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Irving R. Melbo, a former dean of the University of Southern California's school of education, died March 31 at a hospital in Montebello, Calif. He was 86.

Mr. Melbo was considered a pioneer in the study of administrative leadership and helped develop evaluation criteria for school administrators. He was an authority on the organization and structure of school districts, the author of several books, and a consultant for local, state, and national education organizations and school districts.

Mr. Melbo joined the U.S.C. faculty in 1939 and became the dean of the school of education in 1953. He retired in 1973.

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