Procedures: Midcycle Updates

Procedures associated with the policy for Guide mid-cycle updates


Lumen/Guide – Guide Content

Policy Number


Responsible Office

Office of the Registrar


University Policy


Lumen is the gateway for faculty, staff, and governance bodies to propose, update, track and/or approve academic and curricular information at UW-Madison. As a large and complex organization, it is imperative the campus community follow consistent rules when utilizing the Lumen suite of tools for publication to the Guide.


Academic Programs in the Guide

All active academic programs that award credentials during the academic year for which the Guide is published must be represented with a page in the Guide. Academic ownership and hierarchy, as reflected in academic structure, defines what is in the Guide, where it is located, and how it is presented to the public.

New academic programs and credentials are to be added to the Guide in alignment with publication deadlines only after full governance approval is complete.

Academic programs that are approved for a future academic year may be published in alignment with publication deadlines, and can include limited information about the program in promotional pages.

Discontinued academic programs are only removed with the publication of a new Guide (in June) regardless of the term for which they are inactivated.

New, suspended, or discontinued elements of the academic structure (subject listings, plans, subplans) must include standard text about start and end dates.

Courses in the Guide
All active for-credit courses are to be published in the Guide.

General Publication Standards
All governed and non-governed content for the Guide must be submitted by the publication deadlines. Governed content is subject to campus deadlines for approvals, and may be subject to UW-System, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and/or State Legislature for approval.

The Guide is published in June before the start of the academic year to support advising and student needs, however, midcycle updates in October or January occur to reflect new courses and course changes effective for spring semester or summer term, and/or to resolve egregious errors.

These midcycle updates, if not corrected, adversely impact students by delaying implementation of changes to the next Guide publication in June.

As the single source of truth, the Guide must be a stable and reliable resource that any advisor or current or prospective student can reference for an entire academic year. Any revision to the Guide during the academic year is expected to be minimal.

If a change to a course in an academic program becomes necessary during the academic year, e.g., change in subject listing, creation of a new course, or discontinuation of a course, the academic unit that owns the program is responsible for making updates to the program in Lumen Programs so that specific courses referenced in Requirements, Admissions/How to Get in, and Four-Year Plans match the current status of a course in the course catalog for the given term.

Midcycle updates to courses must precede the release of the Schedule of Classes. Changes to courses after the release of the Schedule of Classes for the given term are not permitted.

To maintain the integrity of the Guide, no pages are to be deleted in mid-cycle updates. If a plan/subplan is discontinued, the Office of the Registrar will add standard text to the Overview and How to Get in/Admissions sections of the Guide indicating the program is no longer accepting students.

Tabs are a structured way to separate content on a page in the Guide into smaller pieces. Each section of the Guide (undergraduate, graduate/professional, non-degree) has a defined set of tabs which contain both governed and non-governed content. Governed tabs, if applicable, are required. Non-governed tabs are not to duplicate content that exists on governed tabs. Revision to content on tabs must follow publication guidelines and deadlines.

The creation, deletion or name revision of tabs requires submission of a proposal to and approval by the Lumen Sponsors in consultation with the Lumenaries, Guide Coordinators, and appropriate governance bodies. Once approved, implementation will take effect with the publication of a new Guide edition (June publication).

Related UW–Madison Documents, Web Pages, or Other Resources

Approval Authority

Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar

Policy Manager

Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar


Associate University Registrar for Academic Services -- Will Lipske, WILL.LIPSKE@WISC.EDU, (608) 890-2089

Effective Date

Source: View policy UW-1089 in the UW-Madison Policy Library


To support the policy, mid-cycle updates are only to refresh the course catalog (course changes effective spring or summer; “”) and fix egregious errors that were missed for the June publication. These errors, if not corrected, have a negative impact on students in the current term and will adversely impact students by delaying implementation of the change to the next Guide publication in June.

The Guide, to serve its purposes as a single source of truth, should be a stable and reliable resource that any advisor, student, prospective students, etc. can reference for an entire academic year, with minimal changes. Thus, changes for the mid-cycle updates should be small in nature. Additionally, sticking to as few changes as possible over the academic year outside the Fall-effective June publication supports the original intentions of the single source project: to realistically manage the governance approval cycles within the limits imposed by the one-a-year publishing cycle of the Guide. The stability of Guide also helps advisors and students plan for efficient and predictable progress to the student’s degree and educational goals.

If program changes are required, the department owning a program impacted by changes to the course catalog (discontinuing courses, changes that involve the subject code and course number or the creation to new courses) is responsible for making updates to that program in Lumen Programs so that the inclusion of specific courses in Requirements, Admissions/How to Get in, Four-Year Plans matches the current course catalog (per term).

Keywordsmidcycle, curricular changes, October, January, Guide, publication, publish   Doc ID107918
OwnerJen B.GroupLumen and Guide
Created2020-12-16 11:35:12Updated2024-06-11 15:48:52
SitesLumen and Guide
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