Teaching and Learning in a Net-Centric World


This month I turn 65 and of course had to try out the Howoldbot to confirm it.

Much to my amazement, it got my age correct (minus 10 days). Well, the picture was taken a couple of years ago, so I guess I am an early maturer!  ishot-211

Reaching this milestone has triggered my long standing expectation that I would retire at what used to be the compulsory age for retirement by University faculty and public servants.  Those days are past and it is quite easy for academics to stay on- a few far past their “best before date”.

I’m retiring in August, not because I don’t like my job (I do) nor that I dislike Athabasca University (though I am very deeply concerned with its viability and sustainability). I also don’t have a great desire to move from Edmonton, though the winters can be brutal!


What does inspire my upcoming retirement is:

1. An ever continuing desire for change. The past 14 years at Athabasca is twice as long as my stay at any other job.

2. A desire to open the door for another, younger academic to get a chance at a tenured position. It saddens me to see the number of  qualified academics who apply whenever we have an opening at Athabasca, and saddens me even more to counsel PhD students that their possibility for employment in the academy is very limited given the large excesses of graduates compared to available positions in universities or colleges.

3. A desire for more time for music. I try to play my hammer dulcimer daily and will be joining a choir this fall. I may even dust off my old guitar or fiddle.

4. The opportunity to give back a bit more. My significant earnings,  good pension plan plus a moderately frugal lifestyle, has made it possible for me to retire (with less than a full pension), but enough for Susan and I to live comfortably. Thus, I will be free to devote more time to a variety of volunteer and nonprofit organizations, that I have only had time to support marginally over my career and family raising eras.

5. The chance to focus my time on projects that I find of particular interest. I don’t plan on “hanging up the keyboard”. I think I  have at least one more book to write,  2 more keynotes (Brazil and Denmark this fall) and who knows what other opportunities may arise.

6. Finally, I like biking, travelling, camping, skiing and many other outdoor activities, which I realize as my body ages, may become less possible if I don’t get out there and “do it” now.

So I’m throwing a retirement party (with help from some friends) on June 12, 2015 at the Riverdale House near my home in Edmonton.  If you are in town, please drop by anytime after 7:00! I’d love to see any colleagues, ex-students and old friends!




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  1. Sheri Oberman Sheri Oberman
    May 4, 2015    

    Hello Terry,

    May your retirement fulfill you in the activities and communities that you enjoy.

    How altruistic to retire earlier to make room for younger blood. That bodes well for a gratifying retirement.

    All the best to you in retirement.

    Your former Ed. D. student,

    Sheri Oberman

  2. Alan Levine (@cogdog) Alan Levine (@cogdog)
    May 4, 2015    

    Congratulations, Terry, as always you do things with class. I suspect with everything on your list you will be more active in retirement.

    And retired Canadians are commons winter residents here in Arizona. Grab your guitar and hiking boots, and come down for a visit.

  3. Moira MacLoughlin Moira MacLoughlin
    May 5, 2015    

    What great reasons for retiring! I wish you happiness and fulfillment in the next years.

  4. Lindy Orwin Lindy Orwin
    May 5, 2015    

    Congratulations and happy birthday, Terry

    Your work has inspired and challenged educators and researchers all over the world. I thank you for your contribution to my own learning.

    If you feel like wandering downunder on your travels,I have a nice little cosy bunkhouse near the beach at Rainbow Beach in Queensland that makes a wonderful writing retreat and base to explore the world heritage listed Fraser Island and Cooloola National Park. We’d be delighted to have you visit.

  5. Raidell Avello Martínez Raidell Avello Martínez
    May 8, 2015    

    Congratulations Terry. Is time to relax!!!, so I hope you visit Cienfuegos, Cuba very soon, I will invite you officially.
    I hope too, you don´t let to write, Many people, including me, are waiting your writing, as they are a source of valuable studies and research.

  6. Michael Hotrum Michael Hotrum
    June 10, 2015    

    In less than two years after I return to the moribund center of the universe, progressiveness breaks out in Alberta. Don Iveson becomes mayor. The NDP demolish the PCs. Now Terry Anderson retires (he says he is) for all the right reasons. Could he still want to shake some trees? Shake up the establishment? Will there be a new chaplain at Westwood? The gloves are now off, the filter is gone. I hope this is not the exit from elearning, just a new entrance.

    Sad and sorry I can’t be there to share a beer with you Terry. Give my best to Susan and please stop off in Toronto to enjoy our hospitality.

  7. Tony Bates Tony Bates
    June 12, 2015    

    Congratulations, Terry, on this significant day in your life, and I wish you all the best in the coming years.
    You have been a tremendous contributor and thought-leader in online and distance education, and your experience and wisdom will be sorely missed.
    However, I am sure you will still find many more interesting and useful things to do, and maybe even time to come to Vancouver for a beer or two with me.
    I can’t join you in Edmonton tonight but I am raising a glass in your honour
    Do keep in touch and you’ll always be welcome in Vancouver

  8. Hao Dan Hao Dan
    June 18, 2015    

    Congratulations! Thank you so much for all you’ve done for our journal, Chinese journal of Distance Education ( also called as Distance Education in China before).

    So happy to see that you begin a new life, so happy to see a photo of your retirement party with our journal on your table( from Zhijun),so eager to begin our new cooperation and collaboration!

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