Lumen Courses: Discontinuation of Obsolete Courses Process

An annual review of course offering activity will be conducted by the Office of the Registrar (RO) and Data, Academic Planning & Institutional Research (DAPIR). The procedural steps of this review are outlined below and subject to change as the process is put into effect. This is not the policy document. For the Obsolete Course Policy, see the Policy Library: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1007.

Simplified Overview and Timeline

Contents:

  1. Course Identification
  2. Communication to Schools/Colleges
  3. Initiating the Discontinuation Process
  4. Approving, Scheduling, or Requesting a Waiver
    1. Approving
    2. Scheduling
    3. Requesting a Waiver
    4. No Response
  5. Data Visualizations
  6. SIS CACT Attributes

Simplified Overview and Timeline

Flow Chart

Timeline

Simplifed overview of the timing and actions required.
Timing Action(s)
September Obsolete course identification; deactivation of courses that were not offered per the scheduling/waiver allotments.
Mid-October School/College partners notified that the process is kicking off with a list of the identified courses.
Late-October DAPIR submits deactivation proposals.
Nov-Feb Subject owners make decisions on obsolete courses (approve, notify to schedule, submit waivers).
Fall course changes deadline UCC meeting Obsolete course waivers reviewed/considered. 
After the deadline meeting DAPIR submits deactivation proposals for courses incomplete/not flagged to be offered for summer/fall.

Course Identification

Per the Discontinuation of Obsolete Courses policy, courses slated for deactivation include any course that:

  1. has not been taught on campus (i.e., offered with enrollment) in at least six years,
  2. was created at least six years ago but were never taught, and/or
  3. has only been used for study abroad or transfer equivalency.

The following table defines the parameters of courses included/excluded in the list:

Mock-up of the upcoming terms included or excluded from the obsolete course process.
Obsolete year to process (Fall term) fall term If taught in this term (or more recent) is excluded from the obsolete deactivation list (term -60). Not taught since this term, are included in the deactivation list (term -6)
2024-2025 1252 1192 1186
2025-2026 1262 1202 1196
2026-2027 1272 1212 1206
2027-2028 1282 1222 1216
2028-2029 1292 1232 1226
2029-2030 1302 1242 1236
2030-2031 1312 1252 1246
2031-2032 1322 1262 1256

In the weeds

Timing

  • The query to produce the list is run on the 10th day of classes of the fall term, in part to determine the enrollment of the previous year’s obsolete course list (if scheduled or approved for the waiver extension).
  • The list of courses not taught in the last 6 years is determined no later than October 1 to be processed after the Guide mid-cycle update.

Query

The obsolete course list includes the last term taught (offered with enrollment on campus) and last term used (including taught, transfer, or study abroad) determined by using current (fall) and subtracting 6 years. The obsolete list includes the fall term of the current year, but will not include spring if taught 6 years 1 term.

The data is sorted into four buckets:

  1. Courses that have not been taught in 6 years.
  2. Courses never offered.
  3. The previous year’s obsolete courses flagged as “will be offered.”
  4. Courses that were approved for an extension (“Policy exemption granted”).
  • Courses in bucket 1 & 2 are candidates for the obsolete course process.
  • Courses in bucket 3 & 4 are discontinued administratively by the RO depending on the SIS CACT value.
    • Courses with the CACT ‘O’ or CACT ‘A’ attribute/value with an effective date of fall the previous year (e.g., Fall 2020 for the list produced in Sept 2021) that did not have enrollment in the previous three terms will be inactivated (including the current fall term, the previous summer term, and the previous spring term). Stated another way, these courses must be offered with enrollment in any of the terms of the current calendar year (e.g., Spring 2021, Summer 2021, or Fall 2021 for the list produced in Sept 2021.)
    • The current fall term (e.g., Fall 2021) will be the effective date of inactivation and the course will be assigned the CACT ‘OI’ attribute value indicating it was intended to be offered, but did not have enrollment. The RO submits a Lumen deactivation proposal with an effective date of the current term.
    • For courses that were offered with enrollment (CACT 'O' or CACT 'A') within the appropriate time frame will receive a new row in SIS removing the CACT attribute. No additional changes are made.

Communication to Schools/Colleges 

DAPIR sends the list of obsolete courses to the school/college curriculum coordinators, with encouragement to notify their departments of the policy and process. The communication includes the following:

  1. The UCC/UAPC approved Discontinuation of Obsolete Courses policy.
  2. The list of obsolete courses.
  3. The requirements and deadlines for scheduling a course included on the list within the next year if the department wishes to continue the offering.
  4. How to request a waiver if the course is to be offered within the next two years.
  5. Timeline of key dates and deadlines for the obsolete course process.

Initiating the Discontinuation Process

  1. DAPIR submits the obsolete courses for the current fall effective date/term.
    1. The proposal includes the reason for discontinuation, the last term taught, and the last term used (offered with enrollment, or used in a study abroad or transfer equivalency) and actions departments may take if they choose to retain the course.
    2. If a course is in-progress, DAPIR will work with the school/college academic planner for the appropriate action.
  2. Subject owners (department chairs) must make a determination on the obsolete course.
    1. Lumen generates an email to subject owners, which is how subject owners are notified. This notification is the same as all other course proposal approval requests.
    2. When a course is cross-listed, the subject listed first alphabetically will be selected if the course has not previously had a proposal completed through Lumen Courses.

Help

Standard deactivation language

This course is being deactivated per the Discontinuation of Obsolete Courses policy. The course has not had enrollment within the last six years and is slated to be inactivated. If the department plans to offer the course in the next year or would like an obsolete course waiver for an additional year of scheduling, email lumen@provost.wisc.edu. Include the subject, catalog number, which request you are seeking, and when you intend to offer the course. Waiver requests will receive instructions via email for the obsolete course waiver proposal. If the course can be deactivated, please approve to advance to the next step of workflow. For more information, please see the policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1007). Last offered with enrollment: [insert last term taught with enrollment]. Last used (at the time of deactivation) [insert last term used].

Approval, Scheduling, or Requesting a Waiver

If a course in any of the following scenarios has been offered with enrollment, the deactivation course proposal will be ‘shredded,’ or removed (putting the course back on the shelf as an active course). The six-year clock will restart.

Approving an obsolete course for discontinuation

If the department agrees the course should be discontinued, the subject approver must approve the course discontinuation in Lumen. Subject owners for a cross-listed course must communicate with each other if there is any interest in scheduling the course or submitting a waiver request. See the following kb for more information on approving courses: https://kb.wisc.edu/lumen/78922.

To navigate to the approval pages (not at the cross-listed step):

  1. Following the link provided in the email
  2. Navigating to the Approve Pages site (selecting the appropriate subject from the drop-down).

If a the course is at the CrosslistedSubjs step of workflow, navigate to the approval by:

  1. Following the link provided in the email sent for approval
  2. Navigating to the https://next-guide.wisc.edu/courseadmin/ page and search for the course by [subject] [catalog number] or course key (found at the very bottom of the course form – see this kb for more on how to find course keys: https://kb.wisc.edu/lumen/89210).

Notes

  1. The workflow for approval of courses that are discontinued through the obsolete course process is shorter than the standard workflow: department > cross-listed departments (if applicable) > Office of the Registrar (PeopleSoft step).
  2. Programs using the discontinued course will be notified with a distinct email from Lumen indicating that they need to remove the course from their curriculum. Emails from Lumen are automatically generated and replies to this email address are not monitored.

Scheduling

If you plan to schedule the course within the next three terms (Spring, Summer, or following Fall), email lumen@provost.wisc.edu. Include the subject, catalog number, and indicate that you would like to schedule the course, and which term you will offer the course. If a course is not offered or does not have enrollment, the course will be administratively deactivated the following fall (ie: identified as obsolete in fall 2020, slated to be offered, did not offer/have enrollment in fall 2021).

In the weeds

  • If a subject owner requests to schedule a course, DAPIR shreds the proposal and the RO adds the course attribute CACT value ‘O’ to flag the course (effective fall of the current academic year; e.g., Fall 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year).
  • After the UCC meeting where obsolete courses/course changes effective fall (deadline) are considered, DAPIR reviews the rest of the list of obsolete courses.
    1. Any courses scheduled for spring, summer, or fall will not be deactivated. If these have obsolete/deactivation proposals in-progress, the proposals will be 'shredded.'
    2. Any courses where the subject owners communicated their intent to schedule to DAPIR but have not yet scheduled, will not be deactivated. If these have obsolete/deactivation proposals in-progress, the proposals will be 'shredded.'
    3. Any courses not scheduled for spring, summer, or fall and/or subject owners have not communicated their intent to schedule a course for summer or fall will be administratively deactivated.
  • If a course was slated for the obsolete course process and was scheduled for summer or fall but did not have enrollment by the 10th day of class in September, the RO submits an administrative course proposal (admin save) with the "Obsolete Course Process" workflow, the current fall term as the effective date, the rationale below for deactivation, and adds the CACT ‘OI’ value in SIS. Eligible courses will be archived at the end of the term through the standard archival process. 
Examples
  1. If a course identified through the obsolete course process in Fall 2020 (term 1212) is offered with enrollment in Spring (term 1214) by the course change deadline for fall courses, the course will not be discontinued and the six-year clock will restart.
  2. If a course identified through the obsolete course process in Fall 2020 (term 1212) is scheduled for Summer or Fall 2021 (terms 1216 or 1222) by the course change deadline for fall courses, the discontinuation proposal will be shredded. The course must have/or had enrollment by the 10th day of class of the term in Fall 2021 (term 1222) to retain the course. If not, the RO will create a discontinuation proposal effective Fall 2021 (term 1222) and will discontinue the course.

Standard deactivation language: Scheduled, not offered

This course is being deactivated per the obsolete course proposal policy. The course was either not scheduled, or did not have enrollment within the allotted time-frame. For more information, please see the policy in the Policy Library (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1007).
Last offered with enrollment: [insert last term taught with enrollment]. Last used (at the time of deactivation) [insert last term used].

Requesting a Waiver

If the department will not be offering the course in the immediate Spring, Summer, or Fall terms but intends to teach the class within two years (from initial identification), it must: 

  1. Request a course waiver and submit an obsolete course change waiver proposal. Email lumen@provost.wisc.edu, include the subject, catalog number, and that you are requesting a waiver. DAPIR will shred the discontinuation proposal, initiate a course change proposal by editing and saving the course, flag it as an obsolete course waiver, and provide more information on next steps for approval.
  2. Complete the course change proposal, i.e. obsolete course waiver request. There are additional questions on the form relating to the course not being taught in six years that need to be addressed.
  3. Ensure the course has an up-to-date title, description, requisite, learning outcomes, and syllabus, along with any additional required elements of the proposal.
  4. Submit the course proposal by the course change deadline for fall.

A waiver must be reviewed and approved by the subject, any cross-listing subjects, school/college, and the University Curriculum Committee (UCC). If approved, the department must offer the course with enrollment to retain the course within the allotted time frame.

If approved, the RO will add the CACT ‘A’ value to the course with an effective date of the following fall term (e.g., Fall 2021 if approved in Spring 2021).

If a course is not taught with enrollment within the two-year window (starting the term in which the course was initially identified through the obsolete course policy), the course will be inactivated without additional notification. The two-year window includes the year in which the process kicks off (see below for an example).

In the weeds

  1. The course specialist in the RO will run a query in September looking for courses with the CACT ‘A’ attribute/value. The CACT ‘A’ is an indicator in SIS that the course has been approved for a course waiver and must be offered within the two-year window to be retained.
  2. If there was enrollment, the six-year clock starts over, the course is retained, and subsequently will not show up on the report.
  3. If the course was not offered with enrollment, the course will be inactivated by the RO effective the Fall term in which the query is run.
Example

If a course identified as being obsolete in Fall 2020 (term 1212) is approved for an obsolete course waiver, the waiver extends the available time to schedule an additional year from Fall 2021 (1222), which allows the additional two years from the six-year obsolete identification. If the course is not offered during the calendar year 2022 (terms 1224, 1226, 1232), the course will be discontinued without additional opportunities to retain the course in Fall 2022 (term 1232).

Standard deactivation language: Waiver, not offered

This course is being deactivated per the obsolete course proposal policy. The course was approved for a waiver and did not have enrollment within the two-year window. For more information, please see the policy in the Policy Library (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1007). Last offered with enrollment: [insert last term taught with enrollment]

No Response

If there is no response by the deadline, DAPIR administratively approves the discontinuation proposals for all obsolete courses and the RO will update SIS with the CACT "I" value.

No response is determined by:

  1. A course still in workflow that hasn’t been approved by the department or cross-listed departments by the UCC fall course change deadline meeting.
  2. A waiver has not been completed and reviewed by the UCC by the fall course change deadline meeting. Note: this deadline means that a waiver must be approved by the associated school/college(s) usually no later than the end of January.
  3. An obsolete course discontinuation proposal is ‘rolled back’ out of workflow.
    1. If a course proposal is rolled out of workflow (to the proposer) by the department approver, cross-listed subject(s), or school/college approver, DAPIR will re-submit the proposal to workflow.

Standard deactivation language: No action or incomplete

This course is being deactivated per the obsolete course proposal policy. The proposal was incomplete or had no action by the February deadline. Additionally, the course has not been scheduled for Summer [year] or Fall [year], resulting in the course being administratively approved. Last taught with enrollment: [insert last term taught with enrollment]. For more information, please read the KnowledgeBase document: https://kb.wisc.edu/lumen/96337

Data Visualizations

The status of a course in the obsolete course process can be tracked in the Lumen Tools data viz.

Important notes:

  • The data viz uses Lumen data, which means it refreshes every morning. Any changes made during any given work day will not show up until the next day.
  • This data viz tracks proposals that are slated for deactivation and are in workflow, and obsolete course waivers (course change proposals).
  • Any course where the subject indicated they plan to offer a course will not show up in this data viz.

SIS CACT Attribute Value Meaning

SIS CACT Attribute Value Meaning

Course Attribute

Course Attribute Value

Description

Formal Description

Effective Date Notes

CACT

A

Policy exemption granted

Obsolete Course Policy exemption appeal granted

Added with an effective date for the following fall term. 

Example: If waiver approved March 2020, course change effective date will be Fall 2020.

CACT AI Course was not offered after appeal Course inactivated as was not offered after approved appeal Added with an effective date of the current term (same as deactivation term).

Example: If course had approved waiver effective Fall 2020 and was not offered nor had enrollment, the course will be inactivated for Fall 2021.

CACT

E

Course exempted from policy

Obsolete Course Policy exempts course inactivation

 

CACT

I

Course inactivated per policy

Course inactivated per Obsolete Course Policy

Added with an effective date of the current term (same as deactivation term). 

Example: If discontinuation proposal is approved Fall 2020, course will be discontinued effective Fall 2020.

CACT

O

Course will be offered

Course will be offered in next three terms

Added with an effective date for the fall of the current academic year. 

Example: If identified through the policy in Fall 2020 and course is planned to be offered in Spring, Summer, or Fall 2021, a new row in SIS will be added with an effective date of Fall 2020.

CACT

OI

Course was not offered

Course inactivated as was not offered as planned

Added with an effective date of the current term (same as deactivation term). 

Example: If course identified through the obsolete course policy process in Fall 2020 and was not offered nor had enrollment, the course will be inactivated for Fall 2021.



KeywordsObsolete, OCP, Discontinued, discontinue, waiver, course proposal, course discontinuation   Doc ID96337
OwnerMelissa S.GroupLumen and Guide
Created2019-12-02 17:08:22Updated2024-06-11 16:13:05
SitesLumen and Guide
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