UCSB Engineering

Faculty Course Buy-Out Program

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To clarify minimum course buy-out support from extramural funds, this mechanism will enable COE to establish a transparent set of procedures that faculty, departments, Centers, ORU’s and other grant administration units will follow. After three (3) years, the College of Engineering, in consultation with departmental chairs, will evaluate the functioning and effectiveness of this program and make any necessary revisions at that time.

Grant Planning:

Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring their grant budgets have the proper allocation and agency approvals that are needed for the buy-out. Budget updates may be required by some agencies for approval prior to instituting a course buy-out.


Subject to the departmental teaching needs and Chair’s approval, ladder faculty wishing to participate in the Faculty Course Buy-Out Program must complete the attached Request Form and submit it to the department chair for approval. After departmental approval(s) are obtained, the final approval will be made by the Dean. Requests should be made no later than 45 days prior to the effective date of the pay period for the quarter in which the buy-out is requested. [Pay periods are: July 1 for Fall Quarter; November 1 for Winter Quarter; and March 1 for Spring Quarter.]

Faculty may use extramural funds (as allowed by agencies) to buy-out up to a total of two (2) courses per academic year, at the rate of 1/6th of the participant’s annual nine-month salary and benefits per course. For a given quarter, release time to the grant may not be greater than 50%. Participants in the course buy-out program will teach at least one course during the normal academic year. Summer or Extension teaching (as well as summer trade-outs, if applicable) are not considered in this one-course count.

Participation in the program should in no way reduce the faculty member’s departmental and campus service or mentoring graduate students efforts. The faculty member must remain on campus for the duration of the buy-out with the exception of standard leaves of absence within policy. Any exceptions require the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel approval.

A course buy-out may not be used in combination with a sabbatical leave during the same quarter. Current policies governing the retention and use of faculty salary savings will continue to apply to other faculty salary released funds.

Exceptions may be considered under extraordinary circumstances (e.g., specific limitations in granting agencies guidelines, joint appointments outside the College, or significant campus service as department chair/Center Director) and requires Dean’s endorsement as well as approval from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel, when appropriate.

Funding Distribution:

For faculty participating in this program, the department will retain 2/3rds of the released salary in the department’s Sub 0 account. The other 1/3rd will be returned to the College. Departments are expected to replace the participant’s uncovered course(s) with the departmental portion of the release funds. The departmental portion of the released salary may be rolled over from year to year to support the department’s instructional program [e.g., graduate student support (TA’s, Associates and Readers)] and intellectual climate [guest speakers, colloquia, seminar series.] Departmental Business Officers will coordinate year-end closing with the Assistant Dean for Budget & Administration to properly carry forward funding between academic years in order to preserve the funds.

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