Dean

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Dean
File:Deanmine.jpg
The Current Dean by Kit Cox
Name Henry, last name unknown.
Race Human
Age 72 in Soul Music
Occupation Dean, later Archchancellor
Physical appearance
Residence Unseen University, later Brazeneck College
Death
Parents
Relatives
Children
Marital Status
Appearances
Books Rincewind Series
Cameos

The Dean was a senior wizard at the Unseen University who was a member of the Faculty. He first appeared in Moving Pictures. Shortly before the events of Unseen Academicals, he moves away to become Archchancellor of Brazeneck College in Pseudopolis. From this point onwards he is instead known as Archchancellor Henry.

Another wizard who holds the post of Dean appeared in Sourcery. He is clearly stated to be a separate character to the Dean who appears in subsequent books. In Interesting Times, the Dean tells Ridcully "I don't know anything about that [unpleasantness with the Sourcerer]. I wasn't Dean at the time." Similarly, it is not known if another wizard replaced him as Dean after he left.

Not to be confused with Dean B. Smoth, his counterpart at Bugarup University. Dean Smoth, who appears in The Last Continent, was much too helpful to be mistaken for UU's Dean.

At the Unseen University

The "Dean of Pentacles" to give him his full title, is an incredibly obese man ("all of twenty stone" [280 pounds] in Interesting Times), who has the dubious distinction of having been granted the nickname "Two Chairs" by Ridcully (owing to the fact that he is so large that he uses two chairs to sit in). He is generally to be found in his study reading a grimoire or in the great hall eating. His job at UU as he, and everyone else, describes it is to sit around, sleep and eat incredibly big dinners. He also attends some of the functions that are held by guilds or clubs around the city on behalf of the University and partakes of other people's big dinners. All of this makes the fact, disclosed in The Last Continent, that he got a Brown for Rowing at UU in his younger days all the less believable.

Seldom knowingly nice or kind, the Dean is an old-school wizard who believes that power should be used, and likes nothing better than throwing fireballs. The Dean enjoys himself immensely when he gets to use high-powered destructive spells, and is thus considered by Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson as too mentally unstable to be allowed to join the Specials at a time of crisis, when fireballs may have been useful, he was politely thanked for his interest and sent home. When he is allowed to fight, he progresses in a series of spinning leaps, shouting "Hut hut hut!" and "Yo!" a lot. He has even been known to tie a rag around his forehead and shout "Bonsai!" - appropriately, as it helps him in his art of Bush-I-do. In the wake of Soul Music, he's been known to don a leather robe at times of crisis, with the phrase "Born To Rune" in studs on the back.

He is like a lightning conductor to any raw magic around, and Ridcully often just observes him whenever there is a clear occult event, as whatever is happening to people will be happening to the Dean at least twice as much. One of the best examples of this susceptibility to whatever occult or semi-magical occurrence is happening, as well as any fads or trends occurs in Soul Music. Who else but the Dean would paint his room black, create a quiff that could take out an eye, or seriously contemplate riding a cargo-cult motorbike when everyone else is only mildly rebelling?

He once spent seventeen years writing a treatise entitled The Use of the syllable "ENK" in Levitation Spells in the Early Confused Period. His family is quite wealthy; as a lad, he'd hung up pillowcases for the Hogfather to fill rather than stockings. He was born in Pseudopolis, near which his father owned a lot of cabbage fields, seven months before Mustrum Ridcully. As a student, he studied in the evenings rather than join his classmates on forays into the city's taverns. In The Science of Discworld II: The Globe, Rincewind mentions that the Dean's UU office features, among the usual wizardly decor, a skull that sings comic songs.

At Brazeneck College

By the time of Unseen Academicals it is revealed he had migrated to Brazeneck College and become its Archchancellor, to the rage of Ridcully and minor annoyance of the rest of the UU staff. He attempted to bring Ponder Stibbons over to Brazeneck as well, but failed, and poached a member of Ponder's department, Adrian Turnipseed, instead. "Archchancellor Henry" challenged his fellow Archchancellor to a football match between wizarding universities over the ownership of the Archchancellor's Hat... but when a seventy-foot tall chicken broke out of Brazeneck and rampaged around the city of Pseudopolis, the match had to be rescheduled until the university is rebuilt.

More recently, the ex-Dean returned to UU to accompany Rincewind in investigating Roundworld's latest difficulties in The Science of Discworld IV: Judgment Day. The hostility between the rival Archchancellors seems to have cooled by this point, and they interact with the measured politeness of extreme caution.

His replacement as Dean at Unseen University has not yet been announced.

Notes

  • In Moving Pictures, the Archchancellor says "The Dean looks like a man who's swallered a bed!" To which the Bursar Replies ",,,the body of the Dean is supremely appropriate to the purpose of sitting around all day and eating big heavy meals."
  • In Unseen Academicals, upon being reminded of the Dean's departure, Ridcully comments, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless dean!" - a slight alteration from the lament of Shakespeare's King Lear.
  • In The Last Continent, the Dean refers to "the memo saying I've been appointed as Dean! That was years ago!"
  • The Dean's violent tendencies aren't entirely confined to magic-slinging: he suffered a black eye, and dealt out a bloody nose in exchange, when he got into a fistfight with the Senior Wrangler (The Science of Discworld), defending his opinion that intelligence in Roundworld would first appear on land.