By Ian Greer and Valerie Haruka
Several of Quest’s full-time faculty have left the university over the course of this summer. Representatives from the school mentioned this at the year’s inaugural Community Update, yet neglected to acknowledge any of these tutors by name. The Mark has attempted to gather information on the tutors who have left, and has learned the following at the time of this printing:
Math tutor Sarah Mayes-Tang left her position on Quest’s faculty at the end of the 2017 academic year. (Technically, Mayes-Tang is on a one-year leave of absence from Quest. This allows her to continue to work with her mentees, and also provides her an opportunity to return to the university next year if desired. This is standard practice for tutors leaving Quest.) Mayes-Tang publicly announced her departure and had a goodbye party with students, tutors and mentees in the spring of 2017. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Mathematics department of the University of Toronto.
Chemistry tutor Mark Vaughan left his position in July to take a teaching position at Capilano University in Vancouver, where he worked prior to Quest. In an email with the Mark, Vaughan said that the move is “in my family’s best interests.” Vaughan was granted a one-year leave of absence, and plans to continue to work with some of his mentees for the duration of his leave. His departure means that Quest currently has no life-sciences coordinator among its faculty.
Physical sciences tutor Rich Wildman officially resigned from his position on August 14. According to multiple anonymous sources, Wildman applied for a one-year leave of absence upon tendering his resignation, but was denied by the university. He is now living in Portland, Oregon, working as a Water Resources Scientist at Geosyntec Consultants, an environmental consulting company. Wildman’s departure leaves Teaching Fellow Emma Davy as the sole member of the faculty specializing in chemistry.
The Mark has also learned that economics tutor Jonathan Warner is not teaching any classes this year, for unknown reasons.
“It’s normal at universities for there to be some faculty turnover, and there’s no reason for students to be concerned,” said Quest’s Chief Academic Officer James Byrne in an e-mail with the Mark. “Of course, given the close relationship between mentors and mentees and Quest, it’s understandable that a faculty members’ mentees would feel some disruption if a mentor were to leave,” he added, stressing that Quest is working to ensure a “smooth transfer” of mentees to new mentors.
Quest is in the process of interviewing and hiring visiting tutors to teach Vaughan’s October and December blocks, and Wildman’s January block. The school may also consider hiring new full-time faculty, according to Byrne, but no decision has been made at this point. About 30% of the faculty this year is visiting, 5-10% higher than average. The hiring process for new permanent tutors will start, at earliest, in fall 2018.