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


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.