Many pillars of the financial landscape have been badly cracked in recent years and Ms Hart, dean of Strathclyde University Business School, believes academics are in as good a position as anyone to try to make sense of what is emerging and how that will affect people's day to day lives.
While recognising the need to engage with industry and equip students for the modern world, the ability to allow people to think, gather data, analyse and come to an independent conclusion remains a key part of why she is in education.
She said: "I have some very good applied thinkers here in the business school looking at issues for the enhancement of economic growth, quality of jobs, how businesses work in society and how business leads to provide an economic boost that will spill out into society at large.
"If we give up on that thought leadership, we may as well just turn the lights off and draw the blinds.
"I'm not saying the academic world is [the only place] where thought leadership occurs but certainly it is a place where it can be catalysed."
Alongside those ideals Ms Hart, a marketing professor who once worked for Procter & Gamble, would contend she is running an international business with growth aspirations.
The business school already has four Middle East bases, three in the Far East, one in Switzerland and one in Greece.
Further to that it also has an alliance with the Skema Business School which has campuses in France, the US, China and Morocco.
Ms Hart said there are "big plans" for major strategic alliances in North America and the Far East while the business school also has strong links with South America.
She said: "For students I think it is absolutely fundamental to their growth that they have international awareness and experience.
"We are working very hard at improving that and now have a much larger percentage of students who either study abroad or take a work placement abroad.
"We also have increased the number of opportunities for exchanges by almost doubling the number of partners and doubling the number of places.
"Now we are sitting at around 38% of students having some kind of international experience and have targets to grow that further.
"We are also making much more of the students that come and join us here, integrating them and their cultures to the student experience here."
That is not to say the business school is forgetting its roots in Glasgow. Indeed, Ms Hart is keen to point out a number of areas where the school has worked with the Scottish business community to improve existing programmes and design new ones in areas such as senior leadership development.
Those include a bespoke masters degree in hospitality and tourism which attracts participants from around the world, plus a food and drink sector MBA developed in association with the William Grant Foundation.
Ms Hart said: "We have deliberately gone to individuals who may have the point of view that business schools don't turn out graduates with the right skill sets and said: 'Ok what is it you want? Tell us and work with us.'
"Congratulations to the Scottish business community as they have stepped up to meet us and are investing selectively in programmes they know that have been designed with their needs in mind.
"We have a process of engagement where we never say to companies here is a course in X or Z. We sit down and say these are the kinds of issues we deal with in our courses so how do they affect your business? With undergraduates we have completely remodelled our management development programme, which they all go through in first, second and third year, no matter what their major is.
"They work in multi- disciplinary groups, on real projects, in areas where we get expressions of concern from industry that graduates are not business ready. So it is things like communications, team work and sales and marketing."
Alongside the work with major businesses and SMEs there are a number of individual fellows who operate under the radar, in ways ranging from teaching a specialised class to mentoring and organising internships.
Ms Hart, who celebrates her fifth anniversary in the business school dean's chair later this year, believes that the better levels of engagement from the corporate world has not just been a one way street.
She said: "The business community is engaged with the idea that education and educated graduates with the right skills are important to them.
"They have perceived the ivory towers – an easy thing to throw at universities – have been difficult to scale.
"What we have done is say we are on the ground floor and the door is open so come in and talk to us and we have gone out to talk to them.
"It has been a process where we have both had some movement.
"In the education business we don't want to be closed minded. I would argue that is the last thing we should be but perhaps it has not always been apparent to business we are open."
The school will also remain open for business regardless of how the referendum vote on Scotland's constitutional future goes.
Ms Hart said: "We are clearly positioned as an international business school.
"We would continue to be international in an independent Scotland or a Scotland that decides to remain part of the United Kingdom."
Susan Hart studied French and marketing during her undergraduate degree at Strathclyde University.
After graduation she worked in France as a translator on engineering projects at the Universite de Technologie de Compiegne to the north-east of Paris
A sales representative job with Procter & Gamble lured her back to Glasgow.
In the mid-1980s a research project on production deletion led on to a PhD and a lecturing post at Strathclyde.
Further marketing teaching positions and post-doctoral work followed including at Penn State University in Pennysylvania in the US, Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and Murcia, Spain.
A return to Scotland saw her take up a professorship at Heriot-Watt University followed by a spell at Stirling University.
In 1999, she returned to Strathclyde. Prior to becoming dean of the business school in April 2008 she had served as head of the department of marketing and vice-dean of research.
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