Release Time

Funds are available for the purpose of providing up to five faculty members with a reduction of one unit in their teaching load during the academic year. The following information is also available in the Release Time Guidelines Document.

Deadline: Applications are due by February 1.

Apply Here


Funds are available for the purpose of providing up to five faculty members with a reduction of one unit in their teaching load during the academic year. The activities for which released time may be granted include scholarly research, writing, or professional development. The released unit is not intended for course development since this is a continuing function of all faculty members. Neither is the release unit intended to supplement a sabbatical or other full leave. Released time is subject to the ability of the department to provide coverage for a released unit or find suitable supplementary staff.

Civic Scholarship Release Time

Tenure-line faculty members may also apply for a release unit to support civic scholarship. With new endowment income for the forthcoming Center for Strategic Issues, the university is currently able to support one or two units per year. The Center for Strategic Issues is the principal expression of the university’s commitment to civic scholarship, inclusive of two signature initiatives – the Sound Policy Institute and the Race and Pedagogy Initiative – and an array of Civic Scholarship Projects. The purpose of the Center is to organize and deploy the research and teaching resources of the university to address issues of strategic concern in the south Puget Sound region that have broad national and global significance. Successful proposals for release time to support academic scholarship in a civic context will articulate a clear research focus designed to solve problems, develop policy, and/or educate the public and an outcome that includes publishable research.



All tenure-line faculty are encouraged to apply, especially those who have not had a release unit within the past three years. Faculty are eligible to receive only one release unit in any given year. Faculty already awarded a release unit will not be awarded a second release unit for work on the same project.

Because release units support professional development and are intended to lead to future scholarly productivity, faculty who plan to retire or leave the university in the year following receipt of a release unit should not apply. In years where the number of applicants exceeds the number of available awards, the University Enrichment Committee will consider the degree to which an applicant has been supported in the past with various sources of university funding.



Application for these funds should be made to the University Enrichment Committee via the department chair using the form linked below. The application consists of:

  1. Completed Application Form, signed by the applicant and the department chair.
  2. Applicant’s statement (2-3 pages) specifying:
    • project abstract 
    • objectives of the release time 
    • activity(ies) for which the release is requested and a research and writing timeline 
    • an explanation of the necessity of released time for this activity 
    • professional goals and anticipated outcomes 
    • course to be deleted from the faculty member's load. 
  3. Covering Memorandum from the department chair, evaluating the feasibility of the project, recommending approval or disapproval, verifying the course to be deleted, and indicating whether a replacement is necessary.
  4. For research that involves the use of human participants or animals, please be aware that appropriate approval must be obtained before beginning research. Please consult IRB and/or IACUC approval processes information on the university’s website for details.

Materials other than those specified are not desired.

The chair should forward the application with the chair’s covering memorandum to the associate dean, who will present the application to the University Enrichment Committee. The Committee will rank the proposals and will forward the proposals to the Office of the Provost for final approval based on curricular and budgetary considerations.



Applications for released time are due February 1, for both the subsequent fall and spring semesters.



Faculty receiving release time shall provide a written report of the activities undertaken. This report shall be accompanied by a manuscript, research report, or their equivalent. The report should be submitted to the department chair to provide the chair an opportunity to view the report before forwarding it. The chair will forward the report to the associate dean, who will then deliver it to the Provost. All release time reports are due by August 31 of the academic year during which the release unit was taken.


Submit Application Here