Annual Report of Receipt of Honoraria

Annual Report of Receipt of Honoraria

MEMORANDUM: Office of Legal Affairs and Labor Relations
TO: Faculty and Staff
FROM: Russell Platzek, Esq., Executive Director
DATE: April 4, 2018
SUBJECT: Annual Report of Receipt of Honoraria (covered period 4/1/17 – 3/31/18)


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, 2017, through March 31, 2018, 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 Please submit your report by Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

As explained in the memorandum distributed by Loretta P. Martinez, Esq., General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor of Legal Affairs dated March 29, 2018, the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) generally defines honorarium as a “payment for a service that is not part of an employee’s official duties. Examples include delivering a speech, writing or publishing an article, and participating in a public or private conference, convention, or meeting.”

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 an interested source (generally defined as an entity or individual seeking to do or actually doing business with CUNY, such as vendors, would-be vendors, unions, etc.).

CUNY Faculty: Full Time and Adjunct

All CUNY faculty are exempt from the restrictions on the receipt of honoraria, provided that the service performed by the faculty member is within the subject matter of his or her academic discipline. 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 filer 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 930). Any such payments in excess of $1,000 are reportable on the FDS. An example of such a payment would be reimbursed 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

An Outside Activity is any outside employment, either public or private, engaged in on an ongoing basis by a CUNY employee who has been designated a policy-maker that is unrelated to responsibilities and duties performed by the employee for CUNY. Please be aware that an Outside Activities Report must be submitted for review and approval by the President’s designee (Russell Platzek, Esq.) before you engage in an 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

Should you have any questions or require additional assistance, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs and Labor Relations.

cc:  President Keizs


  1. CUNY Employee Report of Receipt of Honoraria Form
  2. CUNY Faculty Report of Receipt of Honoraria Form