Department of Microbiology Release Time Policy


Faculty may elect to show effort on externally funded projects in several ways. This includes- but is not limited to- Release Time appointments.

(Please note: Release Time Appointments do not release you from teaching. A teaching release is not what we are referencing when discussing a release time appointment. This is a different topic that must be discussed with the Department Chair.)

The benefit of showing effort on your grant by setting up a release time appointment, is that the salary and benefits associated with said appointment come back to your release time chartfield.

Release time funding can be carried forward into future fiscal years - however, there is currently a limit to how much you can keep in your release time- and is used similarly to other university funding.

The process to set up a release time chartfield is as follows:

  1. The Faculty member will notify the Department Manager via email that they would like to request a release time appointment be set up on X grant. The Department Manager will then confirm the percentages required for your funding update in order to match required efforts.
    • Conversely, the Department Manager may reach out directly to provide you with a suggested plan for your release time appointment for the year.
  2. The Faculty member will provide their approval of the funding plan and an HRA will be completed to set up said appointment.
  3. During periods 6 and 12 of the Fiscal year (December and June) transfers will be initiated and completed by the College to move salary and benefits from the Departmental general funds (011000) to the Departmental release time fund (017000)
    • Please note: the June transfer does NOT include release time generated in June for 12/12 faculty or for release time added for any DRDs that may have been processed for 9/12 faculty in the month of June. These funds will be returned in Period 6 (December) of the next Fiscal Year.
  4. The Department Manager will review and verify the appropriate HR reports and individual faculty member’s PI Portal. The Manager will then initiate a fund transfer from the Departmental Release Time fund, to the specific faculty member’s release time chartfield.
    • Release time chartfield example: 03500 017000 60000 03-LASTNAME-X
  5. Once the transfer has been approved by the College, the funding will then be available to use by the faculty member.
    • Please note: Release time funds must still comply with University, College, and Departmental policies and procedures of which you have been notified and will be reminded if needed.
    • Additional policies related to release time can be found below.

Please be aware:

  • In general, it is our intention to return 100% of release time salary and benefits generated back to the appropriate faculty member.
    • If you have a release time balance that exceeds $150,000 at the end of a fiscal year, the department will discuss a spending plan with you directly. Otherwise, funding over $150,000 may be kept in the Department at the discretion of the Chair.
  • Should the Departmental Release Time balance go below $75,000 or into deficit, the amount returned to faculty will be 75% of the release time generated until we have reached a minimum balance available of $75,000 in the Departmental release time fund.
  • While we currently see no reason to do so, the Department reserves the right to use faculty release time balances as needed at the Discretion of the Department Chair, should it be necessary. (You would be contacted first, should this ever occur)
  • The Department reserves the right to change our policy as needed and we will notify you of significant changes.
    • Changes to these policies are at the discretion of the Department Chair in consultation with the Department Manager prior to implementation.


For 9/12 Faculty:

  • Release time appointments are only permissible from September 1 to May 31 (Academic 9 months). You cannot, and will not, have release time appointments from June 1 – August 31 for any reason.
  • This is because 9/12 faculty are “Off Duty” in the Summer term. During this time, faculty are eligible to receive Off Duty Pay provided they have adequate funding.
  • Should you have a split appointment with another unit(s), you are also eligible to set up release time appointments on that record as well. Please notify the Department Manager if you would like this information to be communicated to your other unit.

More information on ODP can be found here.


For 12/12 Faculty:

  • Release time appointments can be year-round for our 12/12 faculty. However, 12/12 faculty are not eligible for ODP.
  • Typically, our 12/12 tenure track faculty have a TIU that is separate to that of Microbiology. In these cases, you will only have your effort as a release time appointment on your Microbiology record. (Usually, you will be directly appointed to your grant on your TIU record but do seek out policy and procedure information directly from your TIU administration)
  • Only Microbiology administrators can update your Microbiology funding record. This is to insure consistency in funding updates, specifically in relation to release time appointments. Please communicate with your TIU as such.


  • Special note for using Release Time funds for 12/12 faculty: You must notify and/or ask the Department about using your funds prior to submitting requests. If your TIU initiates an eRequest, eTravel, HRA, etc. with Microbiology university funding and fail to contact the Department prior to purchase- the request will likely be denied.
    • For Example: If an eRequest is submitted for a PO without Microbiology's approval and the department is contacted to approve releasing funds- we can/will deny the request as no prior information was provided from the faculty member or his/her TIU.


Special Note for DTI faculty:

  • For our DTI faculty, 50% of release time funding is retained by OAA.
  • In addition, DTI faculty have unique funding appointments that will require a portion of their effort on their 9/12 appointment to be done as a direct appointment.
  • DTI faculty members with a small percentage of your funding directly appointing you to your grant, you will NOT receive release time for that portion of your effort.


Further policies and procedures on Release Time:

  1. NIH Salary cap salary and benefits overages are expensed to the Departmental release time fund by default. These expenses will be transferred to/covered by the faculty member’s release time chartfield.
    • Should release time funding no longer be available to you, we will charge it to another appropriate university funding source belonging to the appropriate faculty member.
  2. Grant overruns and disallowed costs will be transferred to the faculty member’s release time chartfield after the expense initially comes back to the department.
  3. Gas Cylinder/billing expenses that come back to the departmental release time funds, will be transferred to the appropriate faculty release time chartfield.
  4. Should the Department cover a deficit in your release time chartfield, the Department will discuss setting up an appropriate release time account with you. The next time a release time dispersion is processed, it will be transferred to the faculty member less the amount owed to the Department.
  5. Any misc. charges to the Departmental release time chartfield will be transferred to the faculty release time as necessary.
  6. Please check back regularly for edits and updates as needed.


Should a release time chartfield not be available to you, we will determine which other appropriate university chartfield will be used in place of release time to cover associated expenses noted above.


If you have questions or need further clarity on the Department of Microbiology’s Release Time Policy and related procedures, please contact Staci Schweinfurth at


9/12 Clearing Fund 017002- This fund is a payroll system clearing fund. Funds that drop into this account automatically each month for payroll clearing, get moved to the main Department Release Time fund of 017000.

Policy Implementation: circa 2013

Document Created: June 2017

Policy Last Updated: January 2020