social Service contract will not be required if the above criteria for a honorarium exist. However, a social security number of the individual to receive the honorarium will be required for payment to any individual. Consultation with the Director of Purchasing must be done at least (14) days in advance of the event for mutual agreement to pay a honorarium.


If the individual is a non-US citizen with or without a social security number, then notification and consultation with the Director of Purchasing must be made at least (90) days prior to the event or work to investigate whether the non-US citizen will require taxes to be deducted from the honorarium, or qualify with the government to receive a honorarium.