Apart from some early years in publishing, Derek Rowntree has spent most of his working life in higher education. In 1969 he was appointed as one of the founding members of the Open University and played his part in developing new kinds of teaching to meet the challenges posed by the innovatory concept of 'open learning and distance education'. 30 years later, having stayed long enough to help a generation of academics learn how to teach and assess students they might never meet and, finally, to develop the first online courses, he retired as Professor of Educational Development, happy to hand over the torch of innovation to colleagues who were still unborn when he first took up his appointment.
Since then, he has, in a small way, returned to publishing (his own books and those of his novelist wife, Kathleen), but spends most of his time exploring Spain and the Spanish, walking in the mountains and producing expressionist oil paintings for which he is rapidly running out of wall space. And, of course, he still reads a lot -- chiefly on his Kindle!