Education: Dean of Deans

"You have shown the wisdom of your calling in declining a score of college presidencies,'' said the president of Williams College last June as he awarded an honorary doctor of letters. It was a tribute, at once wry and heartfelt, that could go to only one man in the U.S.: William C. DeVane. 64, who has announced that he will retire next June after a quarter-century as dean of Yale College.

DeVane's calling has little relation to that of the standard Hollywood dean, who is usually pictured sobering a wayward student with a paternal lecture, or wading manfully into a crowd of...

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