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Summer Studies-Intersession Faculty Compensation

  • Responsible Office: Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost
  • Current Approved Version: 11/17/2017
  • Policy Type: Administrative

Policy Statement and Purpose

Summer Studies and Intersession are part of the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management. Summer Studies offers a variety of courses in each school and college. Class sessions run from three to eight weeks beginning in mid-May and ending in mid-August. Intersession is an eleven-day session between the fall and spring semesters.

Teaching assignments for Summer Studies and Intersession are made by the schools and the colleges. Faculty contracts are prepared and issued by personnel administrators in the offering departments. Courses are typically taught by full-time and adjunct faculty appointed in a school or college. Compensation for teaching courses is outlined in this policy.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.

Who Should Know This Policy

Faculty and personnel administrators are responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions.



The 11-day academic session spanning two weeks between fall and spring semesters.

Summer Studies

The 12-week academic session from mid-May to mid-August with class sessions ranging from three to eight weeks.


The Summer Studies Office within the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management officially interprets this policy. The Summer Studies Office is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. Please direct policy questions to the Summer Studies Office and the associate vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management.

Policy Specifics and Procedures

A. Compensation

  1. Full-time faculty:
    • Faculty on 9/10-month academic year appointments who teach courses during summer session or intersession receive a salary that is proportionately equal to their academic year rate. As illustrated in the chart below, a faculty member teaching a three credit course is paid 7 percent of the previous academic year salary (up to a maximum of $7,000 for three credits). No faculty member may receive more than 21 percent of the previous academic year salary or teach more than nine credits in the summer. Credits taught during the previous intersession are included in the nine-credit/21-percent limit. Faculty members on 12-month appointments are not eligible for additional compensation for teaching in the summer or intersession.
      Credits% of Salary
    • Faculty will receive the percentage of their salary at the time of contract generation—most often, the salaries that are effective the previous spring semester.
    • Faculty will be compensated at 4.5 credits for a three-credit course with an enrollment over 60 students.
    • The minimum rate for faculty compensation will be $1,000 per credit or $3,000 per three- credit course.
    • Faculty on approved research grants or contracts or a combination of research or contract support, faculty grants-in-aid, or other university assignments may be paid up to a maximum of 1/3 of previous academic year’s salary when approved by the administrators concerned, usually the department chair, dean or supervisor. Total pay for summer employment shall not exceed 33.3 percent of the full-time academic year salary. Please see the Faculty Salary Administration Guidelines from the Office of the Provost.
  2. Adjunct faculty and graduate students:
    • Adjunct faculty will be paid a per-credit rate established by Strategic Enrollment Management. This per-credit rate will also be the minimum rate for full-time faculty. A separate rate has been established for graduate ($1,038 per credit) and undergraduate classes ($1,000 per credit).
    • Adjuncts, graduate students, and hourlies are limited to teaching two classes in the summer and cannot average more than 29 hours of work per week.
    • Emeritus faculty will be paid $1,248 per credit; a rate established by Strategic Enrollment Management.
    • Graduate students will be paid $777 per credit; a rate established by Strategic Enrollment Management.

B. Low Enrollment

In order to better manage course and classroom usage, the university has created enrollment minimums for courses. Courses must meet the following minimums in order for an instructor to receive full pay:

100-200 level: 12 students
300-400 level: 10 students
Graduate level: 8 students

  1. Full-time faculty
    • 9/10-month instructors who have not reached the minimum enrollments in their summer or intersession classes will receive a prorated contract based on the number of students registered.
    • The pay will be proportional to the minimum; for example, an instructor teaching a graduate class with seven students enrolled will receive 7/8 of their summer salary for the course.
  2. Adjunct faculty
    • Adjuncts receive a per capita contract, or $114 per student per credit, up to the maximum compensation allowed for the class. In most cases, adjuncts will receive full pay at nine students.

C. Procedures

  1. Instructor responsibility:
    • The summer employment agreement will be delivered electronically to the faculty member who is required to print, sign it, and return it within five days to the departmental personnel administrator.
    • The faculty member signing the contract is expected to personally fulfill the responsibilities of the contract and, should it become necessary for another person to teach the class for a portion of the contract, immediately notify the offering department so that appropriate contract adjustments may be made.
  2. Pay date information
    • Summer paychecks are issued on the first and sixteenth of each month as in the regular academic year. If the faculty member has direct deposit during the regular academic year, summer checks will be directly deposited as well. All new summer employees will be required to use direct deposit. Payroll and leave information will be available through Self Service Banner (SSB)—follow the link on the HR webpage at
  3. Appropriate summer loads:
    VCU seeks to maintain a standard of excellence in compressed classes by holding as closely as possible to the one-credit-in-one-week limitation for both faculty and students during the summer.

    Appropriate teaching loads may include:
    6 credits in 5 weeks
    9 credits in 8 weeks
    3 credits in an occasional 2-week workshop
    7 credits in 6 weeks

    Inappropriate loads include:
    9 credits in either 5 or 6 weeks
    6 credits in either 3 or 4 weeks
    3 credits in 1 week


There are no forms associated with this policy and procedures.

Related Documents

  1. VCU Policy: Faculty Salary Administration Guidelines
  2. PA and Hiring Resources (

Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:

  • March 4, 2010 VCU Summer Studies/Intersession Faculty Compensation Policy
  • November 13, 2017 Summer Studies/Intersession: Faculty Compensation


There are no FAQ associated with this policy and procedures.

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