Provost Great Books Program

The focus of the Great Books Program is to support mid-career faculty who are writing books. Faculty who have an advance contract (or strong letter of interest from a publisher or editor) to publish a book can apply for a course release to support the completion of the book. A book is defined as a monograph, edited volume, textbook, etc. with an ISBN. It does not include self-published books, new editions, or conference proceedings. Eligible faculty include TT and NTT faculty at the rank of Associate or above. In the case of NTT faculty, their primary workload for evaluation must be in research. Tenured associate professors with clinical responsibilities are also welcome to apply, if research and publications are a part of the faculty member’s official workload. Priority will be given to applicants working towards promotion to Full Professor.

Applicants should submit in one PDF document:

  • A cover letter (please include a short description of the book, a timeline for completion, the contribution it will make to your field, and please disclose any internal or external funding that supports this book project and/or any other course releases you have to research and/or write the book,
  • The advance contract or letter of interest from the publisher, and
  • A CV

A short letter of support from the faculty member’s supervisor (e.g., department chair) should be submitted separately by the supervisor. This letter should include an explanation of why this support is necessary at this time as well as an agreement to use the course release funds for replacement instruction. In the case of an NTT or Clinical faculty application, the supervisor’s letter should specify workload expectations and faculty’s primary workload for evaluation. Please note that if the faculty member is on a joint appointment, the letter must come from the chair of the department from which the course release will be taken. However, the letter should indicate that both department chairs are aware of the course release request.

The PDF of required items as well as the support letter should be sent to Brooke Hartman with subject line “Provost Book Support Program” by February 1 (for teaching release in fall) or September 1 (for teaching release in spring)

If granted, the Provost’s Office will provide the department with $7,500 for teaching replacement of one course. In the case of a clinical faculty, instead of requesting a course release, with approval from their supervisor, they may request the $7,500 for clinical replacement costs, for clinical work equal to one 3-credit course.

Course Release Limits: Faculty can only receive 2 total course releases from Provost course release programs (Great Books and Highly Prestigious Awards) in a 3-year period. If faculty have applied to other programs that grant course releases (college-level programs, cohort programs, etc.), department chairs must manage the number of course releases their faculty are receiving, keeping in mind the needs of the department, workload considerations, the requirements of the college, etc.

For A&S Faculty: If you are A&S faculty and are granted a course release through this program, you are encouraged to also participate in the complementary A&S Writing Fellows Program. Participating faculty will partake in weekly sessions throughout the semester where the cohort will set writing goals, evaluate progress, and receive peer feedback. The program enjoys support from the Campus Writing Program at the Conley House. For more information about the program, visit the website or reach out to the program director, André Ariew.

Click here to view a list of program participants.


Email the Office of the Provost Faculty Fellow for Faculty Success, Chris Slaten.