Faculty compensation

VCU establishes faculty positions within the categories described below. Faculty are recruited through search procedures established by the VCU Provost's Office of Faculty Affairs (see PA and hiring resources). Faculty salary administration guidelines are available on the provost’s office website and at VCU eJobs. The VCU Board of Visitors approves final salaries upon the recommendation of the university president.

Starting pay and performance increase

VCU has a compensation plan that provides salary ranges for teaching and research (T&R) faculty positions, which vary by school/college and discipline. Salaries for initial faculty appointments are set and approved by the appropriate university administrators such as department chair, dean, provost/vice president and/or president) as applicable to the position. Salaries for adjunct faculty are set at the discretion of the dean/unit head and carry no fringe benefits. 

The university has a prescribed annual faculty salary administration process. This merit process is the usual basis for any individual salary increase and is contingent upon funding as authorized by the General Assembly. The faculty member’s performance evaluation serves as the justification for each salary recommendation.

For additional information about faculty see VCU’s Faculty Salary Administration Guidelines.

Other increases

Since the usual basis for any individual salary increase is through the prescribed annual faculty salary administration (merit) and bonus award process, any salary increase outside this process is considered an exception. Accordingly, any exceptions must go through a rigorous “off-cycle” approval process which requires the approval of the respective department chair, dean and vice president. In addition, all salary increases are contingent upon approval by the president and/or the Board of Visitors, as applicable. Additionally, if faculty are promoted in rank through VCU’s Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures, salary adjustments may be made as approved by the Board of Visitors. Upon granting of promotion by the Board of Visitors, these salary adjustments are generally made at the beginning of the faculty member’s contract.

For additional information about faculty compensation and the faculty promotion and tenure process, see VCU’s Faculty Salary Administration Guidelines and the Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures, respectively.

Bonus awards

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.

Faculty appointments

VCU uses two primary categories for faculty appointments: teaching and research (T&R) faculty and administrative and professional (A&P) faculty.

Teaching and research (T&R) faculty 

Also referred to as instructional faculty, teaching and research (T&R) 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 (A&P) faculty 

Administrative and professional (A&P) 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 under VCU HR guidelines.

Both the FLSA job duties and salary basis exemption tests must be met (see Overtime Fact Sheet under VCU HR guidelines). 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).