Faculty summer plans

With the four-month summer break approaching, it’s time for students to get away from school. However, that isn’t always the case with the professors at Durham College and UOIT.

Accounting professor Jane Bowen poses with funky summer props as she explains her summer job at UOIT.
Accounting professor Jane Bowen poses with funky summer props as she explains her summer job at UOIT.

Exams and evaluations finish towards the end of April for most faculty members. However, DC offers three courses for six hours a week in May and June and again in July and August for first year students, as well as graduate certificate programs for students who already have a degree or diploma. One-third of faculty would teach these course in the spring or summer.


“Faculty like to travel in May and June so they prefer to teach in July and August because it’s less expensive and not so busy,” said Judy Spring, executive dean at the School of Business, IT & Management at Durham College.


She said faculty get a nine-week break with the exception of Reading Week, most take their vacation towards the end of June and return back a week prior to the end of August.


Faculty members are given an outline which summarize their expectations over the spring. They are expected to do a majority of things on this list. This can include anything from professional development to the organization of student success activities, including student orientation.


Some faculty members return to industry for a period of time in the spring. They also have formal program reviews, done every five years. They are required to review their course outlines, pick books for the next year, review KPIs and other feedback to refresh the program curriculum and program renewal.


Under the collective agreement, faculty can have up to ten days of professional development. May and June is when they may take a course, do online or face to face training, or attend a conference.


“I think a lot of people think come June none of us have any work to do, but were extremely busy preparing for September. It’s a very busy time,” said Spring.


Other than keeping a close eye on enrollment, hiring, and reviewing course outlines, she likes to golf in the summer and spend time at the cottage.


Jane Bowen is an accounting professor who, like many others at UOIT, spends most of her summer working. When she is not at UOIT, she is teaching at York University.


In June and July, Bowen teaches a designated program aimed at professional accounting students who are finished with their undergraduate degree.


UOIT is also running its first summer graduate diploma this year, according to Bowen. This means that she no longer has free months in the summer and will be teaching year-round.  If she is lucky, she gets to squeeze in four weeks of free time for herself.


This lifestyle isn’t new to Bowen, since she worked in the summer throughout her college years.


Despite working year-round, she tries to fit in a trip to Scotland every August. Even though teaching in the summer takes away from her free time, Bowen sees the upside of the situation.


“I think I still do it because I see the change it can make in a young person,” she said, “so I think it’s a personal reward.”


Daniel Hoornweg teaches fourth year engineering and is the research chair in Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel.


Because of his position, Hoornweg doesn’t get the summer off. However, that doesn’t stop him from planning a perfect vacation in his head.


“I have to do research so I don’t really get the summer off,” he said. “All I get is an hour or two off a week.”


He dreams of going on a canoe trip, dining in Italy or France, or just doing nothing at his cottage.

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Brandi Washington is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. She is currently a co-host on The Vibe at Riot Radio on Tuesdays at 9 P.M. Brandi is an avid lover of entertainment news and enjoys covering it. She also likes to cover sports and is a big Toronto Raptors fan.