ISU MBA program makes Aspen Institute's "Global 100" ranking of business schools

AMES, Iowa -- The MBA program from Iowa State University's College of Business is ranked 81st in the "Global 100" ranking by The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education, released this month in its "Beyond Grey Pinstripes 2007-2008" publication. The Aspen Institute ( is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue.

ISU is the only Iowa institution to make the alternative ranking of business schools. The ranking spotlights innovative full-time MBA programs leading the way in the integration of issues concerning social and environmental stewardship into their curriculum. MBA programs from 17 different countries made the "Global 100" list, which ranked Stanford University first.

The authors of "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" report that the ranking is the result of over 18 months of research looking at how well MBA programs incorporate social and environmental issues into the training of future business leaders. Approximately 600 business schools were invited to participate in the survey and ranking, according to Justin Goldbach, program manager, Center for Business Education, The Aspen Institute.

Programs were assessed in four areas:

  • Student opportunity -- the number of courses with social and environmental content and how much opportunity students have to take those courses.
  • Student exposure -- teaching hours dedicated to considering social and environmental issues and the proportion of the student body taking such courses
  • Course content -- how the course explicitly addresses the role of mainstream business in improving social and environmental conditions.
  • Faculty research -- relevant articles published in leading academic journals and to what extent professors explore social and environmental issues in their research.

"Based on the ranking, we appear to be winning in terms of opportunities for students to engage in community and environmental learning, and our faculty are doing good research in green business," said University Professor of Management Brad Shrader, who contributed to ISU's response to the survey in the areas of service learning and curriculum. "My interpretation is that it's not so much the numeric ranking, but the fact that being ranked reflects that our MBA program and curriculum are in tune with some of today's important realities.

"U.S. News & World Report and BusinessWeek rank business schools in the areas of business and finance, and now along comes The Aspen Institute with a ranking that's based on a different set of criteria," he said. "Being in all those rankings kind of validates what we're doing in these areas."

The complete Beyond Grey Pinstripes 2007-2008 ranking is available online at