Professor Emeritus in Biology and in Forestry & Environmental Management
Convocation: October 20, 2005
Dr. Norman Whitney is one of Canada's leading plant and forest pathologists.
His vast experience and breadth of knowledge make him stand out from his contemporaries. 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 the University of New Brunswick.
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.
In addition to his many duties at UNB, Dr. Whitney has served as a United Church Minister for 41 years.
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. Dr. Whitney led the way, and UNB is a much better place because of his contributions."