In 2009-10, the University Academic Planning Council (UAPC) supported the Obsolete Course Project, which was undertaken to remove courses from the full course catalog that had not been offered for an extended period of time. Courses that had not been taught for six or more years were identified and lists were sent to course subject owners for review and decisions about which courses should be deleted.
A total of 4,185 courses were identified that had not been taught for six or more years; 3,093 (74%) of the identified courses had not been taught for 10 or more years. Of the 4,185 courses identified, 2,435 (58%) were approved for deletion by the departments that owned the course subjects, and just 1,941 (63%) of the courses that had not been taught for at least 10 years were deleted.
When the Obsolete Course Project was completed, a plan was put in place to repeat this review of obsolete courses every five years. There are several reasons to remove obsolete courses from the course catalog. It is a matter of truth in advertising so that the courses that are on the books are courses that students may expect to be taught on a regular basis. It helps advisors plan more effectively with students. And a streamlined courses array provides efficiencies in the management of administrative workload.
Courses that have not been taught in eight or more years are unlikely to be integral parts of any curriculum. If a course that has not been taught in eight years were to be taught again, it is very likely that an entirely new syllabus would need to be constructed and changes would need to be made to elements such as the course description, requisites, etc., to bring the course up to date with current scholarship. These revisions would require careful consideration of the kind similar to proposing a new course.
Historically, the obsolete course process was done via spreadsheets and Qualtrics forms. The implementation of Lumen Courses allows the obsolete course process to be folded into the course proposal form. For more information on how to approve the discontinuation of obsolete courses or to request an obsolete course waiver, refer to the Lumen Courses KnowledgeBase (KB).