AP Style guidelines state that academic titles such as dean, professor, chancellor, chairman, etc., should be capitalized when they precede a name. They should appear lowercase elsewhere. For example,
- I have a meeting with Professor Jones on Monday.
- Dean Coleman gave the invocation today.
- Steve Jones is a professor at the local university.
- Mary Coleman serves as a dean at the local university.
When you have modifiers such as “department” in “department Chairman Steve Jones” they should be lowercase.
For more information on AP Style titles, please see our full page on titles.