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Adjunct professors excluded from lockdown alert

Rollins adjuncts were not informed of the shelter-in-place put into effect on Sept. 17, as their information was sent to Human Resources late and then was never placed into the R-Alert system.

Scott Rayburn, Rollins’ safety and emergency planner, worked with the Office of Information Technology to locate the disconnect after many adjuncts alerted their respected departments. 

It was discovered that personnel action forms for many of the adjunct professors were only submitted to Human Resources a week before the Sept. 17 incident. 

They were “in the process of ensuring all of the information was appropriately entered into college systems,” said Ken Miller, vice president of public safety. 

“Anytime we see members of the immediate campus community not receive our emergency messages, we have concerns about where the issue might be and if there are any commonalities. In this particular case… much of the feedback we were receiving was from adjunct faculty.”

Ken Miller, Vice President of Public Safety

Campus Safety is working out ways to expedite and improve the processing time for personnel action forms and believes that all adjunct professors have now been added to the system. 

“The process is not flawed. However, we do need various departments across campus to submit this information in a more timely manner,” said Miller.

Dr. Michelle Tichy, an adjunct professor in the Department of Education, was in the middle of a class discussion when her students told her that the Rollins campus was on lockdown. Her students, following the instructions on their R-Alerts, quickly locked the doors, turned off the lights, and crouched against a windowless wall. 

Without the attentiveness of her students, Tichy would never have known about the lockdown, because as an adjunct, her phone was not registered with the R-Alert system. She is just one of many adjuncts who did not receive the R-Alert on the day of the lockdown. 

“A couple minutes later, my phone rang. That was the first time I got notified. Most of [my students] had been texted before then,” said Tichy.  

Tichy said that she is now nervous about being in her office or walking around campus without students to notify her if a text alert goes out. Since the phone call came several minutes after the texts were first issued, Tichy would be at a disadvantage in an emergency situation on campus.

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