Pilot Program: Faculty Academic Year Pay Reserve for Summer Disbursement

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 4:30 p.m.
Selected KU Faculty

Faculty Colleagues,

Human Resource Management and Payroll are excited to announce a new pilot program that will be available to faculty in August with the start of the academic year.

For a number of years, representatives in Faculty Senate have advocated for the option to have academic year pay distributed evenly throughout the entire year, including over the summer months. Beginning in mid-July, eligible faculty who are interested will be able to sign up for a pilot program that reserves a portion of after-tax pay from every full pay period during the academic year and then evenly disburses those funds to the faculty member during the summer. The program will affect an individual’s net pay each payroll period, but not impact their gross pay, retirement contributions, benefits, tax withholdings or W2. The university and participating faculty members will continue the practice of pre-paying summer benefits during the spring semester.

The pilot program is open to all academic year faculty, tenured and tenure-track faculty and lecturers hired for the 2021-22 academic year.

This pilot program:

  • Offers participants a disbursement during the summer periods.
  • Has no effect on benefits coverage, including medical benefits.
  • Charges no fees to participate.
  • Does not delay retirement contributions.
  • Disburses the reserved funds evenly based on the days in each summer pay period.

Participants who have previously been paid over the course of the academic year will notice a considerable percentage (36%) of after-tax earnings reserved from each full pay period August through May. Those funds will be held by the university and become the source of the participant’s summer disbursement.

  • The reserved funds will not earn interest; however, no fees will be charged.
  • Eligible employees who prepay for summer benefits will notice smaller take home pay in the spring semester pay periods when those prepay deductions are assessed.
  • The reserve is only assessed on after-tax payroll earnings and will not be taken on supplemental payments, such as cash awards and overloads.
  • Participation is only available to faculty members who work the full academic year.

The pilot program runs for a full year, August 18, 2021 to August 17, 2022. If a participant ends employment with the university before the distribution period has ended or assumes a position with a 12-month appointment, the balance in the reserve fund will be paid to the participant at the earliest opportunity.

Enrollment in the pilot program will be available from July 19, 2021 to August 18, 2021. Another message with instructions will be sent when the sign-up form is available. Interested faculty members should contact hrdept@ku.edu and monitor the HRM website where more information will be posted. A sample worksheet is available that shows how the pilot program would affect net pay during the academic year and the calculation of the distribution during the summer.

As the pilot year of the program nears its conclusion, I will ask Vice Provosts Chris Brown, Mike Rounds and Jason Hornberger to work together with faculty governance leaders to evaluate participation, implementation and a number of other factors, then make a recommendation to me about whether the program should continue as a payroll option for faculty in future years.

Faculty, thank you so much for your dedication to our students and the scholarly activities that generate so much pride in our university. The input you have provided for this pilot program will help make the campus more supportive of your work. It is my hope that many of you find this program of service to you and your families.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor