The Aspen Institute Announces Alternative Business School Rankings

October 21, 2009

New York, NY, October 21, 2009 – The Aspen Institute today releases the 2009-2010 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and popular alternative ranking of full-time MBA programs.  This year, 149 business schools from 24 countries participated in an effort to map the landscape of teaching and research on issues pertaining to business and society.

While many MBA rankings exist, only one looks beyond reputation and test scores to measure something much more important: how well schools are preparing their students for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business.

For the first time, the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada, ranked first in the survey, getting high marks for the extraordinary number of courses available to students that contain environmental, social and ethical content as well as for the number of relevant scholarly articles being published by the School’s faculty members.

The Top 20:

1.    York (Schulich)
2.    U. of Michigan (Ross)
3.    Yale School of Management
4.    Stanford Graduate School of Business
5.    Notre Dame (Mendoza)
6.    UC Berkeley (Haas)
7.    RSM Erasmus
8.    NYU (Stern)
9.    IE Business School
10.    Columbia Business School

11.    U. of Virginia (Darden)
12.    Cornell (Johnson)
13.    GWU School of Business
14.    U. of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)
15.    Simmons School of Management
16.    Duke (Fuqua)
17.    Wisconsin School of Business
18.    Duquesne (Donahue)
19.    U. of New Mexico (Anderson)
20.    U. of Denver (Daniels)

Relevant data collected in the survey, as well as the entire “Global 100” list of business schools, is available at:

“The best MBA students move quickly into the front ranks of business–and the attitudes and values they bring to the table are deeply influenced by their time in business education,” said Judith Samuelson, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.  “Will they accept the status quo or act on their passion about the positive role business can play at the intersection of corporate profit and social impact?  The schools that are competitive in the Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking are the real trailblazers–they assure that students have the right skill as well as the will to make things happen.”

“In these challenging economic times, the general public, not just scholars, are questioning whether the established models of business are broken,” said Rich Leimsider, Director of the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education.  “Beyond Grey Pinstripes schools are thoughtfully pursuing new approaches.  They are preparing students who take a more holistic view of business success, one that measures financial results as well as social and environmental impacts.”

Sample Findings

•    The percentage of schools surveyed that require students to take a course dedicated to business     and society issues has increased dramatically over time, but at a slowing rate: 34% in 2001;     45% in 2003; 54% in 2005; 63% in 2007; 69% in 2009.
•    Since 2007, the number of elective courses offered per school that contain some degree of     social, environmental or ethical content has increased by 12%, from approximately 16.6 to     18.6 electives.
•    The proportion of schools offering general social, environmental or ethical content in required     core courses has increased in many business disciplines–Accounting, Economics, Finance,     Management, Marketing, Operations Management–since the last survey in 2007.
•    However, the percentage of schools requiring content in a core course on how mainstream     business can act as an engine for social or environmental change remains low, at 30%.
•    Approximately 7% of faculty at the surveyed business schools published scholarly articles in     peer-reviewed, business journals that address social, environmental or ethical issues.  The titles     and abstracts of the 1,211 articles are available at   

School highlights from this Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey cycle are featured in a new guidebook for prospective MBA students, titled The Sustainable MBA, which is already available at the Aspen Institute’s publication website.

For questions or to arrange interviews with business school deans who participated in Beyond Grey Pinstripes please contact Justin Goldbach at (212) 895-8053 or

The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education (Aspen CBE) equips business leaders for the 21st century with the vision and knowledge to integrate corporate profitability and social value. We help business educators incorporate issues of social and environmental stewardship into teaching and research by offering targeted resources, networks and a platform to share cutting edge practice among peers.
As part of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, Aspen CBE maintains close ties with over 150 MBA programs in 28 countries. Our websites draw over 100,000 visits monthly and our events and networks attract over 1,000 participants each year.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC, Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners.

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