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October 26, 2005

Source: University of New Brunswick - Saint John:


October 26, 2005
UNB Fredericton News Release: D424
Sandra Howland, Public Relations Officer, (506) 458-7968

Two professors with distinguished careers at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton received honorary designations at fall Convocation.

Peter Kent was named professor emeritus in history and dean emeritus, and Norm Whitney was named professor emeritus in biology and in forestry and environmental management.

The professor emeritus distinction is awarded only to retired faculty members. Criteria for the honorary rank include teaching performance of exceptional merit, extensive research and publication of unusually high quality, creative contributions to the administration and development of the university, and a record of professional conduct that indicates fair and ethical treatment of students and other members of the academic community. Candidates must be approved by UNB’s Board of Governors.

The rank of professor and dean emeritus is awarded to those who meet the criteria for professor emeritus, have been approved by the Board, and have served at least one term as a faculty dean.

Peter Kent graduated from UNB in 1959 and has given back to his alma mater in full measure.

Following a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, where he later earned a doctorate, he joined the UNB department of history in 1965 and served as executive assistant to President Colin B. Mackay.

A peerless classroom teacher and champion of the residence system, he served as don of Mackenzie House and dean of men’s residence; designed and implemented the arts faculty’s advising and mentoring program for students; initiated the very successful UNB Intersession Abroad program, and pioneered international student exchanges and teaching programs as director of international relations.

An accomplished administrator, Dr. Kent was chair of the history department for two terms, held positions on the Senate and Board of Governors, and served 12 years as dean of the faculty of arts. Openness, optimism, energy, and enthusiasm have been the consistent hallmarks of his academic leadership.

Dr. Kent has combined these achievements with a remarkable career as a productive historian and scholar. Three major books, 17 articles, and 10 conference papers have established him as an internationally known expert on the foreign policy of the Papacy, on Italian fascism, and on the history of the Cold War.

Norman Whitney is one of Canada’s leading plant and forest pathologists. He established the first laboratory in Canada to study endophytic fungi in a co-ordinated way, and he has trained some of this country’s most highly qualified plant and forest pathologists.

A leader in interdisciplinary education, Dr. Whitney played a major role in the development of interdisciplinary graduate degrees at UNB.

His lifelong interest in bringing different perspectives to his work also made him a pioneer in joint appointments. For many years he was jointly appointed to the biology department, which he first joined in 1964, and to Counselling Services. In 1985, he was promoted to full professor in biology and accepted a joint appointment with the department of forest resources, where he pioneered courses and research in forest pathology.

Since his retirement in 1991, Dr. Whitney has continued to teach and supervise students. He also heads the biotechnology laboratory at the UNB Wood Science and Technology Centre.

His impact on this university over the last four decades, however, goes far beyond the academic.

In the words of one colleague: "Dr. Whitney is an inspiration to all who believe that a modern university must deal with the entire humanity of our students and colleagues and not restrict ourselves to solely the intellect."

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