The professor emeritus distinction is awarded only to retired faculty members. Criteria for the honorary rank include teaching performance of exceptional merit, extensive research, 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 the university’s Board of Governors.
Diana Austin to be professor emerita in English
Dr. Diana Austin retired in 2016 after 33 years in the English Department at UNB. During this time, she became one of UNB’s most distinguished teachers. She has won numerous teaching awards, beginning with the Arts Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Dr. Allan P. Stuart Award, was named a University Teaching Scholar and won the Association of Atlantic Universities’ Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2011, she was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship – Canada’s highest teaching honour.
Her reputation as a fair, patient, energetic but also demanding teacher attracted generations of students, whose high opinion of Dr. Austin’s teaching led to her being profiled in Maclean’s Magazine as a part of their annual report on university rankings.
Dr. Austin taught all levels of students – from large first-year courses to honours and graduate seminars. She supervised 10 graduate theses and helped many students become successful teachers themselves. She piloted the English Department’s “Teaching Apprenticeship” for PhD students, which has served as a model for other departments at UNB. She became a sought-after speaker, and colleagues across campus have adopted her teaching aids and strategies after attending her presentations and workshops.
Dr. Austin was a tireless leader in increasing accessibility at UNB. As Associate Dean of Arts in the 1990s, she spearheaded efforts to make the Fredericton campus more wheelchair-friendly and to support visually impaired students. Later, her advocacy led to the installation of an elevator in Carleton Hall, which is now accessible to all.
Dr. Austin’s commitment to teaching and learning throughout her career was exemplary, and continues to be an inspiration.