Skip to main content
Skip to main menu

Slideshow

Franklin College Buy-Out Policy and Procedure

Research or instructional granting and contracting agencies, as well as other units of the University, sometimes seek to have faculty devote a portion of their time to a particular funded project. Where the research or instructional work is demonstrably significant and beneficial to the University, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences may foster and approve such arrangements, provided that certain conditions are met. Buy-outs are not automatic – faculty, granting agencies, UGA centers and institutes, and programs initiated by the UGA administration cannot command faculty time without approval of the department and College. The Office of the Dean will honor all published funding agencies salary caps.

  • The departmental portion of research buyouts is for use by the investigator.
  • The instructional buyout residual is to be dispersed at the discretion of the department.

INSTRUCTIONAL EFT BUY-OUT

The practice of buying out instructional time in support of research and other scholarly activities is recognized as a necessary and valued practice by the Franklin College faculty and administration. However, it does exact a price on the instructional program. It is a balance that we seek. Franklin College has set forth the following policies governing the buy-out of instructional time.
 

Instructional EFT Buyout Procedures

All instructional buy-outs must be negotiated with the appropriate head or director. The impact on the instructional program will determine the number of buy-outs, if any, that can be accommodated by a given instructional unit. There are retirements, leaves of absence, etc. to consider, as well as the need for the faculty member’s instructional contribution. It is the responsibility of the appropriate head to make sure that his/her decision to recommend approval of any buy-out meets the criteria that necessary replacement teaching is available and that it is available at a rate that can be accommodated by the buy-out policy. The department head must also consider the potential scholarly value of the project, the benefit from past buy-outs by the applicant, and department instructional needs including classroom, advising, and curricular work. The head must receive approval from the appropriate associate dean for the buy-out arrangements. Proposed buy-outs must be brought to the attention of the department head prior to the time a grant proposal is submitted or prior to the time any other type of contractual agreement is entered into by a faculty member. If the department and the appropriate associate dean approve, and the proposal is successful, the faculty member informs the department head, who will make arrangements to fill the instructional needs and to find a qualified classroom instructor. It is the responsibility of the head of the unit to identify qualified replacement instructors.

To submit the request to buy-out a portion of their budgeted instructional time, faculty should work with their departmental business manager  to complete the online request form. The source of such a buy-out may only be from external grants or contracts, or internal, UGA programs. Once the request has been fully approved, the Franklin Business Office will notify the department via email of the approval. The Franklin Business Office will submit the necessary position funding change(s) to release the state funds. These released funds will then be distributed out as outlined in the policy and approved buy-out form.  

Teaching Load

Faculty members can buy out a maximum of one half of their standard teaching load. The department head can choose to calculate the teaching load over a one- or two-year period. For example, a faculty member with a three-course teaching load can buy out a maximum of three courses over two years with approval of the department head and associate dean.

Instructional EFT Buy-out Rates

The rate for an externally funded instructional buy-out is set at 1/10th of an academic-year salary or 1/12th of a fiscal-year salary per course, or its equivalent, plus the corresponding fringe benefit cost. 

Other internal buy-outs will be at a fixed rate set by the College each fiscal year. The Wilson Center for Humanities and Arts Grant and the Mentee Section of the IBR Faculty Research Mentoring Program are exempt from the standard instructional buy-out rate. Those offices will pay for replacement teaching at a rate negotiated with the College. 

Distribution of Buy-out Monies/Replacement Teaching

Funds from an external instructional buy-out, at the rate of 1/10th (or 1/12th) per course or its equivalent, are distributed as follows:  80% to the department and 20% to the college. Replacement teaching cost must be covered by the department’s 80%. Any remaining department funds are at the discretion of the head of the unit. 

RESEARCH EFT BUY-OUT

Faculty may buy out their Research EFT using funds from grants or contracts. Grant or contract funds will pay the corresponding part of their salary and associated fringe. Franklin College has set forth the following policies governing the buy-out of research effort.

Research EFT Buy-out Procedures 

All research buy-outs must be negotiated with the appropriate head. It is the responsibility of the appropriate head to make sure that his/her decision considers the potential scholarly value of the project and the benefit from past buy-outs by the applicant. The head must receive the approval from the appropriate associate dean for the buy-out arrangements. Proposed buy-outs must be brought to the attention of the department head prior to the time a proposal is submitted by the department or prior to the time any other type of contractual agreement is entered into by a faculty member.

Additional conditions:

  • Faculty must determine that their grant funding agency allows purchase of academic-year time.
  • Faculty must ascertain that the amount of their research EFT they wish to buy out will not cause any difficulties with UGA grant cost sharing formulas.

To submit the request to buy-out a portion of their budgeted research time, faculty should work with their departmental business manager to complete the online request form. Once the request has been fully approved, the Franklin Business Office will notify the department via email of the approval. The Franklin Business Office will submit the necessary position funding change(s) to release the state funds. These released funds will then be distributed out as outlined in the policy and approved buy-out form.  

Research EFT Buy-out Rates

There is no standard rate for research buy-outs. 

Distribution of Buy-Out Monies

Franklin College will return 80% of the research buy-out funds to the department for use by investigator. Franklin College will retain the remaining 20% to be used at the Dean's discretion to support research activities throughout the College.

Cost Share Associated with Salary Cap

Some faculty with federal agency grant funding may have monthly salaries above the associated agency’s salary cap. Typically, the salary cap is related to funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Generally, salary cap issues arise with summer salaries. Since most faculty are funded on an academic contract, it's important to plan and fund the summer over-the-cap (OTC) to ensure proper tracking and full summer salary coverage.

To aid in funding the OTC portion of summer salary, the 80%/20% department/Franklin College academic year research buyout split is applied after budgeting the needed summer OTC.

This mechanism will provide sufficient funds for the summer salary over- the-cap, provided the faculty member requests 1 month of academic-year research buyout for each 1 month of summer salary to be covered by this policy.

Example:

NIH Salary Cap (monthly):

 $        16,441

 

PI salary (academic month):

 $        18,000

 
     

1-month summer EFT on NIH project ($19,998):

   

Grant maximum per cap:

 $        16,441

 

over-the-cap funding needed:

 $          3,557

 
     

Use academic year research buyout to fund summer over-the-cap

Academic year research buyout:

 $        18,000

 

summer over-the-cap funds needed:

 $          3,557

 
 

 $        14,443

 
     

80% of balance to Franklin College

 $        11,554

 

20% of balance to department

 $          2,889

 

 

In the example above, the current NIH salary cap is $197,300, which is subject to change and should be reviewed before processing OTC.

FAQ

  1. Why does my grant get charged fringe benefits on my academic-year salary?
    When your academic-year salary is paid by the state of Georgia, it covers the institutional share of fringe benefits. Once you move your salary to a restricted account, that account must pay the fringe. Hence a buy-out costs your grant more than just your direct salary, and you must account for this.
  2. How do I coordinate with grants whose start and end dates are not on the standard fiscal year?
    The amounts returned from a buyout will always be on a standard July to June fiscal year. Coordinating with your grant's year may require two separate buyout transactions. For example, if your grant starts on April 1, you should ask for one buyout to cover April 1 to June 30, and a second buyout to cover July 1 to March 31. These two transactions may both be requested and approved at one time, however will be processed in their respective fiscal years.

Support Franklin College

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.