Course Release Policy | Office of Research

Course Release Policy

Under appropriate circumstances, as discussed below, the College intends to support course releases for faculty who receive significant, nationally competitive grants, and whose teaching responsibilities do not permit them to devote sufficient time to their funded work. Whenever possible, faculty should write an appropriate percentage of their academic year time into their grant proposals, in accordance with the College’s Policy on Assigning Salaries to Grants. Doing so allows course releases to be externally funded. Many funders, however, do not allow this practice, thereby disadvantaging faculty whose normal teaching loads are higher than 2 courses per semester.1 It is in order to redress this situation, to reward faculty who obtain significant external support, and to encourage more faculty to seek such support that the College has designed the present policy on course releases.

For faculty whose external support meets the requirements set forth below, the College, contingent upon the availability of resources, will provide sufficient funds to departments to replace the faculty member in the classroom on a per course basis – typically the course reduction will be one course per semester for the duration of the grant. Such support will be restricted to recipients of significant, nationally competitive grants

  1. that do not allow academic year salaries to be included in the budget;
  2. that demand, on average, at least 25% of the PI’s time during the academic year; and
  3. the annual budgets of which are, in most circumstances, at least $40,000, exclusive of indirect costs/overhead/F&A.

In order to be considered for College-supported course reductions on externally funded grants, PIs should a) consult with the associate dean for research during the preparation of the proposal; b) verify that the funding agency or program does not allow academic year salaries to be assigned to grants; and c) have their department head write a memo for RAMSeS, i.e. at the time the grant proposal is submitted, requesting the course reduction and listing the PI’s teaching assignments for the previous three years.

The College will support as many of these course reductions as possible, but if necessary we will give priority to the requests of junior faculty.

Questions about this policy should be addressed to the Associate Dean for Research.

1 UNCG’s Faculty Workload Guidelines and the College’s Teaching Assignment Guidelines permit the redistribution of teaching loads within departments to allow additional course reductions for faculty whose research is externally funded. The College encourages departments to handle course reductions in accordance with these guidelines; additional support from the College to replace funded researchers in the classroom, as described herein, will be provided only when these other opportunities for reassignment have been exhausted.