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Guidelines for Course Reassignment (not related to Grants)

The following outlines provide guidelines for determining course reassignments in conjunction with approved professional activity. The guidelines provide general information and processes about course reassignments in the School of Arts & Sciences for purposes other than grants and sponsored research projects, internal course buyouts (e.g. SSIR, buyouts funded by another administrative office within UR), and department chair/IPC compensation.

For reassignment from teaching compensated by grants or other external funding in order to devote needed time to research, writing, and other activities under the auspices of the grant, please contact the Dean’s office to assist with coordinating efforts with the Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations.



  1. Course reassignment: reassignments from instruction granted by the Dean to individual faculty in order to devote time to a professional development activity that leads to professional advancement in instructional, service, or research areas may be based on a number of factors (see responsibilities for further information). Such reassignments may or may not involve reimbursement.
  2. Course Buyouts: often used interchangeably with course reassignment, course buyouts are reassignments from instruction granted to individual faculty members by the Dean in consultation with the department chair. Such course buyouts, grant-related or other externally funded awards, include funding to provide a course reassignment for an individual faculty member. The funding is then used to pay for adjunct faculty to cover the reassigned unit(s). Course buyouts can also be internal, e.g. for faculty who teach SSIR, where buyouts and funding are provided by another administrative office outside of the School of Arts & Sciences. 
General Responsibilities

General responsibilities for approving and administering course reassignments are as follows:

  • The department chair should review requests on a case-by-case basis and decide whether the request merits approval and can be accommodated. If the proposal has merit, the chair should be able to answer the following questions:
    • Can a course reassignment be accommodated based on the curricular needs of the department and within the context of the department’s TAP (i.e. other course reassignments in the department, upcoming research leaves, availability of suitable teaching replacements)?
    • Is the proposed course reassignment cost neutral? 
  • In some departments, it may be advisable to have a committee review requests such as course reassignments and make recommendations to the department chair. 
  • In no instance will course reassignments be used to eliminate all teaching. 
  • Where funding for course reassignment is provided in part or in full by an agency external to the University, the terms and conditions of the funding agreement will take precedence provided advance approval for the arrangements has been obtained from the Dean and if necessary the Provost.


  1. In order to be considered for a course reassignment, whether it includes reimbursement or not, the faculty member must make the request in writing and provide the following information:
    • Nature of request including potential impact of planned activity
    • Period of reassignment
    • Suggested teaching alternatives for proper coverage of core courses
    • A brief summary of student involvement, if any
    • History of other course reassignments held by the faculty member in the past 2-3 years 
  1. The faculty member’s request should be sent to the department chair for review.
    • As noted above, some departments may wish to appoint a committee or refer such requests to a committee that will advise the chair. 
  1. If supported by the department chair/departmental committee, the chair submits the proposal and a statement of support to the Dean’s office via email to 
  1. The Dean’s office reviews the proposal and supporting documents. 
  1. If the request is approved by the Dean, the information is forwarded to the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) for the faculty’s information. 
  1. The Dean’s office will communicate a decision on the proposal to the department chair, faculty member requesting reassignment, and the associate deans.
How to Apply: Instructional Release / Course Release (not related to Grants) Form

Click here for the Instructional Release / Course Release (not related to Grants) Form.