University don

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A don is a fellow or tutor of a college or university, especially traditional collegiate universities such as Oxford and Cambridge and Durham in England,[1] and Trinity College, Dublin, in Ireland. The term don is also used for a teacher at Winchester College, England.[2]

Like the term don used for Roman Catholic priests, the term don derives from the Latin dominus, meaning "lord", and is a historical remnant of Oxford and Cambridge having started as ecclesiastical institutions in the Middle Ages.


At some universities in Canada, such as the University of King's College[3] and the University of New Brunswick,[4] a don is the senior head of a university residence. At these institutions, a don is typically a faculty member, staff member, or postgraduate student, whose responsibilities in the residence are primarily administrative. The don supervises their residence and a team of undergraduate resident assistants, proctors, or other student employees.

In other Canadian institutions, such as Huron College[5] and the University of Toronto,[6] a don is a resident assistant, typically an upper-year student paid a stipend to act as an advisor to and supervisor of the students in a university residence.

See also


  1. ^ For background information and opinion, see a recently published selection of short articles by Cambridge don Mary Beard: It's a Don's Life, London: Profile, 2009. ISBN 1-84668-251-7
  2. ^ As well as the term generally meaning "teacher", more specifically "a Div Don is a form master; a House Don, a housemaster". Charles Stevens, Winchester Notions, London: The Athlone Press, 1998, p. 102.
  3. ^ "Residence & Dining | University of Kings College". University of Kings College. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  4. ^ "Become a Don | UNB". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  5. ^ "Apply to be a Don". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  6. ^ "Donships and RAs | Student Life". Retrieved 2016-10-13.

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