Remembering Professor George Baechtold
December 16, 2019
George Baechtold, a longtime Professor of Business Law and former Chair of the Business Law Department, died recently. Professor Baechtold was one of the first professors in the college, arriving in 1970, and an early founder of the Business Law program. He earned his law degree at USC after serving in the Navy during the Korean War. He had a successful law practice when he happened into a teaching position at CSUN. It was the best of unplanned events; he was a wonderful teacher. He maintained that hardest-to-achieve balance of academic rigor and supportive encouragement to students. And it was the students who always came first. He interrupted any activity to help, to answer questions, to write recommendations, to explain concepts, to work out problems.
In remembering him, Professor Melanie Williams shared: “He was a wonderful colleague: always happy to discuss teaching, share teaching materials, engage in governance, support new faculty. Unhappy with textbook materials, he created his own which he provided at no cost to students. As an early member of the college, he was instrumental in creating curriculum and setting standards. He signed his correspondence ‘respectfully’ and he modeled respect in all of his conduct. He observed that everyone in the university – from the president to the janitors – were there only to support what went on in the classroom, and it was in the classroom that he shone.”
Professor Baechtold died after a short illness, leaving his kind and devoted husband, Joseph Baechtold-Moreno. Professor Williams added: “Professor Baechtold was that rarest of men: wise, engaged, and insightful. To paraphrase Shakespeare, he was a gentleman on whom we built an absolute trust.”