Q&A with Dr. Susan Baxter, Dean of Graduate Studies

Dr. Susan BaxterDr. Susan Baxter was named Dean of Graduate Studies in 2017. Previously, she chaired the Department of Marketing, Management & Finance, where she helped create LIM’s Bachelor of Science degree program in International Business. Since taking on her current role, Dr. Baxter has made it a priority to work closely with the College’s Department of Experiential Education & Career Management to ensure that master’s degree students are making progress on their career goals from Day 1.

What makes LIM College unique?
The College is very well connected from 80 years of history and alumni, and the ability to network in New York City is amazing. We’re constantly connecting with the industry, getting feedback, and tweaking courses to make sure they reflect current professional needs. Our master’s degrees are specialized and include lots of opportunities to get hands-on experience, including networking with guest speakers, field trips, and optional internships.

As an educator and administrator who has worked at several other schools, what do you like about being at LIM College?
At other colleges, the hoops you have to jump through to establish a new degree or new courses can take years. LIM is more nimble in keeping pace with what the business world—and students—need. One of things I enjoy most is that at LIM I can have a positive impact on students in a short period of time.

What are LIM’s grad students like?
Our students share the desire to be in NYC and experience the richness of the city, particularly the easy access to resources that are specific to the fashion and related industries. Yet they come from varied backgrounds. Some are already working in fashion, many are career-changers who have always wanted to be part of the fashion world and are now taking that leap. Our students are also a variety of ages, ranging from just out of college to folks who have 15+ years of experience in the working world.

What is your interaction with students like?
Accessibility is a huge priority for me. My office on campus has an open door policy and I’m available to talk to students between classes. Also, every semester I hold a “Coffee with the Dean.” It’s a casual event where students can ask questions, express concerns, or just come by to say hi and chat.

For the past decade, I’ve been traveling between New York and my home in Orlando, Florida. For the last few years, when I’m here, I live in LIM’s residence hall. This allows me to be available to students outside their internship and work schedules. While there, I’ve done everything from conducting advising appointments, to serving eggs during the late-night breakfast during finals week. I’ve also assisted with therapy dogs during finals week. Students are more likely to come talk to me in the residence hall instead of at the office because there, I’m in jeans and a t-shirt in the laundry room—it’s a lot easier than walking into “Dean Baxter’s” office.