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Salary Savings Incentive Policy for Faculty


This policy describes the acceptable uses of salary savings from a faculty member's budgeted salary (typically academic-year salary) that is made available when a portion of the salary is paid by grants from a funding agency, foundation, or corporation.

Applies to: 

KU Lawrence and Edwards campus tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Policy Statement: 

Salary savings from faculty positions may be used for a variety of professional purposes at the discretion of the dean of the school, College, or Libraries. Uses may include the following:

  • Student support
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Space and renovation
  • Summer salary for the faculty member
  • Travel
  • Professional expenses
  • Course buy-out
  • One-time bonus payments based upon merit

Schools, the College, and the Libraries will develop specific policies identifying the percentage allocation of salary savings among the school/College/Libraries, department, and the individual faculty member involved. Each agreement will be documented in writing. The policies may put appropriate limits or restrictions on the various ways the funds can be used. Salary savings can be a good way to help the faculty members provide bridge funding for projects during a hiatus between grants. All university responsibilities and related financial obligations (including funding of any teaching and service obligations for the faculty member) required to support the project must be met before salary savings can be used on behalf of the faculty member for other purposes. In addition, the faculty member must have a meritorious record in teaching, research, and service.

In the case of bonus payments, the schools, College, and Libraries may establish written criteria for one-time bonus payments based upon merit. Such bonus payments will be made through the University’s additional pay process and will not affect the individual’s base salary. A bonus payment, no matter what the source of funding, will be in addition to the faculty member’s established base salary for that year. A faculty member may be eligible for a bonus payment only once each fiscal year. Faculty members may receive bonus payments in consecutive years, but each such payment will require a separate consideration. The receipt of a bonus payment in one year does not guarantee or imply any subsequent bonus payments, nor will it be used for purposes of salary adjustments for subsequent years.


Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Chief Financial Officer and Vice Provost for Finance

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Effective on: 
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

It has long been the practice for faculty members who have grants from funding agencies, foundations, or corporations to “buy out” a portion of their salaries, with the salary savings generated being used for a variety of professional purposes. This policy statement codifies existing practices and assigns to the deans of the schools, College, and Libraries the responsibility of developing policy statements that clearly describe the percentage allocations of salary savings among the dean’s office, the department, and the faculty members. It also sets parameters for use of salary savings as bonus payments.


Student support: may include fellowships, scholarships, GTA/GRA/GA appointments, and/or tuition sponsorship.

salary savings, buy out, bonus payments, salary release
Change History: 

01/22/2024: Updated contact section.
03/08/2019: Updated contact information.
05/22/2015: Fixed typo in second paragraph of Policy Statement.
01/13/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
05/03/2012: Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.

Financial Categories: 
Cash Management & Investments
Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 

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