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Chapter 5: Salary, Benefits and Retirement

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Handbook last updated: October 13, 2022

Stanford University provides compensation to faculty members in the form of salary and other benefits.  The following descriptions are intended to provide some basic information about the compensation program and benefit plans.  All benefits plans are subject to change.  Complete information on benefits is available from the Benefits Office,

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5.1 Compensation
5.2 Benefits
5.3 Retirement

5.1 Compensation

5.1.1 Approval of Faculty Salaries

All faculty salaries must be approved by the Dean of the School and the Provost before the salary is communicated to the faculty member.  Additionally, salaries above a threshold set by the Board of Trustees must be approved by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees.  Salary changes, including certain types of supplementary compensation and salary during a leave of absence, require the same authorization and review process.  Salary increases for a new academic year are effective on September 1st.  Such increases are not automatic and shall be based on performance, applicable compensation policies and budgetary considerations.

5.1.2 Salary Payment

Stanford paydays are the seventh and twenty-second of each month or the nearest preceding working day if the payday falls on a weekend or holiday.  Most faculty members choose to have their paychecks deposited directly into their bank accounts.  Arrangements for direct-deposit may be made with the Payroll Office; on paydays a statement of earnings and deductions is sent online rather than a paper statement.  For those faculty who do not elect direct-deposit, checks will be delivered to their primary department.

Each paycheck includes a statement which shows the legally-mandated amounts taken from pay such as Federal withholding tax, California withholding tax, State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Voluntary Disability (VDI) tax, and Social Security tax (FICA), plus any reductions or deductions that have been authorized in writing or electronically, such as retirement and other benefit plans, loan payments, and dues.  A payroll deduction continues until it expires or until a change or termination is authorized.

A faculty member on a nine-month academic year calendar during the University’s fiscal year (September 1 through August 31) may elect prior to September 1, in writing or by email, to have their salary paid over a nine, ten, or twelve-month period, commencing September 1, on the bi-monthly Stanford paydays described above.  Any such election shall be irrevocable, once the academic year has begun.  In the absence of an election for a given academic year, the election in effect for the preceding academic year shall apply.  If no election is made or carries over from a prior year, salaries shall be paid over a nine-month period.

5.1.3 Additional Compensation Policy

As members of the University’s academic community, faculty are expected to participate in a variety of Stanford activities and services without additional compensation.  For example, additional compensation is not warranted for committee service or occasional service outside of the faculty member’s school or department that does not require a significant time commitment.  However, additional compensation may be appropriate for significant contributions to special programs or activities which serve school or University needs.  Members of the Academic Council and the University Medical Line faculty may be eligible for such additional compensation from the University beyond their annual base salaries.

Additional compensation offered by a school to a faculty member in another school must be approved by the dean of the faculty member’s primary school in advance of the service being performed.  This requirement is intended to ensure that deans are aware of the full scope of the obligations of their faculty members across the University and in order to determine whether the faculty member’s total compensation exceeds the threshold for reporting to the Board of Trustees.  Additional compensation for faculty in amounts in excess of $5,000 must also be approved by the Provost in advance of the service being performed.

Additional compensation may be appropriate for nonstandard teaching activities at any time of year; fourth quarter payments for standard teaching; and administrative supplements for significant administrative service in connection with academic programs or activities.  Additional compensation in the form of honoraria may be appropriate for occasional contributions to events outside of the faculty member’s school or department.

Schools should establish a policy specifying the type of supplementary compensation that faculty members may receive, which might include a cash payment to the faculty member or a transfer of funds to the faculty member's school or department.  The cognizant dean or department chair has the discretion to alter the prescribed form of compensation in any case to meet programmatic needs.

In order to assure that gifts comply with applicable regulations governing charitable contributions, and to assist in avoiding any appearance of conflict of interest, gifts from a faculty member to Stanford: may not be placed in accounts under the control of the donor (e.g. neither the donor, nor any individual reporting to the donor, may have signature authority over the account); should be placed in a unique account so that the source and use of the gifted funds can be clearly identified; may not be used to fund personal travel, purchases, or any other expense that could be construed by others to benefit the donor for purposes unrelated to their work for the University; and may not be used to fund the salary of the donor. Nonstandard Teaching Activities

a. Definitions

Standard teaching activities, which do not result in additional compensation, include teaching a course that is part of a regular Stanford degree program and any other teaching specifically recognized (either at the time of hiring or subsequently agreed upon by a faculty member and their department chair or dean) as constituting regular teaching responsibilities.  Courses for which teaching is considered standard are usually listed in the Stanford University Bulletin, the Time Schedule, and/or the Summer Session Bulletin.  All departmental and interdisciplinary curricula courses are in this category.  Occasional guest lectures are part of standard teaching responsibilities.  Regular teaching duties also include course development, reading honors theses, serving on dissertation committees and conducting PhD exams in the faculty member’s department.

Nonstandard teaching activities go beyond the normal requirements of teaching, research, patient care, and/or other University duties.  Frequently innovative, they can benefit both the University and participating faculty members.  Nonstandard teaching activities that may warrant supplementary compensation include, but are not limited to, participation in executive programs in the Graduate School of Business and the School of Engineering, in Continuing Studies and Stanford Alumni Association courses, in Postgraduate Medical Education Seminars, in the Health Improvement Program and in some courses offered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.  In addition, nonstandard teaching may (under certain circumstances) include teaching in another unit that goes above the standard teaching requirement of a faculty member’s primary department or school.

Where the distinction between standard and nonstandard teaching activities is not clear, the faculty member has the responsibility of consulting with their department chair or dean in advance of making any commitment to teach, about the character of and amount of time to be spent on the proposed activity, and whether it will be the subject of supplementary compensation.

b. Approval of Nonstandard Programs

The Provost reviews and approves nonstandard teaching programs for eligibility to offer supplementary compensation to faculty.  Approval must be obtained before arrangements are made with faculty.  Requests for approval must include a description of the program, when courses are offered, and the formula used to determine the amount of time per course for which participating faculty are compensated.  Approval is required by the Dean of the School in which the program is offered and by the Provost.  However, it is not necessary to seek approval from the Provost for each faculty member’s compensation for a previously approved program, if the new amount is not more than 10% over the previous year’s compensation for the program.

c. Limits on Nonstandard Teaching

The limits placed on nonstandard teaching activities are the same as for outside consulting activities.  The maximum number of nonstandard teaching days permissible for Academic Council members on full-time appointments is 13 days per academic quarter.  As teaching is normally viewed in hourly terms, this translates to 130 hours per academic quarter, including preparation time.  Faculty members who engage in outside consulting and/or nonstandard teaching may not exceed the 13-day limit for the two activities combined in quarters of full-time employment.

The following policies conform to Guidelines for Implementation of the Policy on Outside Consulting.  (See Research Policy Handbook chapter 4.1 Faculty Policy on Conflict of Commitment and Interest)

Averaging—A reasonable amount of "averaging" over the three quarters of the academic year (or full year for faculty on four-quarter appointments) is ordinarily acceptable, if discussed prospectively with the faculty member’s department chair or dean.  Averaging from quarters of less than full-time service to quarters of full-time service is not permitted.

Periods of Part-time University Employment—The 13-day limit should be prorated for part-time appointments using the following formula: (13 x F) + ((1-F) x 6 x 13), where F is the fraction of full-time duty, 13 represents the average number of weeks per quarter, and 6 represents the maximum number of days per week likely to be devoted to professional activities.  For example, a faculty member holding a 75% appointment is permitted up to 29 1/4 days of consulting/nonstandard teaching per quarter.

Fourth Quarter—Faculty on nine-month appointments with no salary supplement for the fourth quarter (usually summer) are not subject to the 13-day limit during the off-duty quarter but are subject to the limit for the quarters they are on duty.  The 13-day limit applies to faculty receiving a 3/9 salary supplement for the fourth quarter.  If the salary supplement is for less than 3/9 time, one of the following applies: 1) the appointment specifies a particular "on duty" calendar period during which the regular supplementary compensation policy applies and there is no limit during the remaining time; or 2) the appointment is part-time for all or part of the quarter and the prorating for part-time employment applies.

Leave without Salary—The 13-day limit does not apply to faculty on leave without salary.  For leaves without salary for a portion of a quarter, the 13-day limit should be prorated on the basis of one day per calendar week of duty time.

Sabbatical Leave—Faculty on sabbatical leave who are receiving full-time University salary are subject to the 13-day limit.  Faculty on sabbatical leave receiving less than full-time University salary may supplement income up to the full-time base salary, and in addition, may devote a maximum of 13 days to consulting/nonstandard teaching.

d. Responsibilities of Faculty

Faculty are responsible for adhering to limitations on nonstandard teaching activities as well as other aspects of the supplementary compensation policy.  Moreover, faculty are expected to live up to the spirit of this policy as well as to its specifications, including obtaining prior approval from their Deans before committing to any such activities.  Questions or ambiguities should be resolved with department chairs and deans prospectively to avoid negative effects on the primary functions of the University.  Faculty are obliged to maintain accurate records of nonstandard teaching activities and to report fully on them when asked to do so by the University.  As with consulting, the University has the right to protect itself from losses if a faculty member violates limitations set by this policy.  The University may seek administrative remedy and/or reimbursement from a faculty member for salary and benefits covering time spent on nonstandard teaching in excess of the limits provided by this policy, particularly where amounts of time are significant and/or the faculty member did not seek prior consultation or follow advice given by their department chair or dean.  See also the Faculty Policy on Conflict of Commitment and Interest, Research Policy Handbook, Chapter 4.1 Faculty Policy on Conflict of Commitment and Interest. Fourth-Quarter Payments for Teaching and Research Activities (for faculty appointed on a nine-month calendar)

This section applies to faculty members appointed on a nine-month calendar, regardless of whether salary payments are spread over a twelve-month period.  Faculty appointed on a twelve-month calendar are not eligible for special fourth quarter compensation.

Faculty may be paid up to 20% of their annual base salary for full-time teaching of standard courses during the fourth quarter.  For teaching during the fourth quarter of specially-designed courses that require extra preparation but are part of the regular curriculum, a faculty member may be paid up to 3/9 of their annual base salary.  For full-time research or a full-time combination of standard teaching and research during the fourth quarter, faculty may be paid 3/9 of their annual base salary.  All such fourth quarter payments shall be calculated at no more than the rate of pay in effect at the beginning of the fourth quarter.  Prorated amounts may be paid for less than twelve weeks and for part-time service. Administrative Supplements

Administrative supplements are paid to faculty who take on significant administrative duties that are outside of their usual faculty responsibilities or normal committee work.  An administrative supplement may be given when the faculty member is expected to contribute considerably more time to the University, to set aside their research to take on administrative tasks, and/or to assume greater responsibility on behalf of Stanford.  Examples of the types of administrative roles for which administrative supplements are paid are departmental chairs, associate deans, program directors and chairs of long-standing committees.  The amount of the administrative supplement reflects the level of commitment and complexity of the administrative role.  The administrative supplement may take the form of salary, increased sabbatical or research funding.  The form is negotiated with the faculty member and approved by the relevant Dean.  Administrative supplements are contingent on and coterminous with continued satisfactory service in the appointed administrative role, which service is at the pleasure of the appointing administrative officer. Honoraria

Occasionally, a faculty member may contribute to special events such as symposia, professional conventions organized and held at Stanford, or lecture series organized by Stanford colleagues outside their own department.  A faculty member may also take on other nonstandard University activities outside their own department at the request of the Dean or Provost.  Such exceptional service may warrant supplementary pay in the form of one-time honoraria.

5.2 Benefits

5.2.1 Health and Welfare Benefits

The University offers a variety of medical insurance plans and disability benefits to its employees. Information about these health and welfare benefit plans is available from Cardinal at Work at

5.2.2 Housing

The University makes available faculty housing programs in order to further Stanford’s objectives of teaching and research.  The Office of Faculty Staff Housing, a division of the Office of the Provost, provides a variety of programs and information to help eligible Stanford faculty and staff make the transition into a new home as smooth as possible.  Information regarding on-campus and off-campus housing and financing mechanisms is available from the Office of Faculty Staff Housing at (650)725-6893 or at

5.2.3 Moving Allowance

In some cases, reimbursement for all or part of the actual and reasonable expenses of moving a household may be authorized for new faculty members by the appropriate dean, department chair, director, or other University officer.  Conditions and restrictions apply, and the policy is subject to change.  For current information, including tax treatment of such allowances, consult Administrative Guide 2.1.19.

5.2.4 Identification Cards

The Registrar’s Office issues photo identification cards to faculty and other employees.  The card is necessary for use of University facilities and services such as libraries, athletic events, and other activities.  Courtesy photo identification cards are available to spouses and same-sex domestic partners of faculty.  For current information, consult Administrative Guide 2.4.3.

5.2.5 Travel Expenses

It is University policy to reimburse employees and non-employees for necessary and reasonable travel expenses incurred for authorized University business.  The University travel policy is described in Administrative Guide 5.4.2.

5.3 Retirement

5.3.1 Retirement

The University offers a generous medical insurance program for Faculty members who retire and meet the program’s eligibility requirements.  Eligibility is based on the faculty member’s age, the date hired, plus the number of eligible years of service accrued.  Faculty members should contact Stanford Benefits in order to determine their personal eligibility.  Faculty members who retire in the fall quarter of the academic year will not receive a salary increase for that academic year.

For purposes of personal financial planning, the University will provide active or emeritus Academic Council and University Medical Line faculty and Hoover Institution Senior Fellows up to $1,000 for reimbursement for the services of financial planners or consultants.  This reimbursement, which is treated as taxable income to the faculty member, is available until fully expended and requires the submission of a receipt, or receipts, to the Faculty Affairs office of the Provost's Office.  Please contact Faculty Affairs ( for more information about this reimbursement.

Although not compelled to retire at any age, Stanford faculty nevertheless consider retirement arrangements as part of their personal and professional planning.  Many Stanford faculty, individually and through the Academic Senate, expressed interest in the development of options to increase the financial feasibility of retirement.  In response, Stanford University has made available the Faculty Retirement Incentive Program.  The Faculty Retirement Incentive Program, like any University benefits program, is subject to change or termination by the University.  Only those benefits that are payable to an individual who is a party to a fully executed Agreement and Release under the program will be protected from change or termination by the University.  Specific information about any current faculty retirement incentive program may be obtained at or from Faculty Affairs at

5.3.2 Emeritus Status

Tenured faculty members and senior faculty members at the Associate Professor or Professor rank in the Non-Tenure Lines or the University Medical Line who become official University retirees receive the emeritus or emerita title authorized by the Board of Trustees if they are in good standing at the time of their retirement.  Emeriti Academic Council members become Senior Members of the Academic Council with privileges of the floor and of service on committees, but without the right to vote or hold office.  Emeriti may retain a campus home, retain Faculty Club membership, and receive free campus parking privileges.  Eligible emeriti may also use the Tuition Grant Plan for any eligible children.  Other benefits include participation in a University health plan, use of the libraries, and access to other facilities and services of the University.  The availability and allocation of office or laboratory space and/or secretarial services varies by department and school; questions should be addressed to the department chair or dean.  See