FIT Mourns the Loss of Steven Frumkin, Dean of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology

FIT mourns the loss of Steven Frumkin, dean of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology, who passed away Thursday, July 23 in Miami. The cause was COVID-19.

“With Dean Frumkin’s passing, we have lost a most valuable member of our community,” said FIT’s president, Dr. Joyce F. Brown. “Through his leadership, he not only earned the trust, affection, and respect of faculty, staff, and students, but also shaped the future of his school.”

Dean Frumkin led the Baker School, FIT’s largest, for eight years. In that time, he worked diligently with the school’s chairs and faculty to fulfill the college’s strategic goals and his own future-focused vision.

Determined that the school receive the kind of professional recognition that would attest to its rigor and creative excellence, he was the force behind the accreditation of the majority of the school’s programs by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs—a status achieved by fewer than half of the country’s higher education institutions with business programs. Under his leadership, too, the school—and its departments—received wide recognition from the media as being among the best fashion business schools in the world. Dean Frumkin helped to expand the reach of many of the school’s programs, to recruit, develop, and retain outstanding and innovative faculty, and to secure state-of-the-art technology for classrooms and labs.

Beloved by faculty and staff, he was known for his kindness, fairness, inimitable sense of humor, and the support he generously provided to all. He happily mentored new faculty and was deeply student-centered.  Each year, he worked closely with student organizations, doing anything from helping them secure funds for new equipment to finding needed storage space.

Dean Frumkin arrived at FIT from the School of Business Administration/School of Textiles at Philadelphia University. He spent more than 30 years in the textile, apparel, and retail industry, responsible for everything from fabric design to fiber innovations, sales management, domestic and international financing, U.S. customs regulations, retail product sourcing, and industry strategic development. He served on the advisory boards of a number of textile and apparel companies and consulted in India, China, Trinidad and Tobago, and Japan. A recipient of a 2004 Fulbright Scholar Award, he was an adjunct faculty member at FIT from 1994 to 2000.

The family, in collaboration with the FIT community, has established the Dean Steven Frumkin Scholarship Fund at FIT in his memory. Donations can be made at or by sending to: FIT Foundation, 227 West 27th Street, Room C907, New York, NY 10001.

For more information about Dean Steven Frumkin, click here.

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