The College of Arts and Sciences values the synergy between research and classroom teaching and does not encourage the use of course "buy-outs" to reduce a faculty member's annual teaching course commitment in order to expand time available for duties outside of teaching. However, in rare instances and for short intervals, requests for course buy-outs may be needed to advance the institution, and will be considered for faculty members who undertake time-consuming research activities that benefit both the individual and the campus as a whole. In such circumstances, a faculty member rostered in a College of Arts and Sciences academic department, in which course buy-outs are allowed, can formally apply for such.

Course buy-outs are generally funded from grants, contracts, or other external sources and require the approval of both the Department Chair and the appropriate Divisional Dean. In rare instances, a buy-out can be financed by salary returned to the College via a reduction in a faculty member's appointment. Faculty members who wish to arrange for a course buy-out on grants and/or contracts must discuss the matter with the Department Chair prior to submitting the grant application. The Chair should write a short memo of understanding for the record. Funding of these grants does not obligate the College to provide a course reduction if in the judgment of the chair and/or the Dean, such a reduction is not in the best interest of the Department or Program in the semester in which a course buy-out is sought.

The cost of a single course buyout is calculated according to the following guidelines:

  1. If the course commitment in the faculty member's academic department is nine credit hours or more per academic year (the equivalent of three three-credit hour courses or more), the price of a one-course buyout is 10% of the faculty member's academic year salary,
  2. For departments with teaching commitments of less than 9 credit hours per academic year, the buy-out cost for a single course is calculated according to the formula below:

Cost= (0.75* (F/C)) * S

where F is the fraction of a faculty member’s differentiated workload dedicated to teaching (typically 0.4), C is the required annual course commitment in the faculty member's department, and S is the faculty member’s academic year salary.

For additional information pertaining to the calculations, please refer to the Course Buy-Out and Evaluation Calculation overview.

The College of Arts and Sciences normally requires graduate courses to be bought out first, followed by undergraduate courses if multiple course buy-outs are granted in a given semester. In semesters in which a faculty member wishes to purchase a complete course buyout, the matter must be referred to the Dean. The normal expectation is that, in this circumstance, the faculty member will pay their complete salary for the semester from extramural sources.

Long-term reduced faculty course commitments cannot be achieved through course buyouts, but can be accommodated with department and College of Arts and Sciences approval through a "leave without pay" or by the transfer of the faculty member to a research faculty position. Leaves without pay must be in the best interests of the institution and can be granted for positions such as the leadership of national funding agency directorates or divisions (e.g., National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other governmental agencies).

Directions for using Course Buyout