Last week, Dr. Byers, chair of the Psychology department, spoke with The Brunswickan about the Biology-Psychology program. We learned there was high student interest in the joint degree program, that Biology and Psychology departments joined forces to build the program, and that the program was approved by the Senate curriculum committee in January 2019.  

Then, it seemed to have been killed, pulled from the fingertips of eager students and faculty alike. 

This week, The Brunswickan reached out to recommended contacts to further investigate the Biology-Psychology program’s ambiguous status. 

We reached out to Dr. Gary W. Saunders, Dean of Science. He declined an interview. 

We reached out to Dr. Joanne H. Wright, Dean of Arts. She declined an interview.

We reached out to Lauryn Munro, president of the Undergraduate Psychology Society — who our sources say was present among faculty during the programs’ discussion — to provide student input. She, too, declined an interview.  

And thus our content today is sparse. All we can offer are questions. 

What is going on here? Why is no one willing to speak about the year of work that UNB’s faculty put into Biology-Psychology? How long will students be in the dark about the status of a program they would love to have, and that faculty would presumably love to teach? 

Is it possible that there is political campus conflict at play that is restricting the release of the program? If so, how is it that politics have intervened with student and professor interest? What purpose does it serve to hide information from the very professors and students without whom there would be no university? How can a university disregard student and even faculty recommendations, needs, and wants? Has something like this happened before at UNB? Does it happen at every university? 

Does the student body have no say in the status of the Biology-Psychology program? If so, what does that convey about how UNB views its students? Ultimately, does UNB see students as budding scholars, or as clients, as business transactions from whom they can make a ready dollar? 

Will these questions ever be acknowledged, let alone answered? 

Per student interest, The Brunswickan will continue to investigate this story.