The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


Stephen Dunning
Regents' Proceedings 302

A. Stephen Dunning, Professor of English Language and Literature in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Professor of Education in the School of Education, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 1988, after a distinguished career as a teacher, scholar, and writer.

Professor Dunning received his B.A. degree from Carleton College in 1949, his B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1951, and his Ph.D. degree from Florida State University in 1959. He came to The University of Michigan as an associate professor of English and education in 1964, having served previously on the faculties of Duke University from 1959 to 1961 and Northwestern University from 1962 to 1964. He was promoted to professor of English and education in 1967. He brought to his central role as an educator of teachers his own experience as a pre-collegiate educator, having taught junior and senior high school English for eight years in Minnesota, New Mexico, and Florida before receiving his Ph.D.

Although Professor Dunning came to Michigan both to educate prospective teachers and to chair the joint Ph.D. program in English and education, his impact upon American and public education spread far beyond the University and the State of Michigan. He published influential articles on issues in education and wrote textbooks and curricular materials that were widely adopted. The offices he held in national organizations recognized his national stature. From 1970 to 1972, for example, he served as national chairman of the Conference on English and Education and from 1974 to 1975, president of the National Council of Teachers of English, the pre-eminent organization of English educators.

Professor Dunning did much to bring modern poetry into American school classrooms. He edited several important anthologies, organized and sponsored readings, and recorded poets reading and talking about their works and lives. As his career matured, Professor Dunning devoted more and more energy to his own writing, especially of poetry, and published widely in poetry magazines. But always a teacher, he organized and ran writing groups and poetry workshops for both school children and adults.

In his role as chair of the joint Ph.D. program in English and education, Professor Dunning served many classes of graduate students, many of who have gone on to important careers in English. Both within the University community and beyond its boundaries, Professor Dunning has had a major influence on numerous areas of education at all levels.

The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar, teacher, poet, and national leader by naming A. Stephen Dunning Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature and Professor Emeritus of Education.