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Glossary of Terms In Administrative Data and Reports

Office of Data Management and Analytics Services
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Welcome to UW—Madison's glossary of terms used in administrative data and reports. Here you will find functional definitions of terms, as well as dashboards and reports that use those terms. Click "Related Dashboards and Reports" to see a list and description of dashboards and reports using a term. If you have questions, please contact us.


Name Functional Definition Data Domains Related Dashboards / Reports
25th - 75th Percentile (LAVA) The interquartile range of overall Canvas course performance across all students taking the course, derived using the 25th and 75th percentiles Teaching and Learning
A Grade

A grade of A is considered "excellent" and counts as 4 grade points per credit on a 4.0 grading scale.

Student Record
A-Basis Appointment

An appointment for the fiscal year paid as determined by the calendar month.

Employee Record
AB Grade

A grade of AB is considered "intermediate grade" and counts as 3.5 grade points per credit on a 4.0 grading scale.

Student Record
Academic Advisor

A university staff member assigned to students for the purpose of advising them on academic matters, such as the requirements for progression through a degree program.

Academic Planning, Employee Record
Academic Award Category

Indicates the level and type of award granted to a student who graduates in a given plan code. For example, Bachelor's, Master's, Research Doctorate, Clinical Doctorate, Undergraduate Certificate, Capstone Certificate.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Completion Term

The academic term in which an academic award was granted.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Formal Description

Credential that is awarded upon the completion of an academic plan.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Level Academic degree level corresponding to an academic award, i.e. bachelor's, master's, professional, doctoral, and other. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Number

A number indicating the particular academic award in sequence of UW-Madison academic awards conferred on the student.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Plan Academic plan corresponding to an academic award. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Plan Code Name of the plan code associated with the award. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Plan Type Academic plan type corresponding to an academic award. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Program Academic program associated to the academic award. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award School/College

School or college of the academic award. In general, each academic award is associated with a unique academic plan, and each academic plan is part of a unique academic program, and every academic program is associated with a unique school or college. "MSN"/"UW-Madison" is used when an academic award has no school or college associated with it (such as an individualized major or special graduate committee award) or for an additional major.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Subplan The name of the academic subplan associated with the academic plan associated to the academic award. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Subplan Code The academic subplan associated with the academic plan associated to the academic award. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Subplan Description The name of the academic subplan associated with the academic plan associated to the academic award. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Type

Academic award type designates awards as degrees, additional majors, certificates, or teacher certification.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Career Matriculation Term

The earliest academic term a student enrolled at UW-Madison in a given academic career. For some students with dual careers this field is not populated.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Level

Indicates whether a student is an undergraduate, graduate or professional, or special student. For undergraduates, students are freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior based on accumulated credits, not the duration of time at the University.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Academic Org Recognition

An indicator of the faculty-approved status of the academic organization. Department recognition has three values to distinguish the authority of different types of academic organizations. D= Department. An academic organization recognized as a department and tenure home, approved as such by UAPC, University Committee, Faculty Senate per FPP Ch 5. In some cases the school/college/division serves as the department (Business, School of Human Ecology, Nelson Institute, Law School, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy). L = Department-Like Academic Unit with Tenure. An academic organization that has department-like status and serves as a faculty tenure home, sometimes with restrictions. Approved as such by UAPC, University Committee. Exceptions for the purposes of the academic structure are the school/college/division acting as a department: CALS, Engineering, Education, Letters & Science, SMPH, Veterinary Medicine, Division of Continuing Studies. N = An academic organization that that serves as an academic home for an academic program or curricular subject listing but is not approved to serve as a faculty tenure home. Approved as such by the University Academic Planning Council.

Academic Planning
Academic Plan

An area of study--such as a major, minor, or certificate--that is within an academic career.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Plan Department/Academic Unit

Academic Department/Academic Unit having ownership of an academic plan. This is the academic unit that provides advising to students in the academic plan, initiates changes in the requirements of the academic plan, and controls admission to the plan (when admissions are selective).

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Plan Group

A code assigned by UW-Madison for a major. The major may be offered across multiple degree levels and/or by multiple school or colleges.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Plan Honors Suffix

Students may be awarded an honor associated to their major.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Staff

"Academic Staff" means professional and administrative personnel, other than faculty and university staff, with duties and types of appointments that are primarily associated with higher education institutions or their administration.

Employee Record
Academic Subplan

An academic subplan distinguishes a strand of activity within an academic plan or type of major. Can be a named option or honors in a major.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Year

An academic year consists of sequential summer, fall, spring terms. For example, the 2011-12 academic years includes summer 2011, fall 2011, and spring 2012.

Academic Planning
Access Rate

The percentage of high school graduates who are enrolled the following fall as new freshmen.

Account Code

A code assigned to classify each transaction on the general ledger (e.g., asset, liability, revenue, expense).

Accounting Period (Accounting)

Represents a specific time interval (usually a month) for which each transaction is assigned. Possible values are:

  • 1 (Jul)
  • 2 (Aug)
  • 3 (Sep)
  • 4 (Oct)
  • 5 (Nov)
  • 6 (Dec)
  • 7 (Jan)
  • 8 (Feb)
  • 9 (Mar)
  • 10 (Apr)
  • 11 (May)
  • 12 (Jun)
  • 13 (Close)
  • 998 (Year End Adjustments)

Project/grants will typically show Period 13 with Period 1 of the next fiscal year.

Acres Acreage associated with a facility based on real estate property records. Space
Active (Facility) Designates if a facility is being used by UW-Madison. Space
Active (Floor) Designates if a floor record is in use. Space
Active (Organization) Designates if a organization record is in use. Space
Active (Person) Indicates whether a person record is active. Space
Adjustment (Accounts Receivable)

A correction to errors in amounts invoiced (e.g., incorrect rate charged for a service, incorrect quantity ordered).

Admission Decision Date

The date the Office of Admissions entered 'admit' admission decision in SIS for undergraduate students.

Admission Rate

Percentage of applicants offered admission.

Student Record
Admit (Graduate Career)

Recommendation by an academic department to the Graduate School to admit a graduate applicant. Valid department reason codes in the Graduate School application system are G60 (full admission), G61 (admission on probation), G63 (master's only admission), G65 (admission with deficiencies), and G66 (admission on probation with deficiencies).

Applicants may also be counted as admits if they are approved for admission by the Graduate School Office of Admissions. Valid Graduate School action reason codes are G11 (admit-full standing), G13 (admit-missing final transcript), G17 (admit on probation), and G18 (temporary admit on probation).

Admissions, Student Record
Admitted Applicant

An applicant who is offered admission to the University.

Student Record
Advanced Opportunity Fellowship (AOF)

Advanced Opportunity Fellowships (AOF) are intended to support the recruitment and retention of highly qualified underrepresented students in UW–Madison graduate programs. Graduate program applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who meet at least one of the following basic criteria are flagged in the Graduate Application system as eligible to receive the AOF:

  1. McNair students: students who participated in a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program; OR
  2. Students from the following racial/ethnic groups: a) African American or Black; b) American Indian or Alaskan Native; c) Hispanic/Latino; d) Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, or Hmong; e) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; OR
  3. Economically disadvantaged students: a) first-generation college students who participated in one of the following TRIO programs: Upward Bound, Talent Search, Educational Opportunities Centers, or Student Support Services; b) first-generation college students who graduated from the PEOPLE Program; or c) UW–Madison bachelor's degree recipients who were in the FASTrack or BANNER programs.

Students who do not meet any of the above criteria may still be nominated for the fellowship by their academic program. Nominations are judged on a case by case basis.

Financial Aid

A student who has an advisor assignment in SIS.

Advisee Name

Assigned student's preferred name (Last, First, Middle). Prior to the fall of 2014 it shows the primary/legal name.

Advisee Plan Code

See definition for Plan Code (Academic)

Advisee Plan Description

See definition for Academic Plan

Advisee Program Code

The code for the student’s academic program on the academic advisor record.

Advisee Program Description

The name of the student’s academic program matching the advisor record.

Advisor ID

Ten-digit SIS personal identifier of the advisor. This will be the committee ID if advising is done by a committee.

Advisor Role

The role under which the advisor is assigned.

Academic Planning, Employee Record
Advisor Role Code

The code for the role of the academic advisor.

Advisor Role Description

The description of the academic advisor role.


'An affiliation allows a faculty member or a member of the academic staff to be associated with a department without governance rights or a continuing departmental commitment.' Source (08-18-23): Policies and Procedures Chapter 5 – Departmental Faculties

Employee Record
Affiliation (Space)

Designates the high-level organization responsible for a facility.

Aging (Accounts Receivable)

A report detailing the number of days a customer receivable is outstanding since the time of billing.

Alternate Phone

Person's alternative phone number.

Announcements (Canvas)

A way for Canvas course instructors to communicate with students about course activities and post course-related topics on a page within Canvas. Announcements are designed to allow instructors to broadcast information out to all members of a course or to all members of sections within a course.

Teaching and Learning

An individual who has submitted an application to be considered for admission.

Student Record
Applicant Status

Point-in-time designation based upon an applicant's progression through the admissions process. Examples include but are not limited to 'Applied', 'Admitted', 'Matriculated', 'Enrolled', etc.

Admissions, Student Record
Application Rate

The percentage of a population who applied for admission.


The action of an appointing authority to place a person in a position within the agency (UW-Madison) in accordance with the law and the Rules of the Administrator, Division of Merit Recruitment and Selection (DMRS). An appointment is effective when the employee reports for work or is in paid leave status on the agreed starting date and time.

Employee Record
Architect Name of the architecture firm that designed the facility. Space
Assessed Amount (Tuition and Fees)

The total amount of tuition and fees charged to a student.

Assignability (Major Use) Designates a Major Use category as Assignable or Nonassignable according to FICM 2006. Space
Assignability (Organization) Designates an Organization as Assignable or Nonassignable according to FICM 2006. Space
Assignable Area The sum of all areas on all floors of a building assigned to, or available for assignment to, an occupant or specific use. Space
Assignment Group (LAVA) Type of Canvas activity as classified by a Canvas course instructor or coordinator. This can include: Announcements (Canvas); Assignments (Canvas); Collaborations (Canvas); Discussions (Canvas); Gradebook Grades (Canvas); Modules (Canvas); Pages (Canvas); Quizzes (Canvas); or other groupings that an instructor decides to use. This can also be referred to as an Activity Type. Teaching and Learning
Assignments (Canvas)

A task or piece of work that a student is given to do within Canvas by a Canvas course instructor, showing students what will be expected of them and how many possible points their work is worth.
Assignments can be assigned to everyone in the course or differentiated by user.

Teaching and Learning
Associated Class Number

A unique number assigned to an enrollment package. Associated Class number ‘9999’ is a wildcard.

Academic Planning
Asynchronous Instruction

When instructor-student interaction in a course section does not have a scheduled meeting pattern.

Auto Enrolled Section

The section of a course in which a student is automatically enrolled when enrolling for the course's primary section.

Academic Planning
B Grade

A grade of B is considered "good" and counts as 3 grade points per credit on a 4.0 grading scale.

Student Record
BC Grade

A grade of BC is considered "intermediate grade" and counts as 2.5 grade points per credit on a 4.0 grading scale.

Student Record
Base Rate Adjustment

A modification to an employee's base compensation rate. 

Employee Record
Biological Science Course Courses that have been approved through governance as biological science and are therefore eligible to satisfy biological science credit requirements. Academic Planning
Breadth Value

The breadth attribute assigned to the course by the Letters and Science (L&S) Curriculum Committee. Possible values are B (Biological Science), H (Humanities), L (Literature), N (Natural Science), P (Physical Science), S (Social Science), X (H or N), Z (H or S), W (S or N).

Academic Planning
Budget (DPP)

Refers to summary budget allocations by category and program. For more information please visit:

Building Height

The height of a building in feet.

Business Email Address (HRS)

The email address designated by an employee in HRS and used by HRS for business purposes. At UW-Madison, this email address is synchronized with the DoIT primary email address. See Email Address (DoIT), Bus Email (HRS).

Employee Record
C Grade

A grade of C is considered "fair" and counts as 2 grade points per credit on a 4.0 grading scale.

Student Record
C-Basis Appointment

An appointment directly tied to the academic year calendar (273 days or 39 weeks).

Employee Record
CIP Code

A six-digit code assigned to plans using the federal Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) taxonomy. The code assignment is coordinated during the governance process. Codes are in the XX.YYZZ format where XX denotes the broadest disciplinary area (i.e. Biological Sciences), YY indicates a diciplinary area within the XX (i.e. Botany) and ZZ indicates a specialty within the XX.YY area (i.e. Plant Pathology).

Academic Planning
CIP Code Area

The first two digits of a CIP code that defines the most general grouping of progams.

Academic Planning
CIP Code Description

The official description of the curriculum associated with the CIP Code Title as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Academic Planning
CIP Code Title

The official name of the CIP Code as determine by U.S. Department of Education.

Academic Planning
CR Grade

A CR grade counts for credit in courses offered on a credit/no credit basis.

Student Record
Campus ID

This is simply a unique student identifier (10 digits). It may occasionally change at the student's request. It is not the same as ID in the Student Information System (SIS) or ID in the Human Resources System (HRS).

Student Record
Campus Sector The area of the main campus where the facility is located. Space
Cancellation (Accounts Receivable)

The invalidation of an invoice when an error has been made on the bill. Examples include incorrect customer, contact, or location defined on the bill or a duplicate bill already invoiced.

Capstone Certificate

A stand-alone certificate that 'caps off' an undergraduate degree or offers a focused, professionally oriented learning opportunity.

Academic Planning
Career (Academic Structure)

A broad grouping of students related to their degree objectives and admitting office. Used for tuition charges, awarding financial aid, grading scales and other operational functions.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Career Sector (CNGLS)

The employment sector associated with the Coalition for Next Generation Life Science (CNGLS) taxonomy. Sectors include:

1. Academia: Academic institutions of higher education, including colleges, universities, some medical centers, or free-standing research institutions where training occurs.

2. Government: Any organization operated by federal, state, local or foreign governments.

3. For-Profit: Any organization that operates to make a profit, including some industry research.

4. Nonprofit: Any non-governmental organization that does not operate to make a profit.

5. Other: Includes unemployed, full-time caretaker or parent, on extended medical leave or employed at an organization not included in other options.

Career Type (CNGLS)

The career type associated with the Coalition for Next Generation Life Science (CNGLS) taxonomy. Career types include:

1. Primarily research: The primary, although not necessarily the only, focus is the conduct or oversight of scientific research.

2, Primarily teaching: The primary, although not necessarily the only, focus is teaching.

3. Science-related: Career that is relevant to the conduct of scientific research, but does not directly conduct or oversee research activities.

4. Not related to science: Career that is not directly relevant to the conduct of scientific research. 

5. Further training or education: Temporary training position including postdoctoral appointments, medical residencies & graduate school.

Carnegie Classification

A classification framework for U.S. postsecondary education institutions first developed by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education in 1970. The framework is widely used in postsecondary research and policy fields to differentiate types of institutions within the American higher education sector. Detailed information on the basic framework is at

Catalog Number

A code associated with a course in the course catalog.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Catalog Year and Term

The UW-Madison Academic Calendar Year and Term that determines the version of the curriculum (and set of Degree Requirements) that applies to a student. A student’s Catalog Year and Term is determined by rules set by the School/College offering the degree program. Different Catalog Year and Terms may apply to different Degree Requirements, subject to School/College policy. For instance, the Catalog Year and Term for an undergraduate student’s General Education Requirements may be determined by matriculation to any institution of higher learning, whereas the Catalog Year and Term for Major Requirements may be determined by the declaration date of the Major.

Academic Planning
Cause (Workers Compensation)

An action or event resulting in an injury, exposure, or incident according to the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Employee Record
Central-Chilled Identifies if a facility is connected to the UW-Madison chilled water system. Space
Central-Steam Identifies if a facility is connected to the UW-Madison steam system. Space
Central-Utility Identifies if a facility is connected to the UW-Madison steam or chilled water system. Space