December 10, 2023

As the school year begins and new faces appear on campus, students returning to California Baptist University can expect to find some new names on their student schedules and new faces standing before them in the classroom and in offices across campus.

These new additions to the CBU family were added to accommodate the rapidly expanding student body, to make the university experience personal, focused education even as the school grows.

This year, 24 new faculty and a number of staff have joined the existing members of the CBU community in a variety of subjects and positions. These positions include additions to the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Music, the College of Engineering and Online and Professional Studies, as well as many others.

One such notable addition to the CBU faculty is Dr. Jacqueline Gustafson, the new dean of the School of Behavioral Sciences. Gustafson, who started her position as dean on July 1, came to CBU after 14 years working in various positions at Northwest University in Washington. Her move, which sped from the interview to hiring stage in just five months, was a rapid one.

“From what I understand, CBU was doing a dean search for quite some time,” Gustafson said. “I came into that process toward the end, so in some ways I am a little bit surprised to be here.”

Despite her surprise, Gustafson said she was interested in coming to CBU and adding her personal touch to the CBU community.

“While I was here, I was really attracted to the strength of the programs, but also to the people who are here, and who they are as individuals,” Gustafson said. “I saw this as a place that I could be, and I could fit in.”

Gustafson, who intends to bring new graduate and student-faculty research programs to the university, realizes that there is an huge need for growth, new ideas and energy in the School of Behavioral Science. However, she also sees that driving the academic portions of the college forward come second to the students who take courses in the college.

“Ultimately, for CBU the students are most important and so that remains my central focus,” Gustafson said. “What’s most important is serving the students and those relationships, as well as the relationships within the university.”

However, more than just adding to the faculty on-campus, additions and promotions within the on campus staff have also been remarkable.

Amid new hires to a number of schools and colleges on campus, there have also been a number of promotions and staff movements in various positions on campus.

Rachel Jones, who was formerly a graduate assistant for Residence Life has been hired as a resident director to serve the students living on campus in the cottages. While Jones, who graduated from CBU in 2012, says her job is a lot different than it was when she was a graduate assistant, she sees her job as a chance to make her living area as great as it can be.

“When you’re a grad assistant, your job is just to assist the RD, but when you’re the RD, you’re making a lot of decisions in the living area, and you’re the main person who deals with discipline and those kinds of things,” Jones said. “You decide what you want for the living area and what the living area is going to look like.”

While Jones said she is interested in making sure things run smoothly, she also said she is enthusiastic about the students she is going to serve. Unlike her job as a graduate assistant, which was more of a general working position, being resident director of a

freshman area puts her in a particularly good position to interact with students who are new to the campus.

“I’ve loved being a freshman RD,” she said. “They have so much energy and hype for the school, so I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been wonderful so far.”

Regardless of their new positions on campus, many new staff and faculty said they have made it a point to express their enthusiasm for becoming a part of the CBU community and culture. Much like Gustafson and Jones, these new and promoted representatives on campus are here to

make the pieces of CBU in their oversight the best they can be for the students and colleagues with whom they work.

“I am definitely here to get work done,” Gustafson said. “But really, at the end of the day the most important thing is the people that we serve.”

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