President Gilbertson earned a Juris Doctor degree (with honors) from Cleveland State University. He holds a masters of arts in economics from Ohio University and a bachelor of science degree from Bluffton College (Ohio). Prior to his arrival at SVSU, Dr. Gilbertson served as president of Johnson State College (Vermont), was legal counsel to the Ohio Board of Regents, and was executive assistant to the president of Ohio State University.
Dr. Gilbertson has traveled and lectured extensively in Asia. In 1993 he received an Honorary Doctor of Literature Degree from the University of Mysore, Karnataka, India. He is also involved in many professional and civic organizations.
While at SVSU, he was instrumental in the creation of the Donna J. Roberts Fellowship, the premier fellowship at the university. The Donna J. Roberts fellowship is awarded to students who exhibit leadership qualities and who have shown a past and future commitment to public service.