"Old deans/principals never die—they just lose their faculties” is jocular one-line saying containing a pun on the word “faculty.” Harvard Law School Dean Erwin N. Griswold (1904-1994) observed in 1961 that many of his Harvard law professors were leaving to take positions in President John F. Kennedy’s administration. “Good deans never die— they just lose their faculties,” Griswold was quoted as saying in January 1961. Versions of the joke (usually “good deans” is replaced with “old deans") quickly became popular.
A similar education joke is “Old teachers never retire—they just lose their class.”
Wikipedia: Erwin Griswold
Erwin Nathaniel Griswold (July 14, 1904 – November 19, 1994) was an appellate attorney who argued many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Griswold served as Solicitor General of the United States (1967–1973) under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. He also served as Dean of Harvard Law School for 21 years.
Google News Archive
27 January 1961, St. Joseph (MO) News-Press, pg. 1, col. 2:
Jokes About Losing
Staff to Kennedy
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)—Harvard Law School Dean Edwin (sic) N. Griswold has a new verse to an old song.
Commenting to the Kentucky and Louisville Bar associations Thursday that 10 per cent of his staff has joined President Kennedy’s administration, Griswold quipped:
“Good deans never die— they just lose their faculties.”
Google News Archive
20 June 1961, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, pg. 1, right masthead:
Dean of Harvard Law School, who has lost many men to the Kennedy administration: “Deans never die; they just lose their faculties.”
21 September 1961, The Evening Standard (Uniontown, PA), Earl Wilson entertainment column, pg. 3, cols. 2-3:
Special college joke for this time of year: “Old deans never die—they just lose their faculties.”
September 1967, The Rotarian, pg. 8, col. 3:
Old school board members never die, they just lose their faculties.
696 Silly School Jokes & Riddles
By Joseph Rosenbloom
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
Old principals never die, they just lose their faculties.
Old teachers never retire, they just lose their class.
Business Wit & Wisdom
By Richard S. Zera
Washington, DC: Beard Books’
Old Principals never die...they just lose their faculties.
A Man Walks Into a Bar 3:
The Ultimate Collection of Jokes and One-Liners
By Jonathan Swan
London: Ebury press(Random House)
Old teachers never die. They just lose their class.
Old professors never die. They just lose their faculties.