The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Course Reduction Policy

Faculty members may request a reduction in the number of courses they are assigned to teach for specific approved purposes. All course reductions must be carefully planned in advance and approved by the Chair. 

Course buyouts for sponsored research that are charged to a research account will be at a rate set by the Dean – currently $15,000 per course plus fringe (the fringe rate is based on the percentage of one’s salary that $15k comprises). 

Course reductions may also be negotiated at the time of hiring faculty. SBS departments offer two course reductions for Assistant Professors at negotiated points during the pretenure period. Negotiated reductions at the time of hiring that exceed a total of two course releases must receive prior approval from the Dean.

For a course reduction to further the personal interests or needs of the faculty member, the per-course cost is 25% of the academic year salary.  

The Chair may grant course reductions for significant professional duties, schedule management, or any reasonable administrative rationale. This practice should not be used as a replacement for personal or sponsored research course reductions.

Programs and Centers authorized by the Dean may negotiate course reductions with Chairs to facilitate participation in their programs. Such programs, at a minimum, must provide the department with sufficient funds to hire replacement instruction at a rate negotiated with the Dean. Agreement to such awards must typically be given, in advance, by the Chair.