Support Specialist Award

Amy Hofer

Open Oregon Educational Resources (Oregon, United States)

Amy has had a huge impact, both in the state of Oregon and nationally, since she became the Coordinator of Statewide Open Education Library Services for Oregon’s higher education in 2015. She offers evidence-based and innovative opportunities for faculty to learn about OER, including biennial symposia, open textbook reviews, and online course redesign training. She created the website, with FAQs for faculty, a referratory that lists hundreds of resources used across the state, blog posts, original research, and an events calendar. She runs the state’s OER grant program, overseeing the selection, support, and sharing of dozens of grant projects resulting in millions of dollars in savings and a very high return on investment. 

Amy also advocates for OER funding with the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and champions textbook affordability legislation. Amy has been instrumental in the passage of state laws to improve the transparency of course materials costs for students and to require colleges and universities to plan strategically to reduce textbook costs. Since Amy began this work, the estimated average course materials costs at Oregon’s community colleges have fallen significantly. The estimated costs for the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree, for example, fell from $2,142.84 in 2015 to $1,492.15 in 2019, a 30% drop (Four years and falling: Impact of statewide funding for textbook affordability). Of course, no single person is responsible for this, but undoubtedly institutions across the state of Oregon wouldn’t be where we are now without Amy’s advocacy and support.

About Support Specialist Award

Award presented to an individual actively engaged in the use and promotion of OER and Open Practices. Someone, other than a professor/teacher, that supports the ideals of the Open Education movement through their own practices. These might include librarians, researchers, instructional designers, policymakers, administrators or more.