Policies and approval items from the Academic and Curricular Repository Action Committee (ACPRAC). Overview of how the Guide, and Lumen Courses, Programs, and Structures became the "single source of truth."
The Lumen suite of tools provides UW–Madison with a single source of truth related to courses and curriculum. The Guide, the academic catalog of all curricular offerings, is a legally binding agreement with students that displays the requirements for completing awards (degrees/majors/certificates). All course changes must be made through Lumen Courses and will update in the Guide for the term in which the proposal is effective (includes course changes, new courses, and course deactivations/discontinuations). All course proposals are for a future term, except for discontinuations which will always need to be for the current term. All curricular changes must be made through Lumen Programs/Structures to be published in the Guide effective the term in which they publish (June is effective in fall, October is effective in spring, and January is effective in summer). Curricular changes through Lumen are proposed for a future term; no changes will be retroactive. Non-governed content is updated annually. See below for corresponding governance approval decisions relating to the single source of truth. The Guide is published once a year, with two mid-cycle updates which allow changes for critical revisions to programs, and course updates.
For more information, see the Knowledgebase (KB) on Academic and Curricular Repository Action Committee (ACPRAC).
In 2013, a Single Source Task Force was chartered by Provost Paul DeLuca Jr. "[t]o recommend a coordinated process for creating and managing a usable and accessible curricular and academic policy repository that will be rendered to create a student facing undergraduate catalog. The recommendations will be designed with student needs in mind first, yet also serve advisors and other users."
The Final Report and Recommendations, with supplemental documentation requested by the project sponsors, were presented to Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf in May 2015 for consideration of next steps (presented at the May 19, 2016, University Academic Planning Council meeting). In August 2015, Provost Mangelsforf reviewed and approved the purchase of an enterprise system that would become the single source of truth. To provide structure and guidance, the provost placed Jocelyn Milner, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Scott Owczarek, University Registrar, in charge of the project. The joint ownership, initially called UW–Madison Academic and Curricular Repository (MARC), later became known as Lumen Sponsors.
Benefits of the single source of truth:
A fully integrated new system with a well-designed database will ensure the integrity and consistency of all academic program and policy information across multiple platforms and publications.
When all information is stored in one well-defined database, it is easier for users to retrieve needed information. In addition, automatic workflow eliminates most of the manual steps involved in the current processes, making those processes more efficient and cost-effective. Users can spend their time on more productive activities instead of on outdated, manual workflow processes, manual re-entry of data, etc.
Meet Current User and Customer Expectations
With the current changes in higher education, funding losses, and available technology, a move to an integrated system would streamline many cumbersome operational processes and allow UW–Madison to stay current in the higher education market.
Compliance with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
The new integrated system will support clear, accurate, and consistent publication of program/course expectations and requirements to meet HLC accreditation criteria.
Provide Students with Consistent and Easy-to-Access Information
Having one source of information would improve the student experience. Students would no longer need to consult with advisors, assistant deans, etc., to learn about and/or verify standard academic policies and procedures. They would be provided with clear, reliable information about program requirements and campus resources. This may promote better planning and improve time to degree.
Align with Institutional Priorities
The current strategic plan calls for UW–Madison to be a model, public university in the 21st century. Having a well-designed, efficient system for providing curricular and academic policy data and information will be central to achieving that goal. The university also endeavors to create the best possible environment in which our people can carry out their responsibilities to the university. Automating manual, repetitive tasks will allow faculty and staff to devote more of their time to higher-value, creative and innovative tasks.