Annual Report of Receipt of Honoraria

Annual Report of Receipt of Honoraria


Office of Legal Affairs and Labor Relations

TO: Faculty and Staff
FROM: Russell Platzek, Esq., Executive Director
DATE: April 17, 2017
SUBJECT: Annual Report of Receipt of Honoraria (covered period 4/1/16 – 3/31/17) 


This is a reminder that all CUNY employees are required to comply with the law and regulations governing the receipt and reporting of honoraria, even if they have not been designated a policymaker.

If you received any honoraria during the period April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017, you are required to file the attached “Annual Report of Honoraria” with the Office of Legal Affairs and Labor Relations in room 2H05 (attention of Russell Platzek, Esq.) or by email at rplatzek@york.cuny.edu. Please submit your report by Monday, May 1, 2017.

As explained in the memorandum distributed by Jane M. Sovern, Esq., Interim General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor of Legal Affairs dated March 28, 2017, the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) generally defines honorarium as a “speaking fee or compensation received from writing an article, or reimbursement for travel expenses not related to official duties.” Other examples of honoraria include:

  • compensation for serving on a panel,
  • compensation that is made as a gratuity or an award of honor.

CUNY Employees Not Employed in Academic Titles

Non-academic employees of CUNY must seek prior approval in order to accept honoraria and must report the receipt of honoraria to their College’s ethics officer. Two factors to keep in mind:

  1. Honoraria cannot be accepted for speaking or writing in an area that is related to the employee’s CUNY duties.
  2. Honoraria cannot be received from a disqualified source (generally defined as an entity or individual seeking to do or actually doing business with CUNY, such as a vendor, or prospective vendor).

CUNY Faculty: Full Time and Adjunct

CUNY faculty members are exempt from the restrictions on the receipt of honoraria. This exemption means:

  1. CUNY faculty members do not need to seek approval to receive honoraria.
  2. CUNY faculty may receive honoraria from a disqualified source.

However, CUNY faculty must still report the receipt of any and all honoraria. The exemption for academic positions does not relieve faculty from the reporting requirement.

JCOPE, while defining honoraria as compensation for work unrelated to an employee’s official duties, nonetheless does not exempt faculty from reporting receipt of all speaking fees; reimbursed travel expenses; or payments received for writing and/or presenting written materials.

CUNY Employees Designated as Policymakers

CUNY employees (in both academic and non-academic titles) who are designated as policy-makers (e.g. chairs, directors, deans, etc.) and who file a Financial Disclosure Statement (“FDS”) must also report all honoraria in excess of $1,000 on their annual FDS.

Official Activity Expense Payments

Any FDS file may accept payment or reimbursement from a third party for travel or expenses related to an activity that is part of, and related to his official position given that certain conditions are met (See Title 19 NYCRR Part 931). Any such payments in excess of $1,000 are reportable on the FDS. An example of such a payment would be reimbursement for travel and lodging offered by the sponsor of a conference related to college admissions to a College Vice President for Admissions. These payments or reimbursements from third parties are rare and must be pre-approved by College Ethics Officers. The College must retain records of such approvals for three years.


Outside Activity Request Form

Also, attached is the “Outside Activity Request Form” which is used to report outside employment (more than $1,000), or for serving as a director or officer of a profit-making corporation, or serving in an elected or appointed public office (e.g., a school board member). All such requests are subject to approval by the President’s designee (Qiana Watson, Esq.). You must ask for approval before you begin to work/perform any outside activity. If you have previously submitted an “Outside Activity Request Form” you do not have to submit another form. You do not have to submit a new form for previously reported positions.

Please visit the CUNY Legal Affairs website for further information and rules at http://www.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/la/ethics.html.

Should you have any questions or require additional assistance, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs and Labor Relations at (718) 262-2138.


  1. Honoraria Reporting Form (faculty)
  2. Honoraria Reporting Form (non-faculty)
  3. Title 19 NYCRR Part: 930: Honoraria
  4. Sample Outside Activity Letter
  5. Outside Activity Report Form