Gustafson rejoins faculty; Gabert takes role in dean’s office

Caroline Moran, Crier Staff

Administration has faced a couple changes this year, as Christine Gustafson has stepped down from her administrative position, and Susan Gabert has fulfilled a newly appointed role in administration. Both pleased with the newly found changes in their roles, the two faculty members provided commentary on the changes they have experienced and what it means for their future duties. 

Christine Gustafson, Associate Professor of Politics,  has left her position in the Dean of the College’s Office to return to the faculty while on sabbatical this fall semester. Dr. Sheila Liotta, the college’s new Vice President of Academic Affairs, informed the faculty back in September about the change, and Gustafson provided a lot of insight to her about the switch. 

Gustafson served as the Dean of Academic Excellence, while also serving as the Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Assessment and Associate Dean of the College. She has now “chosen to return full-time to the faculty to allow her to focus on her primary interests of teaching and research” Liotta reported, hence the shift from her duties in administration. 

While on sabbatical this fall, Gustafson’s sole obligation is to teach one class at the college, but Liotta remarked on the new role that Gustafson will be diligently filling beginning next semester. 

When her sabbatical comes to a close after this semester, Gustafson will “serve part-time as Special Assistant to the VPAA, working on select projects related to strategic priorities…while retaining her full-time faculty status.” Gustafson’s obvious dedication and drive to provide for the school is of esteemed value amongst her colleagues, and her sabbatical is highly deserved. 

A momentary leave from her position in no way diminishes Gustafson’s zeal for the College’s administration, as Gustafson added that she “very much enjoyed my ten years of service as an academic dean.” Her passion for the college is just shifting to a new focus, as she “wants to do more teaching and mentoring of students…[and] doing more research and scholarship.” Though sad to see her go, her colleagues, and ourselves as students, can find an appreciation for her dedication to the student body and the Saint Anselm Community. 

Opposite to Gustafson, faculty member Susan Gabert has a newly appointed role in administration. Gabert has numerous years of experience working at the college, and her immense involvement began long before being promoted to an administrative responsibility. “I wanted to work more with the administrative end of student affairs,” Gabert recalled regarding her promotion. “Previously, I was an Assistant Dean of Students and the Director of Campus Ministry, so I’ve kind of always been an administrator.” 

 Her previous role didn’t deprive her of administrative knowledge, leading her to take on her new title of Associate Dean of Students for Anselmian Life and Culture. This job entails diligent work and involvement with the student life here on campus.

 Gabert said, “I work in the Dean of Students Office…I work with the societies.” The societies in question include “Relay for Life, I hear the Court Council, I oversee the Council on being Catholic and Benedictine’s mission oriented work we do at the college.”

With a life so intimately connected to Saint Anselm, Gabert’s new role emphasizes work on “traditions and the life of campus, in terms of who we are as Saint Anselm College…and how to maintain those things.” Saint Anselm is notorious for its community traditions, and with Gabert in Administration, those won’t be going away. 

Diversity is an ever growing force among communities everywhere, and Gabert said “I do a lot of work around diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.” She puts in her best efforts to give room for the voices of the students, which she said is “something I really value.” 

Though a new job for her, it’s not totally unfamiliar to her. “It’s building on some of the things I did before, and some of it’s new; it’s enhanced focus,” Gabert said. 

Her extensive experience from her previous position will provide her with helpful aid in maintaining her focus on student affairs, as she now has “a more strategic level of involvement as it comes to life and culture and collaborating with my colleagues.”  Collaborating with different colleagues will allow Gabert to contribute to students and student life in a whole new way. 

The choice to follow through with her promotion was an easy one, as Gabert said, “I care deeply about the voices of the students and the student experience, so being able to contribute is something I value.” 

Change is not always bad, and that has been demonstrated by the two faculty members. These slight shifts in administration are bringing new opportunities to the individuals, as well as the rest of the Saint Anselm Community. With ideas and contributions coming from a newly promoted faculty member, and research and student mentoring coming from one faculty member’s momentary administrative leave, the individuals and the college as a whole will have a new opportunity to thrive.

Susan Gabert, Associate Dean of Students for Anselmian Life & Culture (Courtesy / Saint Anselm College )
Christine Gustafson returns to full-time faculty for Politics Department (Courtesy / Saint Anselm College )