The 1902-1903 bylaws of Trinity College provided for the position of Dean, who was to act for the President in the President’s  absence. The President at that time, John C. Kilgo, was still charged with “direction of the discipline and work of the College.” In 1910, when William Preston Few succeeded John Kilgo, the Deanship began to acquire more responsibility for the educational program.

Up until 1927-1928, the catalog places the Dean just after the President in the list of officers of the administration. In the 1928-1929 and later catalogs until 1960, the chief academic officer had the title of Vice President of the Educational Division (there were three vice presidents: of education, student life, and public relations). The Vice President in the Educational Division also at times held the concurrent title of Dean of the University.

The position of Provost was formally established by a revision of the University’s bylaws adopted in 1962. It was then that the Provost became responsible for the academic affairs of Duke University.

Provosts of Duke University

Sally Kornbluth, 2014-present
Peter Lange, 1999-2014
John Strohbehn, 1994-1999
Thomas Langford, 1991-1994
Phillip Griffiths, 1984-1991
H. Keith H. Brodie, 1982-1983
William Bevan, 1979-1982
Frederic N. Cleaveland, 1971-1978
John O. Blackburn, 1970-1971
Marcus E. Hobbs, 1969-1970
R. Taylor Cole, 1960-1969

Vice Presidents, Educational Division

Paul M. Gross, 1948-1960
William H. Wannamaker, 1928-1948


William H. Wannamaker, 1917-1928
William I. Cranford, 1910-1917
William P. Few, 1902-1910