Colorado State University MBA Program Internationally Ranked For Sustainability

The College of Business at Colorado State University has been recognized for its outstanding leadership in integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program. The Aspen Institute’s 2011-2012 edition of “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” an independent, biennial survey and global ranking of business schools, ranked the GSSE program at CSU number 27 on its list of the Top 100 MBA Programs in the world.

“This ranking is particularly meaningful to us because we work to design and deliver business education that has a deep social context,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the CSU College of Business. “We believe business success is relevant only if it has social consequences that can positively impact life, people and communities. We see a growing number of business students who view environmental and social issues as priorities. We are humbled to be in the company of wonderful institutions who share similar passion. ”

Beyond Grey Pinstripes further acknowledges the program’s excellence by ranking Colorado State 7th in student exposure to social, environmental and ethical curricula. The GSSE program is unique in having designed each course to support actual ventures that students build while in the program. These sustainable ventures are the central element of the GSSE MBA and often continue after students graduate from the program.

“Our program views the four billion people who live at the base of the economic pyramid as partners and customers,” said Carl Hammerdorfer, director, Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program. “We believe that entrepreneurship and innovation should preserve or improve our environment. While these are still relatively new ideas in many business schools, for us, they are absolutely foundational.”

CSU’s program also ranked 9th globally in Beyond Grey Pinstripes’ small school ranking, awarded only to schools with reported class sizes of fewer than 100 students. The small number of students in the GSSE program enables its applied entrepreneurial approach. Students spend an entire summer performing fieldwork—putting their business models to the test in economically challenged areas of the world.

The program has a high percentage of international students in order to enrich the conversation in the classroom and to expand the range of countries where student entrepreneurs can practice their craft.

It is also noteworthy that the College of Business’ faculty was ranked in the top 25 percent of the business programs examined in terms of published research that addresses social, environmental or ethical issues in business.

The Aspen Institute’s Top 100 ranking is the result of more than 18 months of rigorous research – designing the survey, outreach to MBA programs around the world, collecting and analyzing 80,000 pages of data – looking at how well MBA programs incorporate social, environmental and ethical issues into the training of future business executives. This year, business schools from 22 countries were considered.

“This last year, in all scoring categories used to determine the ranking, business schools have raised the bar,” said Judith Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society program, which conducted the Beyond Grey Pinstripes rankings. “There are more courses with content on social, ethical and environmental issues, more courses about the role of business as a positive agent for change than ever before.”

For more information about the GSSE MBA program, visit or contact Kat Ernst at (970) 491-5612 or For more information on the Beyond Grey Pinstripes rankings, visit
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