The Dr. Robert K. Jabs School of Business at California Baptist University has named Dr. Tim Gramling as its new dean starting April 1.
Gramling said his love for higher education started more than 20 years ago when he began teaching as an adjunct professor.
“I started my working life a little over 30 years ago,” Gramling said. “I spent the first 15 years of my career in large, mostly publicly traded corporations including IBM, Sprint and American Express. I transitioned into higher education as an adjunct professor at a community college in 2002 teaching business and computational systems. I worked as an adjunct — I couldn’t get enough of it — teaching four classes a semester, which is a full load for a full-time professor. I was teaching every night of the week including Saturday.”
Gramling earned a Doctor of Law and Policy degree from Northeastern University in Boston. He also holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Harvard University.
Dr. Charles Sands, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the process for hiring a new dean is an extensive and thorough process.
“Once we find out we need to replace a dean, it typically involves me appointing a search committee,” Sands said. “I find a person that I think should lead the search committee and then individuals that I think will represent a couple of different areas and serve the university well. I give them a set of guidelines and expectations for the type of individual that we are looking for. From there we typically advertise the position. After individuals apply, the search committee begins reviewing applications and choose a few people they feel are good candidates. After the interviews they will then recommend a few people to me for consideration.”
When candidates are invited to campus, they meet with faculty, staff, the provost and the search committee. The interview process also includes a presentation where applicants are required to share their vision for the school at which they are applying to lead.
Gramling focused his presentation on CBU’s potential for sustainable growth.
“A territory in the market that the Jabs School of Business can take and own is the notion of sustainable growth,” Gramling said. “I want Jabs to be known for teaching the type of leadership that leads to long-term, sustainable growth. It won’t just collapse in 5 or 10 years.”
Sands said CBU looks for committed evangelical Christians, as well as individuals with high-quality credentials.
“Beyond that, we look for strong leadership skills, strong communication skills, high integrity, visionary person, great presentation skills and, also, do they have insight and knowledge about higher education in general,” Sands said.
Sands is one of many looking forward to Gramling starting his position this spring.
“(Gramling) is a high-energy person and will be the type of individual we need and want to represent CBU and the School of Business both to our students and the CBU community,” Sands said. “We need our dean out in the community as CBU continues to raise its stature and reputation. I also sense that his background as a pastor is helpful as well. It is a unique combination for a dean and a leader at CBU.”
Gramling has served as associate minister or senior pastor at churches in several states since 2003. In July 2018, he began serving as pastor of Olivet Baptist Church in Ventura.
Wayne Fletcher, associate provost for Academic Services, has been the interim dean for the School of Business since July 2020.
“Having the opportunity to know the faculty within the School of Business a little bit more closely — sitting in the Provost’s Office you know names but really don’t know people. Having the opportunity to get to know the faculty has been a real blessing,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher said Gramling’s transition into dean for the School of Business will be a learning process as people adapt to change within the school and as Gramling learns the culture of CBU. Fletcher said he believes Gramling will do a great job at getting his feet on the ground and impacting the School of Business.
“The cool part about Dr. Gramling is that he will bring an emphasis on really establishing the Jabs School of Business within the business community in the Inland Empire,” Fletcher said. “He has that external focus. In the past year I have been really focused internally but as he comes in his goal will be to help continue to create a positive image in the community, increase enrollment and continue to grow support from our community to benefit the school. I am really over-the-moon excited to see him get here.”
Gramling looks forward to his time at CBU and hopes he can inspire success.
“I have a deep love for the process of making students successful,” Gramling said. “I very much look forward to impacting students in a positive way. That’s one of the things I am most excited about. Of course, the faculty team — I am jazzed about the faculty. There is some great experience and background on the faculty team. I look forward to that support for students and enabling the faculty to be that strong support for student success.”
Gramling succeeds Dr. Andrea Scott as dean, who became provost at George Fox University in July 2020.