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MBA program ranked for teaching on social, environmental responsibility

October 12, 2007

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Business is ranked among the world’s top schools for leadership in integrating social and environmental issues into its MBA offerings, according to the Aspen Institute’s 2007-08 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternative ranking of business schools.

The school was ranked 33rd in the world, and 24th in the U.S. In 2005, Wisconsin ranked 28th in world and 16th in the U.S. The School of Business maintains its ranking of second among the Big Ten schools.

Beyond Grey Pinstripes measures how well MBA programs equip students with an understanding of the social, environmental and economic perspectives required for business success in a competitive global economy. It is the only global ranking that evaluates MBA programs for their efforts to prepare students for the new business realities demanding social and environmental stewardship. Invitations to participate in the 2007 survey were sent to more than 600 internationally accredited business schools. Programs were evaluated on course offerings, extracurricular activities and programs and journal articles from leading peer-reviewed business publications. 

“This recognition helps us attract students that are interested not only in business, but in the role that business can play in shaping our future,” explains School of Business Dean Michael Knetter. “We are committed to educating tomorrow’s leaders on how to maximize economic performance while minimizing the environmental impact and contributing to lasting social change.”

Though the ranking methodology considered aspects including faculty research and student opportunities, UW–Madison’s real strength is in the courses that it offers. UW–Madison’s coursework puts the school among the top 10 best schools in the country and among the top 15 schools in the world. The School of Business offers courses that cover different aspects of social and environmental stewardship. Rod Matthews, senior lecturer emeritus in real estate offers a course titled Green Real Estate and Tom Landgraf, senior lecturer in real estate, teaches Sustainable Real Estate. Associate Dean Deborah Mitchell is teaching a new course for Enterprise MBA students on Values Based Leadership that addresses corporate social responsibility.

Tom Eggert, who developed UW–Madison’s first class on sustainability, currently teaches on Environmental Strategy and Sustainability and Systems Thinking and on Sustainable Businesses. He will teach a new course on Business and the Social Side of Sustainability next semester.

Professor Dan Anderson of the business school’s Department of Actuarial Science, Risk Management and Insurance teaches on sustainability risk management. His recent book, “Corporate Survival: The Critical Importance of Sustainability Risk Management,” is the first book to analyze sustainability issues within a risk management framework. In 2007, the Geneva Association and the International Insurance Society, two of the world’s leading international insurance organizations, recognized Anderson for his paper on risk management as it relates to global warming and climate change.

“This year’s survey tells us society and the environment are becoming significant issues on campus, not just for students, but in the dean’s office and in many classrooms,” said Richard Leimsider, director of the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education.

The UW–Madison MBA is at the forefront of a trend toward specialized MBA programs. The focused program facilitates real-world experiences and effective career networking.