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Eberly College of Science Mathematics Department

Teaching Buy-outs (Graduate Teaching)

Buying Out Graduate Teaching

Faculty members with available research funds which can be used for this purpose are encouraged to consider supporting their graduate students by buying out a certain amount of their teaching obligation.   A buy-out can cover the graduate student’s entire teaching obligation for a year, or only a part of it.

It is requested that all buy-out arrangements be finalized by July 15th before the beginning of the academic year to which they apply.  In some circumstances, it is possible to negotiate a buy-out for the Spring Semester as late as the preceding November.  However, certain constraints will apply: see below.

The following buy-out arrangements are possible.

  1. A faculty member may buy out all of a graduate student’s teaching for the academic year.  The faculty member will pay the entire support cost of that student from research funds.  The student will be moved from a “Teaching Assistant” to “Research Assistant” position for that year.
  2. A faculty member may buy out half of a graduate student’s teaching for the academic year.  The faculty member will pay the entire support cost of that student for one semester from research funds.  The student will be moved from a “Teaching Assistant” to “Research Assistant” position for that semester.  His/her teaching requirement in the other semester will be one-half of the normal annual requirement.
  3. A faculty member may buy out one-third or fewer of a graduate student’s total teaching credits for the academic year.  When a graduate student’s teaching is partially “bought out” in this way, the supporting faculty member will contribute research funds in such a way as to support the student’s stipend at the lecturer rate for each credit bought out.   Please contact Becky for the current per credit buy-out rate. 

Our mechanism for handling buyout requests is to move students (either wholly or partially) from TA to RA status at the same rate of pay. Because of this constraint it may not always be possible to accommodate a request that arrives after the beginning of the academic year.  For example, suppose that student X is scheduled to teach 3 credits in the fall and 6 in the spring.  In November, the adviser requests to buy out student X’s spring teaching.  This request cannot be met because it involves research support for more than one-half of the student’s teaching, paid over only one-half of the academic year.  In these circumstances the adviser could only buy out 3 credits, under option (3) above.  

It is the faculty member’s responsibility to ensure that research funds are available to cover all expenses of this buy-out, including stipend, tuition and fringe/overhead, if applicable.

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Form to request graduate student buyout11.12 KB