Faculty Course Buy-Out Program & Release to Grant

I.  The Faculty Course Buy-Out Program has been established as a means for ladder faculty to temporarily enhance their research activities in exchange for release from some of their teaching duties. In addition, it serves to generate the needed additional instructional funding to cover classes that will not be taught as a result of faculty diverting extra effort to research. The teaching program is preserved through the use of extramural funds in support of faculty research.

PIs in the planning stages of projects and grants, who are considering a course buy-out, are strongly encouraged to implement these guidelines. Continuing grants that seek renewal should adjust their buy-out provisions to these guidelines.  Projects already submitted to external agencies are exempt from these new guidelines; however, PIs are encouraged to submit a budget update to the funding agency, if appropriate.


Ladder faculty may use extramural funds to buy-out courses as follows:

  1. Faculty must complete the Course Buy-Out Request form, which requires both Department Chair’s and Dean’s approval. The request form should be submitted for approval prior to grant submittal.
  2. Course buy-out may not exceed 50% of the faculty member’s annual course workload as defined by the faculty member’s home department (3 course load = 1 course, 4 and 5 course load = 2 courses).
  3. The extramural funds must cover the percentage of annual salary (and the associated benefits) equal to 50% of the course workload that is being bought out (or up to the maximum allowable replacement costs by the granting agency, if lower than 50%). For example, one course buy-out (workload credit of 1.0) in a department with the workload policy of:
    • Three courses would be equal to 16.67% of the faculty member’s annual nine-month salary
    • Four courses would be equal to 12.5% of the faculty member’s annual nine-month salary
    • Five courses would be equal to 10% of the faculty member’s annual nine-month salary
  4. A course buy-out does not carry the privileges of a sabbatical leave. Participation in the program should in no way reduce the campus service and attendance responsibilities of the faculty member. The faculty member must remain on campus for the duration of the buy-out except when standard leaves of absence are granted within policy (Red Binder section VI-1).
  5. A course buy-out may not be used in combination with a sabbatical leave during the same quarter.
  6. Instructional support for departments: In order to maintain the quality of instructional programs, departments that have a course(s) bought out under these guidelines may request Temporary Sub 0 funds to replace the faculty member’s uncovered course(s).

II.   If sufficient grant funding is available to cover the entire salary and benefits, faculty may opt for a 100%-time Release to Grant to enable them to devote their full attention to research during an academic quarter.  The approval process is similar to that of leaves and requires the endorsement of the Department Chair and approval of the Dean.



Course Buy-Outs via Divisional Assistant Deans
Release to Grants via Divisional Academic Personnel Analysts