2,513: Course Buyout Policy

Last Revised: May 2007

Faculty members of the University generally have responsibilities in fulfilling its teaching mission, as delineated in their annual role statement.  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.

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 to ensure fair and equitable treatment among faculty:

  1. Faculty members may not buy out of teaching responsibilities if it will compromise the ability of the department to deliver its instructional program.
  2. Buyouts for pursuit of external personal or business interests not related to the mission of the University of Nevada, Reno shall not be granted.
  3. Buyouts for activities by a faculty member that may be detrimental to the department in question shall not be granted.
  4. Buyout of all teaching in a calendar year is not appropriate except in rare circumstances. 
  5. The amount of FTE compensated by a grant, or reduction in FTE required to buy out a course, is to be determined by mutual consent of the department chair and dean, but in no case should it be less than 10% of the faculty member's academic year salary.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. In the event a course buyout is approved, the faculty member's role statement shall be revised to reflect the change.