I have always dreamt of playing charades with you, Jeffrey. Just not like this. And not on dry land.
— Dean Pelton
Dean Craig Pelton is the well-meaning, however somewhat floundering and sexually-agnostic dean of Greendale Community College. Craig has been an educator for 10 years, with four of those years being dean at Greendale. All of the previous schools he has worked at are no longer in existence. ("Basic Rocket Science"). Since his first day at Greendale, enrollment has grown 25%. One of his biggest changes was renaming the school's team name from "The Greendale Grizzlies" to the "Greendale Human Beings." Along with Pierce Hawthorne he also created the new school mascot, the Greendale Human Being. Dean Pelton also teaches a class on PA announcing; a student in the spring 2011 semester was named Manuel.
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. Although Dean Pelton has a lot of pride in the school he also has a bit of an inferiority complex over it. He spends a lot of his time trying to improve the school, though many of these attempts prove misguided. The Dean enjoys dressing up in costumes and will often deliver news personally to the study group in those outfits (see main articleDean Pelton's outfits). He has developed a particular fondness for Jeff and often flirts with him, though this is unrequited.
Dean Pelton is introduced messing up a welcome speech to a crowd of new students arriving at Greendale. He first meets 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.
"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".
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.
"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.
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 reign 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 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 beneatgh 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.
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 graduuation ceremony for Jeff and later attends a special dinner in the study room in honor of the graduate.
Dean Pelton is excited when recent Greendale graduate Jeff Winger returns to campus and assumes he intends to help the school deal with another alumni suing the institution. While Jeff researches school records, Pelton shreds documents pertaining to the lawsuit. This angers Jeff who almost launches his own class action lawsuit against the school. Jeff has a change of heart and lectures Pelton about his dishonesty causing the Dean to plead with Jeff to stay and help make the school better. He offers him a teaching position which Jeff reluctantly accepts. The Dean later welcomes Jeff on his first day of his new job and proudly tells everyone he learning how to use the the computer program Excel. Pelton is present when a student protest marches into the cafeteria demanding that the teachers change their "A minus" grades. Afterwards he suggests to Jeff that a "Save Greendale committee" be formed made up of teachers and students. It's not long before the campus peace is disturbed again this time by the return of the "Ass Crack Bandit". Pelton begins an investigation into finding the unknown quarter dropping assailant but ends up bribing Star-Burns to take the fall for the crimes in return for dropping the outstanding meth charges against him.
"Analysis of Cork-Based Networking": Pelton refuses to authorize a bulletin board over site committee idea Annie brings to him. He later sends custodial goons to take down a bulletin board Professor Hickey hangs in the cafeteria but is stopped by the Save Greendale committee.
In the Community 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.
Craig's influences include Dean Will Anderson, Boz Scaggs, and the "spell check" function. ("[]")
Craig currently lives with at least one roommate - his Saint Bernard named Agatha Christie. ("[]")
He has some kind of attraction to dalmatians, as he is seen dancing with a person in a dalmatian suit in the episode "Pascal's Triangle Revisited". In an earlier episode we see him looking at a YouTube clip of a dalmatian man and saying, "I hope this doesn't awaken anything in me." Additionally, he wears a dalmatian-styled vest, and a large dalmatian stuffed animal can be seen inside the closet in his office during "A Fistful of Paintballs". During "Contemporary Impressionists" A dalmatian toy can be seen on his desk, as well as numerous portraits of dalmatians on the wall behind him.