He was appointed dean of the College of Social Work in 1973. In 1978, he was named Dean of the Year by the UT Commission for Blacks because of his efforts to recruit and retain African American students, faculty, and administrators, and for initiating opportunity programs. Under his leadership the college started both the doctoral and Bachelor of Science in Social Work programs. The doctoral program was approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in 1982 and began accepting students in the fall of 1983. The undergraduate social work program was accredited in 1982 and became a Bachelor of Science in Social Work program under the college in 1985.
Granger resigned the deanship in 1988 and returned to teaching and public service. He later became professor and director of the School of Social Work at Colorado State University.
Granger met and married the former Georgia Brown at Whittier College. For more than thirty years of their six-decade marriage, they blended their personal and professional lives. While at UT, Georgia Granger developed and built Human Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT), an organization that uses certified therapy dogs and professional therapists to help treat people and address challenges such as head trauma, elder issues, and autism.
When the couple moved to Colorado, Georgia Granger created Human Animal Bond in Colorado and Ben Granger eventually became its co-director.
The Grangers have three children and eight grandchildren.
A celebration of life was held in Fort Collins, Colorado, for Granger this week.