My name is Professor Ian Duncan and I would like to rap for you. Drop a beat! My name is Ian Duncan and I'm here to say, I'm going to rap to the beat in a rapping way! I've got a real big penis and I drink lots of tea...
Dr. Ian Duncan (portrayed by acto/comedian John Oliver)is a psychology professor at Greendale Community College. Ian was born in London, England but currently lives in Greendale, CO. It is alluded to that he left England after his parents divorced and came to America with his grandfather when he was very young. A couple of years prior to Jeff enrolling at Greendale, Ian ran into some legal problems after driving drunk and trying to order a chalupa from an emergency call box on a highway. When Jeff Winger was still a practicing attorney he got Ian off the hook. The two became friends and years later Jeff would call upon the favor Ian owed him when he enrolled at Greendale. While at school, Duncan provided him with cutting psychological insights.
Despite his achievements Duncan appears to be very lonely. Perhaps as a consequence of this, he has developed an on-again, off-again drinking problem ("Pascal's Triangle Revisited"). He is indiscreet about his addiction frequently showing up to his classes inebriated ("The Psychology of Letting Go") and often outright telling students and faculty his condition. While he at times lectures Jeff on his ethical choices ("Pilot") he contradictorily makes a few ambiguous decisions himself. This includes attempting to exploit Abed's mental breakdown for a book deal ("Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas") or taking an Anthropology class he is substituting for and turning it into a BYOB party ("Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts")
In 2009, Duncan was surprised to see his former lawyer and drinking Buddy Jeff Winger after He uses several students, notably Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir, to help prove "The Duncan Principle" which posited that the longer a subject was left in a waiting room, the more dramatic the person's subsequent breakdown would be. Duncan was assigned to give a year's worth of therapy sessions to Britta Perry after she was caught cheating on her Spanish exam. Throughout the year he has an antagonistic relationship with Ben Chang. Their feud came to a head during the transfer dance. Duncan was drunk again and insulted the Dean which led to an immediate suspension. Chang at that point had been fired due to falsified credentials and enrolled himself at Greendale to earn a legit teaching degree. Duncan had mocked earlier for his situation but Chang couldn't retaliate physically or he could be kicked out of school. Once Ian was suspended, Chang took advantage of that fact to hit him in the face with a roll of quarters.
In the study groups second year at a Greendale, Duncan is reinstated and finds himself unexpectedly teaching Anthropology. He is forced to take over the class they after the original teacher, Professor June Bauer is forced to go sabbatical after attacking a student. Because he knows nothing about the subject his teaching style was limited to showing the class various YouTube videos and assigning them dozens of dioramas to create. At Christmas time, Abed has a mental break down and Duncan is called in to try and therapize him. During the semester, he exploits the restraining order he put on Ben Chang, played piano for the Study Group when they briefly replaced the Glee Club who died in a bus accident, and watched a (European) football game at Jeff's apartment on Valentines Day. For a brief time he was sober but quickly fell off the wagon by the end of the year.
In the study groups fourth year ts school, Professor Duncan didn't make an appearance. However, he is mentioned twice on two different occasions. When the group takes a hot air balloon ride that hoes horribly wrong, Troy suddenly asks if anyone's noticed how long Duncan it's been since they've seen Duncan. Towards the end of the school year, the study group flashes back to their time before attending Greendale. Jeff recalls how after being disbarred he was inspired to go back and earn a legit degree after encountering Chang. He had been handing out fliers for the school and Jeff asked him if his old client Ian Duncan still worked there. Chang told Jeff that Duncan had tenure there while also referring to him as a "drunken limey".
Ian Duncan returns to Greendale after some time away and joins the Save Greendale Committee. He reveals his absence was due to having to go back to England to tale care of his sick mom. Upon his return he joins the investigation into the campus assailant called the "Ass a Crack Bandit". He creates a useless psychological profile on the perpetrator and ends up becoming one of the bandits victims. When Abed hosts a campus wide game of Hot Lava, Duncan participates hoping to win the $50,000 prize. He ends up being eliminated by Jeff and Annie when he tries to take Britta out of the game. Duncan later asks Jeff's help in trying to woo Britta.
At Greendale, he considers himself solely responsible for the success of the campus "Green Initiative," in which the faculty lounge in the human sciences building was painted a calming shade of green instead of the previous shade of beige. ("[]")
Ian loves making fruit smoothies and going on bike rides. ("[]")
Seen on a recurring basis in Season One and Season Two, Dr. Duncan didn't appear in Season Three or Four and was only briefly referenced in with his name appearing on the cover of a psychology text Britta had, and later Troy wondering aloud why they hadn't seen him in a while.