Lumen (academic and curricular management tools)

Lumen is the gateway for faculty, curricular representatives, and governance bodies to update, track, and approve functions related to courses and programs.

Lumen’s services make it possible for UW–Madison to have a single, central location for curricular and academic policies across campus. With such a repository in place, we have opportunities to improve many tasks related to presenting our curriculum, in ways that weren’t possible before.

Because of Lumen, departments and programs will:

  • have reliable, real-time data about their courses and academic programs;
  • save staff the time spent manually tracking and updating necessary changes to key curricular data; and
  • more easily submit, track, approve, and notify key stakeholders across campus when course/program proposals and changes occur.

This suite of tools, coming to UW–Madison in phases from late 2016 into 2017, has three main components to help academic units manage their own processes efficiently:

  1. Academic catalog (to be renamed Guide for the 2017 edition).
    Lumen replaces the previous web-page editing system with a robust, specialized catalog builder. Courses are generated by the Student Information System (SIS) for accuracy; editing of the catalog has new workflow controls; and degree and program information from units across campus will be organized in a consistent, easy-to-use layout that will enhance the students' navigational experience. Both the Graduate School and Undergraduate catalogs will be combined into the Guide, publishing in June 2017.
  2. Course and program proposals/updates, and program-review activities.
    When our faculty want to offer a new course, propose a new program, or modify an existing one, Lumen provides coherent business process flows and tracking of all approval stages. Reports are easily produced for committee discussions and all parties in the process know the progress status of each proposal. The new Guide and SIS can both be automatically updated with most of the governance-approved changes, for maximum accuracy and efficiency.
  3. The existing Online Course Proposal system will be replaced with Lumen tools in the summer of 2017.
  4. Class section builder.
    Departments and programs will have powerful data visualizations to inform their decisions about course-section placement in the weekly calendar, allowing staff to plan course times more strategically. Faculty-governed policies (such as prime-time distribution) will be validated earlier in the process, making it easier and faster to meet campus parameters. And departments can coordinate with other campus units to minimize student conflicts.
  5. These features will be available in October 2017, as curricular representatives build their department/program’s Summer 2018 and Fall 2018 Schedule of Classes.

Lumen is backed by a powerful system: the new Madison Academic Repository for Curriculum (MARC), based on vendor-developed CourseLeaf software. This data system is specifically tailored for UW–Madison’s curricular approval processes: it follows the policies and procedures determine by our campus, for our campus.

MARC communicates directly with SIS to ensure accurate and consistent data across campus. This means that, for example, course listings are displayed using the actual information in SIS, not cut-and-paste copies which get quickly outdated.

Lumen and MARC project governance

Many experts across campus have contributed to the discovery, research, and implementation of Lumen and MARC. Committees and membership listed here.

Provost Sarah C. Mangelsdorf

Office of the Provost
executive project sponsor

Academic and Curricular Policy Repository Advisory Committee (ACPRAC)

Jocelyn Milner

vice provost for academic affairs and director of Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR)
ACPRAC lead and project sponsor

Scott Owczarek

registrar, Office of the Registrar
ACPRAC lead and project sponsor


University of Wisconsin-Madison
Office of the Registrar
333 East Campus Mall #10101
Madison, WI 53715-1384
7:45am – 4:30pm (M-F)
Contact Us