Arts & Sciences offers post-tenure course release program

A new opportunity launched as part of the Arts & Sciences Strategic Plan will allow tenured faculty to apply to be relieved from teaching duties for a semester, providing additional time to complete a major project.

A recently launched program in Arts & Sciences provides a course release for tenured associate professors and professors who are nearing completion of a major project. The release will enhance research productivity across disciplines by providing professors dedicated time to bring an in-progress grant proposal, book, series of articles, or other major effort to a successful conclusion. Assistant professors on the tenure track will continue to have the ability to apply for pre-tenure leave or for an extension of the tenure clock in order to complete similar projects.

Tenured faculty are eligible to apply for the program after four years of service at Washington University, and will again be eligible four years after being awarded a course release as part of this program.


“We heard from faculty in strategic planning focus groups that competing priorities often result in a delay in the completion of research endeavors,” said Andrew Brown, vice dean of faculty affairs. “Our faculty, as is appropriate, take both their teaching and research responsibilities very seriously. We’re happy to offer this course release program as a way to provide breathing room to get important work across the finish line, and I look forward to the great work our faculty will produce.”  

Faculty members seeking a fall course release for the 2023–24 academic year must submit an application by Dec. 1 this year. Applications should include a description of the project and its progress, a timeline for its completion, and a description of how success in completing the proposed project can be assessed. The application should also include a CV and a description of the faculty member’s teaching history for the last four years including size of classes, number of new preparations, and AI support.

Applications should be accompanied by a brief endorsement from the chair or director of the applicant’s department or program, co- signed in the case of a joint appointment, that should indicate any teaching needs or costs incurred by replacements that may arise from the course release. Please see the application page for additional details.

Applications for spring 2024 will be due May 1, 2023. A brief report on the project will be due to the dean’s office by Jan. 31 in the case of a course release in the fall semester and by June 30 in the case of a release in the spring semester.