Sep 272011
Authors: Emily Horn

Colorado State University’s Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA Program (GSSE) has been ranked 27th on the list of top 100 MBA programs in the world by “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” an independent, biennial survey and global ranking of business schools, which is conducted by The Aspen Institute.

“I think it’s awesome that we’re ranked so highly because this is a global ranking,” said Kathryn Ernst, a research associate and alumni of the GSSE Program.

This is the first time CSU has qualified for the ranking since the survey only considers full-time MBA programs. GSSE is the only program that qualifies because it deals with social, environmental and ethical issues.

“The program has gone really well for me,” said MBA student Maggie Flanagan. “It is very innovative and different from a lot of MBA programs.”

MBA student Rachael Miller feels similarly.

“The ranking really speaks to the innovative twist that the GSSE puts on a classic MBA program,” Miller said.

The aim of the GSSE program is to create global social entrepreneurs and confront global issues such as poverty, disease, malnutrition and environmental degradation. During an intensive summer practicum, students work on projects domestically as well as abroad. These projects include clean energy, irrigation technology, consumer products, clean water supply, organic foods and more.

“The ranking isn’t built to incorporate our project component, but if it did I think it would be even higher because it really sets us apart,” Ernst said.

“Beyond Grey Pinstripes” also ranked CSU seventh in student exposure to social, environmental and ethical curricula and ninth in the small school ranking, which is only given to schools with class sizes having less than 100 students.

“The student exposure ranking is really high because all of the students take the same courses at the same time, so 100 percent of our students are taking relevant coursework to the ranking,” Ernst said.

For published research that addresses social, environmental or ethical issues in business, the College of Business’ faculty was ranked 31st by the survey.

“The faculty research is really competitive for us. They take all of the faculty’s publications and decide whether it is socially, environmentally and ethically relevant,” Ernst said. “Our college of business is pretty small compared to some of the other schools that ranked really highly, and I think we would rank even higher if it were ranked per capita instead.”

The Aspen Institute pends 18 months researching and collecting data for the survey, the goal being to promote and celebrate innovation, inform prospective students, raise the bar of business school and facilitate conversations in the business world.

Collegian writer Emily Horn can be reached at

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