University of Delaware - College of Engineering


College of Engineering Policy for
Release Time and Buyout Conditions

You may download a copy of this policy by clicking here

The standard UD workload is four 3-credit classes per semester, a so-called 4/4 load. For research active faculty this teaching load is reduced, and this reduction represents a UD subsidy of the faculty member’s research program. The time taken away from teaching is called ‘release time’ because the faculty member is being released from teaching in order to do research. To the degree possible, this subsidy should be paid by the grant supporting the research, and not by UD.

The amount of the reduction in teaching is negotiated yearly between the chair and the faculty member, and the new workload representing teaching, research and service is called the ‘administered workload’.

For example, if a faculty member is assigned to teach two courses each semester (a 2/2 load), then UD is paying 50% of his or her salary and benefits towards research efforts. In this case, 50% of salary plus benefits can be charged to the grant. This should be reflected on the faculty member’s JED whenever possible. The salary thereby released remains in the Dean’s Office, but an amount equal to the salary (but not benefits) paid will be allocated to the department upon a brief written justification of the use of these funds, which in general should be for enhancement of the research supporting the salary. The department may in turn allocate the funds to the faculty member. This process should ideally occur at the time the proposal is awarded.

As further examples, a teaching load of 2/1 would allow 62.5% of salary plus benefits to be charged and one of 1/1 would allow 75% of salary plus benefits to be charged to the grant.

In some cases the faculty member may wish to further reduce his or her administered teaching workload by ‘buying out’ of a course. The procedure to do that is described in the College of Engineering Policy for Buy-out of Instructional Time document, which values a single course at 12.5%. In general, this buyout can only occur after release time has been charged to the grant. As an example, a faculty member with a 1/1 teaching load would first have to provide 75% of salary and benefits for release time before being allowed to reduce his or her load to 1/0 by paying an additional 12.5%. Only in truly exceptional cases will the load be further ‘bought out’ to 0/0 with 100% salary and benefits charged to grants. These buyout funds are held in the Dean’s Office and used first for allocations for temporary teaching funds or other instructional obligations generated by the faculty member’s absence from the classroom.

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