Revised University Policy on Continuing Education

Policy Memorandum No. 49

Effective: February 1, 1984

As a land grant university, Virginia Tech incorporates public service into its institutional mission on an equal basis with instruction and research. The University's two primary means of meeting its public service obligation are the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and the continuing education programs of Virginia Tech. Cooperative Extension Service programs are funded through a combination of local, state and federal funds. Continuing education programs are separately defined by legislation which mandates that they be self-supporting.

Continuing education is a UNIVERSITY-WIDE mission, the purpose of which is to support the overall public service responsibilities of the University. It accomplishes this mission by meeting the educational needs of people who request or require educational and training programs outside the traditional credit format and whose needs are distinct from, or cannot be met by, the programs provided by the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service.


The Extension Division is the University administrative unit responsible for continuing education programs. This policy is consistent with state law regarding the Division's mission and, furthermore, corresponds to the centralization of administrative responsibility for continuing education activities within an institution as recommended by accreditation guidelines from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The continuing education program faculty located in the Donaldson Brown Center has responsibility for administering all continuing education programs of the University both on and off campus. Administration of such programs includes verification of needs, scheduling, budgeting, promoting, collecting and accounting of fees, general logistical support and assistance, as required, with the development of the instructional program. The granting of continuing education units and the maintenance of records relating to continuing education units are also the responsibility of the Extension Division's continuing education programming faculty.


Working with the Extension faculty located at the CEC, the colleges should provide a variety of continuing education programs to meet the needs of Virginia's citizens. College and divisional faculty, under leadership of their respective Deans and with the coordination of faculty at the CEC, are responsible for carrying out the University's continuing education function by designing, developing and conducting the required academic instruction in their respective areas of expertise. Programs jointly planned between and among departments, divisions, and colleges are encouraged. Instructional resources located outside of the University may be used when necessary. To encourage the widest possible participation of faculty and colleges in non-credit programs, the University has adopted a policy permitting direct payment of faculty or departmental reimbursement, as well as a procedure to allow colleges to share in PLANNED surplus revenues generated by continuing education programs.


DIRECT PAYMENT TO FACULTY FOR NON-CREDIT INSTRUCTION (Approved by Board of Visitors, May 18, 1981) Faculty members of the University are eligible for direct pay for instruction in non-credit programs under the following specifications:

  1. All faculty members not supported by 231-01 funds of the Extension Division are eligible for such payments. Faculty members supported by such Extension funding whose job descriptions do not include activity in non-credit instruction and whose appointments are less than 25 percent under such (Extension) funding may request approval of their dean and the Provost for participation for payment.

  2. Non-credit teaching for direct pay will be subject to provisions of the University consulting policy, i.e., the totality of non-credit teaching and other approved consulting will not ordinarily involve more than one day per week and will not exceed five days in any five-week period. For purposes of limitation of consulting, each day in which non-credit instruction is undertaken is counted as one day unless the participation does not exceed one-half day (as defined in #3 below), in which case it is counted as one-half day.

  3. For direct payment purposes, a day is defined as six contact hours of non-credit instruction; pro-rata payments will be made for portions of days, usually in units of 1 1/2 hours. No payment is made for preparation or evaluation time.

  4. A daily payment rate not to exceed $500 will be determined by agreement of the CEC programming officer and the participating faculty member, subject to the approval of the Director of the CEC. Such a negotiated rate may depend on the anticipated enrollment and the budgetary constraints of the program. A daily rate above $500 must be approved by the Director of the CEC, by the dean of the faculty member's college, and by the Provost.

  5. In addition to the constraints imposed by the consulting policy, there is a limitation on the aggregate amount of such direct payments that may be earned in a faculty member's appointment year. Faculty members on calendar year appointments may earn no more than 25 percent of their annual salary during the July 1-June 30 appointment year. Faculty members on academic year appointments may earn no more than 25 percent of their annual salary during the September 15-June 15 academic year. Payments to academic year faculty members in the summer period will be included in the 30 percent limitation of the previous academic year's salary which is currently imposed on summer payment from all University sources combined.

  6. Costs of producing program materials must be borne by the program budget, not by the operating budgets of any unit except where provided for that specific purpose.


Faculty members may choose to waive direct pay for instruction in noncredit programs and have those revenues generated for instruction directed to their departments. This procedure is accomplished by increasing the departmental operating allotment from which the individual delivering the instruction is paid.


In addition to direct pay or departmental reimbursement, faculty members may choose to develop non-credit programs in which there is a planned surplus revenue element. Programs of this nature must be designated as such at the time the program budget is developed. Revenues from programs which are designated as surplus-producing programs and which are successful will share the planned surplus with colleges on a 66 percent college and 34 percent Extension Division basis.

Detailed information pertaining to faculty compensation, departmental reimbursement and college revenue sharing is available through the professional programming staff at the Donaldson Brown Center for Continuing Education.

In certain non-credit programs, it may be to the advantage of the University and the faculty member that no instructional fee or surplus element be assessed. This option is also open to the faculty member.


The Center's auxiliary services of food and lodging WILL be used by University groups in conducting continuing education programs including noncredit instructional programs, workshops, conferences, etc., related to grants and contracts. The use of the facilities of the Donaldson Brown Center for Continuing Education for all continuing education programs planned in the Blacksburg area is consistent with general University policy requiring the use of University auxiliary services when available.

In the event the CEC facilities or auxiliary services are unavailable because of prior program commitments, the CEC staff will make alternate arrangements for food and lodging as well as instructional space for functions held both on and off campus.


Social functions which include alcoholic beverages, food functions, entertainment, flowers, gifts, awards and special items may be charged to program budgets when established as part of the program budget. The funds for such items must be generated through conference fees. Expenditures must conform with University purchasing policy.

Grants or contracts having a continuing education program as a main objective or as a part of their objective may receive all regular conference services. Individuals budgeting grants and contracts should contact the CEC programming faculty for assistance in budgeting and planning the use of CEC facilities and services. Any question regarding the expenditure of grant or contract funds (especially federal funds) in a continuing education program must be cleared with the University Contract and Grant Administration prior to commitment of funds. If funds are to be used for the items mentioned above (social functions, flowers, etc.), these uses must be stipulated in the grant or contract.

The use of departmental research overhead funds in support of conference activities for the purpose of generating or promoting additional research projects is appropriate, but may not be used for such items as described in the first passage of this section.


The University encourages outside groups such as professional societies, associations, business and industry, and non-profit organizations to use the CEC facilities for their continuing education and training functions. The University will also provide to these groups through the CEC appropriate educational and logistical services, recognizing that all programs of this nature must be self-supporting.

If programs by outside groups are co-sponsored by the University, then all fees must be received directly and accounted for by the regular University accounting procedures handled through the Donaldson Brown Center for Continuing Education; otherwise, a program may not bear the name of the University or any college/division/department as sponsor or co-sponsor.

Meetings of groups hosted by University departments for which no fees are collected and for which only space and audio-visual support is required may be scheduled ninety days in advance by contacting the meeting reservationist at the Donaldson Brown Center for Continuing Education.

Other meetings of groups hosted by University departments for which no fees are collected and which do not need the use of CEC staff or facilities may be permitted outside of these policy guidelines on approval of the Provost.

President's Policy Memorandum