Staff/Faculty ID
Craig Pelton Season Five close up
Craig Isadore Pelton
aka "The Dean", "Dean Dangerous"
Portrayed by: Jim Rash
First appearance: Pilot
Date of birth: Unknown
Home town: Denver, Colorado
Department: School Administration
Position: Dean
Family: Unnamed sister, Unnamed father


I have always dreamt of playing charades with you, Jeffrey. Just not like this. And not on dry land.
— Dean Pelton, "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design"

Dean Pelton full Season Five
Craig Pelton
Craig Pelton is the current Dean of Greendale Community College. He is a graduate of Appatomax University and holds a Bachelor of Education degree. Pelton has worked in Scholastics for over 10 years, although his résumé could be seen as a poor reflection of this as all his previous places of employment have since shut down. At Greendale he is a well meaning but bumbling administrator who is just barely able to run the school. He has been competent enough to have had some success at Greendale proven by the fact that under his guidance enrollment increased by 25%. Pelton's primary goal has been to improve Greendale's reputation and prestige. To that end he has had a statue of the schools most famous alumni Luis Guzman commissioned and also started a Space Simulator program. His other initiatives at school have been to make it more politically correct. This included renaming the school's team from "The Greendale Grizzlies" to the "Greendale Human Beings" and creating the new school mascot the Greendale Human Being. His most recent accomplishment has been the formation of the "Save Greendale Committee", a group of students and teachers dedicated to improving campus life.


Well I guess we don't see our patterns until they are laid out in front of us.

–Dean Pelton, "Paradigms of Human Memory"

The Dean is shown to be a very upbeat and overall cheerful person. He enjoys interacting with his students and attempts to get them more involved in school functions, sometimes employing strong arm tactics to get them to volunteer ("Football, Feminism and You"), ("Debate 109"). On the surface, Dean Pelton has a lot of pride in the school but it masks an obvious inferiority complex he has over its actual collegiate status ("Documentary Filmmaking: Redux"). He spends an inordinate amount of his time trying to improve Greendale's prestige though many of these attempts prove misguided ("Advanced Criminal Law"). In the same vein, Pelton goes to great lengths to be accepting or indiscriminate of others. His use of extreme political correctness often inadvertently leads to him being more offensive than intended ("Football, Feminism and You"). He has poor leadership skills and panics whenever emergencies occur ("Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts"). Pelton is aware of his shortcomings and berates himself frequently for being a "Bad Dean" ("Basic Story"). These insecurities allow him to be easily cowed by people with more forceful personalities ("Origins of Vampire Mythology"). His initial conservative personality faded as his more of his eccentricities surfaced. These quirks included using the word "Dean" as a pun and dressing up in elaborate costumes ("Paradigms of Human Memory"). The latter is an indulgence he likes to use in order to deliver news personally to his favorite students in the study group.

Another quirk he has is his ambiguous sexuality which has been the subject of much debate. At one point, Vice Dean Robert Laybourne described him as a "pansexual imp" ("Biology 101"). He hasn't confirmed his orientation even when pejoratively called a "fruit" by Leonard Rodriguez. Pelton responded to the taunt by stating it was "barely the whole truth" ("Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples"). Several possible indicators of his leanings are his often feminine cosplay and a hint of a past involvement with City College's Dean Spreck ("Basic Rocket Science"). His obsession with Jeff Winger ("Studies in Modern Movement") is another example as he is frequently seen playfully touching Jeff when they are together and vying for an opportunity to spend time alone with him. His sexuality is apparently extremely complicated: while Pelton admits that gay is "heavily in the mix" and "approximately two sevenths" of what he is, he doesn't identify as merely homosexual, stating that "gay doesn't even begin to cover it" and that he "makes gayness look like Mormonism". In his own words, "If coming out is a magic show and gayness is a rabbit coming out of a hat, I'm one of those never-ending magic handkerchiefs" ("Queer Studies & Advanced Waxing"). He also has an unabashed dalmatian fetish, the basis of which is still unknown ("Investigative Journalism").

Character historyEdit

Season OneEdit

These students have been called animals all their lives.

–Dean Pelton, "Football, Feminism and You"

School year synopsis

At the start of the 2009 semester at Greendale, Dean Pelton failed to deliver the rousing speech he hoped would encourage and inspire the new students on campus. He first met Jeff when Britta admits to using a crib sheet on a Spanish test. He heads up an academic tribunal made up of Ian Duncan and Ben Chang in order to deal with Britta's cheating. Later he blackmails Jeff into helping him get Troy to be the quarterback for Greendale's football team. Throughout the year his bizarre proclivities and man crush on Jeff start to become more apparent. At the end of the school year he accidentally invites two people dressed as dalmatians to the "Tranny Dance". When a drunk Ian Duncan disrupts the party with a lewd rap and then insults the Dean for his strange tastes Pelton suspends the professor.

2009 - 2010 semester
"Pilot': Pelton fumbles a speech while trying to welcome a new group of students to the school.

"Advanced Criminal Law": When Britta cheats on a Spanish test, Pelton forms an academic tribunal to deal with the matter.

"Football, Feminism and You": Pelton threatens to use photos of Jeff in the Greendale promotional materials unless he gets Troy to join the football team. He also teams up with Pierce to create a new mascot for the school.

"Debate 109": Pelton and Professor Whitman ask Jeff to join the school debate team along with Annie for the intercollegiate debate championship.

"The Politics of Human Sexuality": Dean Pelton, along with his new assistant Sabrina and with the help of Annie, holds a STD Fair in the cafeteria promoting safe sex to the Greendale students.

"Comparative Religion": Dean Pelton dresses up as a non-denominational Holiday character "Mr.Winter".

"Investigative Journalism": Annie investigates Pelton's possibly racist mass text message he sent out to the students.

"Interpretive Dance": Dean Pelton learns about Jeff and Michelle Slater's relationship and talks to them about it in his office.

"Physical Education": Pelton takes a photo of a nude Jeff.

"Basic Genealogy": Pelton is introduced to Chang's brother, Rabbi Chang.

"Contemporary American Poultry": Pelton is bribed by the "Chicken Finger Association" led by Abed to look the

"Modern Warfare': Dean Pelton sends in the paintball ringer Ben Chang into the annual Paintball Assassin game in order to prevent the students from winning the prize

"Pascal's Triangle Revisited": Dean Pelton's extracurricular activities makes it's presence known at the end of the year Transfer formal dance.

Season TwoEdit

Would that this hoodie were a time hoodie!

–Dean Pelton, "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design"

School year synopsis

Dean Pelton is heard announcing the start of the 2010 semester at Greendale over the P.A. system. He becomes more comfortable showing off his flamboyant side and begins dressing up in various outfits, starting with lederhosen. Pelton devises a scheme to preempt City Colleges new space program with one of Greendale's own which earns him the ire of his rival, Dean Spreck. During a Halloween party, he unknowingly serves the students army surplus rations which contain a deadly contagion. During the rest of the school year, he takes a more personal interest in the study group, particularly Jeff. The end of the school year sees another paintball assassin game go out of control when the students destroy the campus again to win a $100,000 prize. The stakes of the competition become higher when it's revealed to be a City College plot orchestrated by Dean Spreck. Pelton is taken hostage and forced to watch as the students struggle valiantly against an army of City College Storm Troopers. Pelton is on hand to witness the final battle between he remaining players and witnesses Greendale triumph due to the efforts of a rebel alliance led by the study group and the shocking actions of Pierce Hawthorne.

2010 - 2011 semester
"Accounting for Lawyers": Pelton holds a "Pop-And-Lock-Toberfest" at school.

"Epidemiology": Pelton serves some mysterious taco meat at a Halloween party which has an unusual effect on the party goers.

"Basic Rocket Science": Pelton devises a plan to counter City College's new space program.

"Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design": Pelton, Annie and Professor Garrity team up tio teach Jeff a lesson on academic fraud.

"Intro to Political Science": The Vice-President s coming to Greendale and Dean Pelton tries to quickly create a student government for the school by electing a student body president.

"Paradigms of Human Memory": Pelton tries to calm things down when the study group has another argument but ends up being insulted by Jeff. In revenge, he later creates a short animated film about the incident where he becomes mutates into "CYber-Dean" and kills the study group.

"A Fistful of Paintballs": Pelton loses control of another paintball assassin game.

"For A Few Paintballs More": Pelton is taken hostage by Dean Spreck and his City College invaders.

Season ThreeEdit

Over the summer I decided it's time to whip this place into shape. I'm going to be a lean, mean Dean-ing machine.

–Dean Pelton, "Biology 101"

School year synopsis

At the beginning of season Three, Dean Pelton is determined to make Greendale Community College a more respectable and straight-laced institution. However, his efforts to rein in the school budget brings the ire of Vice Dean Laybourne of Greendale's AC annex, which is responsible for the majority of the school's budget. He turns to Chang for help when Greendale's security staff quits. Greendale's executive board asks Pelton to direct a new promotional advertisement but the production takes over the campus when Luis Guzmon offers to participate. As the new head of security Chang begins to plot a takeover of Greendale. Pelton cuts a deal with Subway to bring the restaurant to Greendale. Layboure continues to put pressure on Pelton, demanding that Troy be transferred to the AC program. Student unrest following a student's death snowballs into a full scale riot, which gives Chang the opportunity to enact his scheme. Chang holds Pelton captive after replacing him with a lookalike Dean. Two months later he is rescued by the study group after being held captive in the boiler room beneath the cafeteria. Near the end of summer, he awards Pierce and Shirley the now vacant Subway spot to launch their own sandwich shop. When the two get into an argument over the ownership of the new business venture, Pelton had them settle their dispute in Greendale Court with him presiding as judge.

2011 - 2012 semester
"Biology 101": Pelton crosses paths with Robert Laybourne, Vice Dean of Greendale's AC annex.

"Competitive Ecology": Chang pursues bogus investigation leads to a fire in the cafeteria and Pelton ends up naming him the new head of security.

"Studies in Modern Movement": Pelton blackmails Jeff into spending a day with him at the mall when he catches Jeff skipping out on the Study Group helping Annie move from her apartment.

"Documentary Filmmaking: Redux": Pelton goes off the deep end while directing the new television commercial for Greendale.

"Digital Exploration of Interior Design": Troy and Abed's pillow/blanket forts attract attention from Guinness world records and Pelton gets involved to generate publicity for the school.

"Course Listing Unavailable": The death of Star-Burns precipitates a riot, which leads Pelton to give Chang's security force extra authority.

"Curriculum Unavailable": In a series of flashbacks, Pelton repeatedly shows favoritism towards Study Group members over other students.

"The First Chang Dynasty": The study group plots to rescue Pelton, who has been held captive and replaced with a dopple-Deaner as part of Chang's coup.

Season FourEdit

Friends, students, human beings...we are gathered here to honor that sacred bond between a student and his Dean.

–Dean Pelton, "Advanced Introduction to Finality"

School year synopsis

In the study group's fourth year at Greendale, Pelton devises a competition called "The Hunger Deans" in order to determine which students get to attend a "History of Ice Cream" course. He is forced to deal with the unexpected return of Ben Chang to campus who is supposedly suffering from amnesia. He is assigned the task by the school board to get a rich student to enroll at Greendale. Pelton throws a Sadie Hawkins dance which inspires Britta to organize a dance of her own. When the study group is traumatized by a recent event, Pelton helps them work through it with puppet therapy. Pelton role-plays as Jeff, believing he swapped bodies with him. At the end of the year, he presides over a graduation ceremony for Jeff and later attends a special dinner in the study room in honor of the graduate.

2012 - 2013 semester
"History 101": Dean Pelton holds the "Hunger Deans" competition to determine which students will attend a "History of Ice cream" course.

"Economics of Marine Biology": With the help of the study gorup, Pelton tries to get a rich student called Archie DeCoste to enroll at Greendale.

"Intro to Felt Surrogacy": Dean Pelton helps the study group deal with traumatic recent event by using puppet therapy.

"Basic Human Anatomy": Dean Pelton pretends that he switched bodies with Jeff.

"Advanced Introduction to Finality": Pelton presides over Jeff's graduation ceremony.

Season FiveEdit

It's not easy being Dean Jeffrey! It's my whole I-Dean-tity!

–Dean Pelton, "Repilot"

School year synopsis

Dean Pelton is excited when Greendale graduate Jeff Winger returns to campus and assumed he intended to help the school deal with a lawsuit. While Jeff researched school records, Pelton shredded documents pertaining to the lawsuit. Jeff lectures Pelton about his dishonesty causing the Dean to plead with Jeff to stay and help make the school better. He offered him a teaching position which Jeff reluctantly accepts. The Dean later welcomes Jeff on his first day of his new job. Pelton later has Jeff form a "Save Greendale Committee" to improve campus life. When the "Ass Crack Bandit" menaced the campus again, Pelton bribed Star-Burns (who had faked his death) to take the fall for the crimes in return for dropping the outstanding meth charges against him. Pelton refused to authorize a bulletin board over site committee and sends custodial goons to take down a bulletin board Professor Hickey hung in the cafeteria without proper authorization. Pelton agreed to have a new status ranking app beta tested by Greendale which briefly creates a social caste system on campus. After payroll is late, he personally delivers his apology to Buzz and Jeff via a rap. Near the end of the school year, an insurance liability appraiser hired by the city declares Greendale to be a property asset with great value. Pelton despairs when School board members Carl Bladt and Richie Countee decide to sell Greendale to the Subway corporation. The Dean teams up with the Save Greendale Committee in a last ditch effort to find a buried treasure on campus to save the school.

2013 - 2014 semester
"Repilot": Pelton welcomes back Jeff to Greendale and offers him a teaching job.

"Introduction to Teaching": Pelton forms the "Save Greendale Committee" to help ease tensions between the students and teachers.

"Basic Intergluteal Numismatics": Pelton opens an investigation into the "Ass Crack Bandit".

"Geothermal Escapism": Pelton allows Abed to use the school's PA system to announce his special game of "Hot Lava" in honor of Troy.

"Analysis of Cork-Based Networking": As part of an elaborate favor trade, Annie suggests to Pelton that Waldron be put in charge of all bulletin boards at school.

"App Development and Condiments": Pelton attempts to make Greendale more like Harvard by having the MeowMeowBeenz app tested on campus.

"VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing": Pelton dresses as a payday bar to tell Jeff and Hickey that their checks are late.

"Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons": Pelton gets invited to a game of Dungeons & Dragons to help Hickey and his son reconnect.

"G.I. Jeff": Pelton plays "Vice Cobra Assistant Commander" in Jeff's hallucination

"Basic Story": Pelton tries to make a good impression on an insurance appraiser, and later finds out that the school is going to be sold to Subway, and he loses his job as Dean.

"Basic Sandwich": Pelton and the Save Greendale Committee tries to find buried treasure to Save Greendale.

Season SixEdit

If being gay is a magic show and coming out is pulling a rabbit out of a hat then I'm like one of those never ending handkerchiefs.

–Dean Pelton, "Queer Studies & Advanced Waxing"

School year synopsis

When the cafeteria roof collapses due to the Save Greendale Committee, Craig is forced to hire a consultant named Frankie Dart to take charge. He buys a virtual reality device and becomes obsessed with the digital world. The inventor of the VR machine, Elroy Patashnik, manages to remove Craig from the device and gets an invitation from the Dean to join the school. Not long after, Dean Pelton and the committee counter a City College attack ad by filming him honestly responding to charges they accused Greendale of. School board members Richie and Carl offer Craig a promotion to the school board if he becomes their token gay person. Pelton accepts but chafes at the masquerade and is thrown off the board when he admits to having political opinions. Later, a deal is truck with the Colorado D.O.C. for Greendale to allow convicts to attend the school via telepresence robots. A convict named Willy charms Pelton and the rest of the school, much to Jeff's chagrin. This leads to a bizarre telepresence robot fight where Willy gains the upper hand. Craig interferes by turning off Willy's device and triumphantly carries away Jeff's damaged robot.

2014 - 2015 semester
"Ladders": Craig hires a new consultant to assist the Save Greendale Committee in fixing the school.

"Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care": Craig becomes obsessed with a VR machine he purchased for the school.

"Basic Crisis Room Decorum": Dean Pelton films a commercial in response to a City College attack ad.

"Queer Studies & Advanced Waxing": Craig is asked by the school board to pretend to be gay in order to get a promotion.

"Laws of Robotics & Party Rights": Dean Pelton is charmed by a convict attending the school named Willy.


  • In the Pilot, Dean Pelton is wearing a wedding ring suggesting that he is married. Throughout the rest of the series, he is never seen wearing it again. But at the end of the 5th season, the study group finds the ring and the Dean said he lost it his first week at Greendale. He says that the ring belonged to his mother who had very fat fingers.
  • Craig's influences include Dean Will Anderson, Boz Scaggs, and the "spell check" function. ("[[1]]")
  • Craig currently lives with at least one roommate - his Saint Bernard named Agatha Christie. ("[[2]]")
  • He has a fetish for dalmatians.
  • The character is named after a past roommate of Taran Killam (who plays Cory Radison) according to Dan Harmon on the DVD commentary for "Regional Holiday Music".
Dean Pelton crazy smile

Main Characters
Dean Craig Pelton

Start a Discussion Discussions about Craig Pelton

  • pugs

    2 messages
    • Why does Pelton have a folding picture frame of a pug on the back desk of his office?  why would one become obsessed with another dog breed...
    • He also has a pug mug, and multiple pictures of pugs in his seen in season 1 episode 14
  • Jim Rash is Amazing!

    7 messages
    • I'm not a clothes horse so I didn't really notice. As they said in the interview though the writers added elements of the actors b...
    • i agree. it's a little sad, though. he did say that people think that he's playing himself on community. i haven't seen him in s...

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