B-Schools Ranked on Social Studies

Going Beyond Grey Pinstripes with ethics and social-responsibility programs. Plus: A new TOEFL, Canadian B-schools team up, and more

More business schools are now offering courses in ethics, corporate social responsibility, or environmental sustainability than in 2003, according to "Beyond Grey Pinstripes", a biennial report released jointly by World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute on Oct. 19. Of the 91 business schools surveyed on six continents, 54% require a course in ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, or business and society, up from 45% in 2003 and 34% in 2001.

As part of the study, the organizations rank B-schools based on how well they integrate social and environmental issues into their curriculum and research. The ranking weighs a school's commitment in four categories, including the number of courses offered, the enrollment for those courses, the quality of the content, and the depth and breadth of faculty research. Nearly 600 MBA programs participated by responding to a survey, and 1,842 courses and 828 journal articles from leading peer-reviewed business publications were analyzed to determine the top 30 schools.

The top 10 programs as ranked by "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" are:

1. Stanford University Graduate School of Business, U.S.

2. ESADE Business School, Spain

3. York University Schulich School of Business, Canada

4. ITESM (EGADE) Graduate School of Business, Mexico

5. University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, U.S.

6. The George Washington University School of Business, U.S.

7. The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, U.S.

8. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, U.S.

9. Cornell University S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, U.S.

10. Wake Forest University Babcock Graduate School of Management, U.S.

Although the business schools surveyed are making important progress, the report's authors note that teaching and research on these topics are still limited and not widespread. Only 4% of faculty at the surveyed schools published research on related issues in top, peer-reviewed journals during the survey period, says Mark Milstein, business research director for the World Resources Institute's Sustainable Enterprise Program.

Experts say student interest in social and environmental issues is rising (see BW Online Video, 10/25/05, "Global Biz", an interview with Cornell Professor Stuart Hart). "[Students] are looking for the opportunity to dive deeper into these subjects," says Judith Samuelson, executive director of the Business & Society Program at the Aspen Institute. "They want to know how sustainability can be applied to [other subjects] -- and how they can bring their values into the workplace," adds Samuelson.

This most recent report showed that foreign schools are taking more interest in social and environmental issues as well. Three of the top-five ranked schools, and 12 of the top 30, are located outside the U.S., which is a change from past surveys. "It means that the U.S. doesn't monopolize the intellectual space, that the issue of sustainability in business is a salient topic in many other countries, particularly in Europe," says Milstein. Protecting the planet is becoming good business, no matter where on earth you attend school.

New Internet-Based TOEFL

The new Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language was delivered for the first time on Sept. 24 to about 2,000 test takers in the U.S. Over 15 years in development, the new format addresses the desire on the part of universities for more information on candidates coming from overseas. "This helps to prove to the candidates and the universities that they'll be able to communicate when they get here," says Gena Netten, TOEFL marketing manager for the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the nonprofit institution charged with designing the test. "The new test reflects the real world -- what students need to do to communicate in it," adds Netten.

The Internet-based TOEFL adds an important new dimension: speaking. And rather than treating the English communication process as consisting of separate tasks, the new test integrates reading, listening, speaking, and writing. "We now have added a different type of task, where test takers will read a passage, hear a short lecture on the same topic, then speak or write a response," says Netten.

In 2004, about 720,000 people took the TOEFL, which is used as admissions criteria at about 5,200 institutions in more than 90 countries. The testing fee in 2005 will be $140. Communicating in the international language of business: priceless.

Pitching Canadian MBA Programs

Nine top MBA programs in Canada have joined together to market the Canadian MBA at large to a world audience. CanadianMBA.com, a new Web site that was officially launched in early October, aims to give prospective students a convenient way to learn what business education in Canada is all about.

CanadianMBA.com not only allows prospective students easy access to inside information on Canada's MBA programs, it gives the institutions control of the info being disseminated. "Before the site was created, students conducting Web searches on Canadian MBA programs would be steered toward an India-based site littered with inaccurate information," explains Jean Talbot, the director of the MBA program at HEC Montreal.

The participating schools are: University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business, HEC Montreal, University of Western Ontario Richard Ivey School of Business, Concordia University John Molson School of Business, McGill University MBA program, Queen's School of Business, University of Toronto Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, and York University Schulich School of Business.

Besides housing links to the nine participating programs, CanadianMBA.com provides student testimonials from the schools, as well as a brief profile on each institution and its location. It also connects students to useful information about Canada, including how to obtain a visa and the advantages of a Canadian education. "We've done this together, for the purpose of attracting more quality international applicants, but we still compete for students," says Talbot, who claims the move is typical of cooperative Canadian culture and business. With one-stop shopping for those looking to get an MBA in Canada, CanadianMBA.com might usher in a whole new era of competition.

Kelley Gets $25 Million Donation

The Indiana University Kelley School of Business recently received a donation of $25 million, the largest in the school's history, from alumnus William J. Godfrey, a real estate developer based in Hilton Head, S.C. The gift is coming in two parts -- the first $5 million was delivered immediately and is helping to alleviate the debt incurred from the construction of the school's newly renamed Godfrey Graduate & Executive Education Center, which has housed the MBA program since June 2002.

The other $20 million remains part of the Godfrey estate and will be delivered when the donor passes away. That money will become part of the school's endowment and will be set aside to fund need-based scholarships for undergraduate business students at the rate of $750,000 a year.

"Bill Godfrey is the perfect representation of the entrepreneurial spirit that our school embodies," says Rick Dupree, executive director of development for the Kelley School. What's more indicative of the entrepreneurial spirit than spreading the wealth?

By Jeffrey Gangemi

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