Community was full of several unique characters, one of which is Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rash). Craig was the dean of Greendale, who would often be seen favoring the study group over his other students. Although he is determined to make the institution one of the best colleges, the Dean is often seen blowing the school's budget on dances and costumes.
He also relies heavily on the study group to fix any issues that arise, particularly in season 5 and 6 when he faces numerous lawsuits. Despite his negligence, he still manages to be the right person for the job as his love for the Greendale keeps it afloat. With that in mind, here are 5 Reasons Why Craig Was A Bad Dean (& 5 Why He Was The Best).
10 Worst: Reading Jeff's emails
There have been many instances where the Dean crossed a line, but none more so then when he snooped through Jeff's (Joel McHale) emails. This was first discovered in the episode "Studies in Modern Movement" when Craig blackmails the lawyer into spending the afternoon with him. Fans find out The Dean only knew of Jeff's whereabouts when he snooped through his emails.
This is not the only red flag raised as it is also revealed that Craig read the emails Jeff had sent to his therapist. This is something considered private and confidential so the Dean has crossed another line. He's lucky he still has a job after this as he could have been fired if Jeff would have reported him. His infatuation with Jeff crosses the line many times, but this is one of the serious occasions.
9 Best: Hiring Frankie
One of the best choices Craig made as dean was to hire consultant Frankie Dart (Paget Brewster). Frankie first made her appearance in the episode "Ladders", where she began to make several changes to improve the school. She had also managed to rail in the Dean's excessive spending sprees and taught him how to be responsible with the money.
For instance, when the Dean wasted money on an expensive Virtual Reality Machine ("Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care") and several Hondas ("Advanced Safety Features"), Frankie was quick to get a refund. Frankie's responsible attitude was shown to rub off on Craig as he helped kick Honda salesman Rick (Travis Schuldt) off of campus for guerrilla marketing.
8 Worst: Blowing the school's budget on dances
Whenever the Dean came to talk to the study group, fans would often see him dressed in a quirky outfit. The costumes would then lead to him announcing that the school would be hosting another dance. When the study group would ask what the occasion is, he usually responded with bad news or a meaningless occasion.
As nice as a celebration is, the Dean would often blow the school's budget on parties. An example of this is when Jeff reveals the school's dance budget has increased with the loss of Frankie and the college's insurance ("Ladders"). Craig looks pleased with the answer, which is quite worrying considering an injury could sink the place. Luckily, the study group manages to get both back before this could happen.
7 Best: His love for Greendale
He may have proved himself to be a terrible dean on several occasions, but no one can fault him for his love of Greendale. When the college was on the verge of a lawsuit or about to be sold, Craig was one of the few who continued to fight for its survival.
The most obvious episode was in "Basic Sandwich" when Annie (Alison Brie), Abed (Danny Pudi) and the Dean went on the hunt for Borchert's treasure. Craig was devastated to hear the Board was selling the school to Subway, as this would mean he would lose his job. His determination to save the school paid off in the end as the group ended up gaining the deeds to the land, preventing the sale from going through.
6 Worst: Favoring the study group over his other students
Teachers are meant to be impartial when it comes to their students, so the Dean favoring the study group over everyone else was bound to wind a few people up. A prime example of this was when "The Greendale Seven" caused a full-scale riot at Starburns' memorial.
The Dean reprimands the study group and tells them they would have to face a disciplinary committee for their actions. However, Craig and the study come up with a plan to place all the blame on Chang (Ken Jeong) instead. Chang may have had his faults, but he didn't deserve to take the fall for this. The study group deserved to be punished this time for the damages they caused.
5 Best: Creating the 'Save Greendale Community'
The creation of the "Save Greendale Community" was one of Craig's best ideas. Made up of a body of students and teachers, the Dean came up with the idea after tensions between the two increase. This was a sort of stalemate where the students and teachers could reach a compromise when certain issues about the school arise.
Although they exclude him from the meetings, the committee appears to be the most efficient way to maintain order. With them all on board, the school became respectable to the public. It's an idea that the Dean would gladly take responsibility for.
4 Worst: His relationship with Chang
Craig's relationship with Chang was quite a weird one, considering the guy kidnapped him. Yet time and time again, the Dean manages to give him a second and third chance.
Chang should have never been allowed back on the premises for several reasons. Not only did he kidnap Craig and fake a Bachelor's degree, but he also faked having amnesia (or Chang-nesia) to avoid getting into trouble. Then he tried to get the college shutdown even though he was part of the 'Save Greendale Committee'. We're all for giving people a second chance but only if they deserve it. Everyone was in more danger with him around.
3 Best: Giving Jeff a job
Craig's crush on Jeff did borderline inappropriate at times, but he proved himself a good friend when he provided Jeff with a job. After Jeff's law firm goes under, he teams up with a former colleague to tackle a lawsuit ("Repilot"). However, he soon changes his mind when the Dean offers him a job as a teacher.
Jeff becomes the new Law professor, which improves the school's social standing. Students, such as Garrett (Erik Charles Nielsen), take an interest in law and can be seen attending his class regularly. Jeff was also able to convince the other members of the study group to stay at Greendale to pursue their dreams.
2 Worst: Not researching the degrees taught
Ladders 101, Advanced Breath Holding and a class about The History of Ice Cream; it becomes pretty obvious that the Dean should have researched the curriculum better. When would any of the subjects come in use in the real world?
The Dean's irresponsibility almost cost the school on several occasions. The first time was in the episode "Repilot" when Greendale is at risk at a potential lawsuit; the Dean shreds the plaintiff's files after they claim the school failed to teach them properly. The second instance was the study group finding out the school had enrolled a dog as a student ("Basic Crisis Room Decorum"). No one would take the school seriously if these incidents came out.
1 Best: Counselling the study group after their fight
The Dean may have encroached upon the study group, but fans have to give him credit for caring about their well-being. In the episode "Intro to Felt Surrogacy", the Dean is shown to help the study group come to terms with their traumatic balloon ride using 'puppet therapy'.
The study group is feeling awkward around each other after they confessed their most shameful secrets. The Dean encourages them all to communicate as it is the only way for them to get back to normality. His 'puppet therapy' proves to be a success as the group becomes closer. It was one of the Dean's most successful ideas.