Course Buyout Policy

Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities; Associate Dean for the Natural, Mathematical, and Social Sciences

Key Contacts

If you have any questions please contact your areas Associate Dean or the CLAS Budget Officer.


To any DEOs or CLAS faculty member who may wish to buy out of a course.

Policy Purpose and Description

Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty may buy out of teaching a course by releasing a percentage of their salary and associated fringe back to the college.  The college may use a portion of the released salary and fringe to hire an adjunct or visitor to cover the teaching load.  Released funding beyond the cost of the visitor or adjunct will be retained by the college.  Requests for visitors or adjuncts should be entered into the CLAS allocation system with a note that course buyout will be used to cover the cost of the temporary faculty member.  Faculty may reduce their percentage appointment or use research release to fund the cost of the course buyout. 


Course Buyout:  Faculty members in CLAS generally have responsibilities in fulfilling its teaching mission.  However, in order to fulfill the University's research and service missions, buyout of teaching responsibilities is sometimes warranted:

Course buyouts generally fall into two categories:

  1. Release from teaching, through reduction in instructional FTE compensated by research or other grant activity, in order to devote needed time to research, writing, and other activities under the auspices of the grant; or
  2. Release from teaching through reductions in FTE, in order to devote time to a professional development activity that leads to professional advancement in instructional, service, or research areas.


DEOs must approve all course buyout requests.  The department may determine the percentage of salary necessary for a course buyout, but the CLAS minimum is 15% per course.  Departments that charge more than 15% per course will retain any funding resulting from the surcharge.  For example, if a department charges 20% per course, they will retain the funding associated with the additional 5% fee.  Faculty members are required to pay the salary and fringe associated with each course buyout.  Funding is typically provided by reducing the faculty member’s percent appointment or by using research release.  The following guidelines regarding course buyouts by a faculty member are in effect to ensure that a department can meet its teaching obligations to students and have fair and equitable treatment among faculty:

  • Faculty members may not buy out of teaching responsibilities if it will compromise the ability of the department to deliver its instructional program.
  • Buyouts for pursuit of external personal or business interests not related to the mission of the University shall not be granted.
  • Buyouts for activities by a faculty member that may be detrimental to the department in question shall not be granted.
  • Faculty members may not buy out of more than 50% of their normal, academic year teaching load.
  • The amount of FTE compensated by a grant, or reduction in FTE required to buy out of a course, is to be determined by mutual consent of the department chair and associate dean, but in no case should it be less than 15% of the faculty member's academic year salary.
  • A portion of the buyout amount is expected to be used in funding an alternative source to teach the released course(s) and related instructional expenses.
  • Buyout of teaching does not release faculty members from performing their service obligations on behalf of the University, college, or department, or from meeting their responsibilities as a citizen of the University, college, or department.

In the event a course buyout is approved, and funded through a reduction in their percent appointment, the department will initiate an accounting change of status form to reflect the revised percent.



Frequently Asked Questions


Related Information


Revision History

Revised 4/2021