Guidelines for Comparing FWLA to Effort Commitments

Guidelines for departmental faculty and staff to compare faculty workload agreements to effort commitments

In accordance with university policy and procedure, “Effort Reporting Alignment with Annual Workload Agreements”, the following procedures were established December 1, 2006,

Departmental personnel must follow the Research Handbook (section 3.9) when including faculty salary in a proposal. Departmental personnel must confirm the faculty effort distributions in the annual FWLA align with the cumulative proposed effort committed to sponsored programs and/or document that the chair will alter the work load agreement should the sponsored program be awarded. The administrator must also assure that the proposed salary is consistent with current institutional base salary plus anticipated adjustments as described in section 3.9.

Prior to posting salary to a grant, the departmental administrator must compare the proposed effort to the actual effort and salary budgeted in the award. If there is a difference, the PI must provide a justification, in writing, to the responsible departmental administrator who will have the chair approve the justification and assure, through consultation with grants management, that the change is consistent with agency guidelines. Documentation justifying the effort and the salary must be obtained and placed in the departmental grant file prior to posting salary to a sponsored program account.

The procedures above address the comparison and alignment of proposed effort to faculty workload for a sponsored program prior to the issuance of an award.

The following guidelines are intended to provide a method for ensuring that total effort devoted to sponsored activities currently awarded does not exceed the total percentage of effort established for such activities by a faculty member’s annual workload agreement. They should be implemented before processing payroll distributions relevant to effort changes applicable to new or existing sponsored activities.

Compliance to these guidelines will be measured by the documentation maintained. This would include revised faculty workload agreements signed and dated prior to effort changes for faculty who request an expansion of their sponsored activity effort. In addition or when necessary, a written request from a faculty member to Grants Management Administration or Office of Industry Contracts for sponsor approval of effort changes and notices to the individual responsible for payroll modifications must be completed for the contract file. The faculty member may also need to make changes to an effort report when the prior period payroll does not align with the actual effort worked. All such documentation should be retained in the contract files to demonstrate that effort aligns to faculty workload and that deviations from the workload agreement are resolved properly in a timely manner.

Each faculty member should regularly review their combined commitments of sponsored program effort to their faculty workload agreement. Effort reports and/or salary distribution reports are available monthly through university reports. A departmental business administrator should assist with providing these reports when requested. The faculty member should assure that:

a. the effort percentage for each sponsored program corresponds to actual effort performed. That percentage should align with the percentage of payroll distributed to that specific sponsored program for the period worked. If the percentage varies from actual work performed or as agreed by the sponsor terms and conditions, the faculty member is obligated to seek a correction to the payroll system and/or obtain any required sponsor approval for variances that will persist over the course of the official effort reporting period affected (every six months).

b. the combined percentages of total sponsored programs do not exceed the total percentage identified for sponsored programs according to the current faculty workload agreement in effect. When the total combined effort exceeds that specified by the faculty workload, the faculty member is obligated to seek a revised, signed faculty workload agreement.

The Chair will provide the appropriate staff administrator with a copy of each signed faculty workload agreement issued for any faculty member who has committed effort to sponsored program agreements within the period covered by the faculty workload agreement.