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OFTEN Comes Just in Time

by Evelyn Beck

Not too long ago, Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) brought its adjuncts into the twenty-first century.

“It’s hard to imagine anyone working without e-mail and computers even though it’s only been a few years since they became standards for adjuncts,” says Kathryn Baker, a former adjunct who has been teaching full time at the Florida-based college for nearly four years.

The implementation of a project called The Online Faculty Teaching Excellence Network (OFTEN) not only provided e-mail and computers, but it has improved the entire communication system for part-time instructors at SFCC.

“All adjuncts now have individual phone extensions, shared office space, computer access with SFCC e-mail accounts, invitations to department meetings (many departments excluded adjuncts, but no more), and access to professional development such as the Center for Academic Technologies workshops,” says William Wall, who was hired as an adjunct in 1998 and then as a full-time instructor in 2000.

Adjuncts received Web space, too. Says Kress: “A lot of the things we were proposing seemed radical at the time.”

In 1998, under a three-year grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), English department faculty members Suellyn Winkle and Anne Kress sought

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