Compensation and rewards
VCU establishes faculty positions within the categories described below. Faculty are recruited through search procedures established by the VCU Office of Faculty Recruitment and Retention.
Faculty salary administration guidelines are available on the provost’s office website. The VCU Board of Visitors approves final salaries upon the recommendation of the university president.
Starting pay and performance increase
These salary actions are established through a process of review and recommendation by the appropriate university administrators, including the provost or vice president, to whom the faculty member reports.
Salary increases outside the performance increase cycle need to show approval authority on VCU’s request for faculty salary increase form. Approval authority includes the appropriate vice president and the VCU faculty employment committee, which is composed of the vice president for finance and administration (chair), the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and the vice president for health sciences.
Generally, salaries for teaching and research positions are based on the academic credentials of the incumbent and are set within established salary average authorizations. The salary average authorizations are fixed for each institution of higher education. They are derived from a benchmark list of up to 25 institutions with salary information obtained from a national faculty salary survey commissioned by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) or from the National Center for Educational Statistics.
Additional salary benchmarks for administrative and professional faculty members are available through VCU human resources, which uses salary surveys conducted by the national College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Please email an HR consultant for more information.
A one-time lump sum award for exceptional performance beyond the prescribed expectations of a faculty member’s duties may be awarded once each fiscal year coinciding with the university’s salary administration process for faculty salary increases. Detailed information is found in the faculty bonus award policy.
Personal service agreements (PSAs)
VCU uses two primary categories for faculty appointments: teaching and research faculty, and administrative and professional faculty.
Teaching and research faculty
Also referred to as instructional faculty, teaching and research faculty perform a variety of teaching, research and service duties in support of the university’s mission. These faculty members may hold tenure, serve in tenure-track positions that are eligible to receive tenure or occupy collateral positions that are not tenure-eligible. These positions include academic titles such as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor or lecturer. Candidates for teaching and research positions hold advanced degrees or have training and work experience at levels equal to advanced degrees.
Administrative and professional faculty
Administrative and professional faculty appointments normally cover a specified period, not to exceed one year. The appointment time period is stated in the contract appointment letter.
Administrative faculty positions require the performance of work directly related to the management of the educational and general activities of the institution. Administrative faculty positions can be established no more than three reporting levels below the president. In consultation with Human Resources, the president and vice presidents can designate administrative positions reporting to them. Although administrative faculty hold faculty rankings (i.e., instructor, assistant professor, etc.), they carry administrative titles (i.e., chair, dean, executive director, etc.). Incumbents may be active teaching or research faculty or hold tenure status based on previous teaching or research experience.
Professional faculty positions support the professional functions of the university, and their designations are normally limited to librarians and other professional duties. By definition, professional faculty positions:
- Require an advanced degree, training or work experience at a level that equates to an advanced degree
- Involve non-teaching duties and responsibilities 50 percent of the time
- Require the incumbent to regularly exercise professional discretion and judgment and to produce work that is intellectual and varied and is not standardized
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and faculty
All faculty at VCU, including adjunct faculty, are considered exempt under FLSA. Therefore, all adjunct faculty must meet the FLSA exemption criteria. For adjunct faculty, FLSA exemption status is determined by the department personnel administrator and approved by the appropriate vice president using the adjunct faculty position description form. See Overtime Guidelines .
Both the FLSA job duties and salary basis exemption tests must be met (see FLSA fact sheet ). If the following tests are not met, these positions cannot be adjunct faculty and will need to be treated as hourly positions.
- Job basis exemption test: Must meet criteria as specified for executive, administrative, professional or computer exemptions.
- Salary basis exemption test: Must make at least $455 per week (regardless of whether part time or full time), unless primary duty is teaching, practicing law or medicine or outside sales.
Classified or hourly staff (with overload jobs) teaching for academic credit
If the primary job is non-exempt (classified or hourly), the overload job cannot be adjunct. The overload job must instead be treated as hourly, even if teaching for academic credit. If the primary job is exempt, the overload teaching job can be adjunct (AJ001).