Faculty Professional Life Accounts and Payroll Stipends

Faculty Professional Life Accounts and Payroll Stipends


Faculty have two options for receiving compensation for certain activities such as independent study supervision and Pathways projects. Faculty may choose 

  • taxable stipends added to monthly paychecks
  • grant money equivalent in value to the current stipend, which is then deposited in a Professional Life Account

Faculty choosing the Professional Life Account (PLA) can use accumulated funds to further their professional life. Because grant money is only payable toward only certain kinds of expenses, these funds are not taxable income for faculty. Faculty can spend their grant money as soon as the funds have been deposited to their PLA, or they can choose to accumulate a balance over the course of multiple academic years in order to fund major expenses, such as research equipment or conference travel. 

What are the benefits? Under the payroll program, faculty get a stipend that they can spend like any other income, but it will be taxed. For example, a $125 stipend can be reduced by as much as 40% as the result of FICA plus federal and state withholdings (putting about $75 in your pocket).  Under the Professional Life Account program, you will have access to the full $125.

Faculty who do not indicate a preference will be paid stipends through payroll. Faculty will be compensated according to the rules of the program they are enrolled in during the time of the activity.

Enrollment forms for PLA accounts are due to the Dean's Office each January and stay in effect for one calendar year. Faculty members may switch options only in January, at the start of a new calendar year.

Questions? Contact Dr. Dave Taylor or Mrs. Susan Rambo