AP Style guidelines state that formal academic titles such as dean, chancellor, chairman, etc., should be capitalized when they precede a name. They should appear lowercase elsewhere. For example,
- I have a meeting with Dean of Student Activities Michael Jones on Monday.
- Chancellor Mary Sue Coleman gave the invocation today.
- Steve Jones is a professor at the local university.
- Mary Weathers 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.