Course Buyout

Teaching Buyouts/Teaching Loads

Under normal circumstances, every faculty member is expected to carry a full teaching load, appropriately defined, each semester that he/she is in residence. This is crucial not only to meet the need for instruction of our undergraduate and graduate students but also to preserve the integrity of the academic enterprise in the Krieger School.

Due to variations in the nature of instruction in the different disciplines, the administrative complexity of the research activity expected of faculty members, and peer competitiveness, the definition of a full teaching load inevitably will vary somewhat by department. On the other hand, equity among our faculty is also an important consideration, one that would argue against too much variation in formal teaching loads across the Krieger School.

Our approach to balancing these priorities is to engage in a process that includes consultation with each department about its current classroom teaching policies, a survey of teaching loads in departments at peer institutions, and careful comparisons of teaching practices in the departments in the school. The established teaching load determined for each department is sent to the appropriate chair.

It is to be stressed that course buyouts may be granted only for particular reasons and on a temporary basis (usually no more than one academic year), and are, under no circumstances, to become routine. The chair has the discretion to grant or deny any such request and must take into consideration not only the desires of the faculty member but the needs of the department for instruction by full time faculty. Any request to buyout of teaching also requires the approval of the dean.


The course buyout rate will be based on a formula, which assigns 45% of a faculty member’s academic base salary (ABS) and associated fringe benefits to his or her classroom teaching. This is to take into account formally that portion of a faculty member’s effort that is devoted to university and departmental service (5%).

Teaching load: 4 courses/year
ABS plus Fringe: $100,000
Buyout: 1 course

(45% x $100,000)/4 = $11,250

Some faculty members may wish to combine a full or partial buyout of teaching with salary banking. In a given semester, a full-time faculty member may use external research funds to pay no more than a total of 50% of his/her ABS. Faculty who wish to use external support for a higher fraction of ABS may instead request a period of unpaid leave.