Dean Victor E. MonnettVictor Elvert Monnett served as Dean of the Graduate College from 1944 - 1946. Monnett was never interested in a permanent appointment, agreeing to fill the position for a two- year period while a more permanent candidate was sought. As part of his appointment as dean, Monnett was also named Director of the Research Institute at the University of Oklahoma.
The rapid influx of students into graduate studies after the end of World War II resulted in much higher numbers of graduates. The majority of graduate degrees awarded during Monnett’s tenure as dean were Master of Arts in Education degrees. In addition to serving as Dean of the Graduate College and Director of the Research Institute, Monnett also maintained his duties as Director of the School of Geology during this time. Monnett noted the difficulty of heading three separate university administrations; after his resignation, the duties of Dean and Director of the Research Institute were separated, not to be formally rejoined until the 1970s.
That Monnett was able to fulfill the duties of three different directorships was largely due to the assistance of Alberta McCann in the Graduate College and Babe Strong in the Research Institute. McCann was an assistant to seven different deans over the course of twenty-five years, fulfilling many of the duties later to associate deans. Strong had come to the Graduate College in 1942 and was the first secretary of the Research Institute.
Monnett’s term as dean was only a small part of an affiliation with the University of Oklahoma that covered over sixty years. Monnett received his undergraduate education from Oklahoma, graduating with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912. After doing graduate work at the University of Michigan, Monnett was hired as an assistant professor in geology for the fall of 1916. He completed his Ph.D. in geology at the University of Cornell in 1922. He was named chair of the geology department at OU in 1924. Monnett was the obvious choice for the director of the School of Geology at its inception, serving in this role from 1927 until 1955. Monnett also served as the Director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey.
Monnett was much liked by his students. In 1954, a group of his friends and former students presented him with a new Cadillac. After retiring from teaching, Victor Monnett continued to serve the university in several roles. He served as curator emeritus of the earth science division at the museum through 1968. He continued serving as David Ross Boyd Professor Emeritus of Geology until his death on September 18, 1972.