Professor Gustafson joined the faculty in 1967. As a Fellow of the American Political Science Association in 1973-74, he was aide in House and Senate offices where he worked on energy legislation and budget process reform.
In 1987, Professor Gustafson became Coleman Foundation Professor in Entrepreneurship. He was co-founder and serves on the board of Self-Employment in the Arts. He is a former member of the Coleman Council for Entrepreneurship Awareness, of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee to the Kauffman Foundation, and the recipient of the Appel Prize, from the Price/Babson Institute, for bringing the entrepreneurial spirit to academe.
In 2004, Professor Gustafson founded and became Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit (CELEB), an incubator for student businesses and entrepreneurial activity. He held Fulbright Senior Lectureships at Marmara University, Istanbul (1987–88) and at the Middle-East Technical Institute, Ankara, Turkey (1995-96), and was founder of the Beloit/Turkey Student Exchange Program. He received a “Special Award” from the Beloit College Alumni Association in 2012.