University Communications
October 21, 2009

Ranked 66th of top 100 programs by The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education

More than ever before, major companies and entrepreneurial start-ups are seeking competitive advantage and success through the embracement of sustainability as a core business strategy. The Business School at the University of Colorado Denver has now been recognized for its leadership in integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its MBA program. The recognition comes via the Aspen Institute’s 2009-2010 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternative ranking of business schools across the globe. The school’s Managing for Sustainability specialization in its MBA and MS programs ranked 66th on the Institute’s “Global 100” annual list.

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. This year, 149 business schools from 24 countries participated in an 18-month effort to map the landscape of teaching and research on issues pertaining to business and society. 

“Just three years after offering our first elective course in sustainability, we now offer multiple courses that address how businesses can survive in a world with declining resources, as well as one where customers are more actively engaged with those companies that believe to behave both ethically and responsibly,” said Kenneth Bettenhausen, PhD, director of the school’s MBA/MS dual-degree program in Management and co-director of the Managing for Sustainability specialization. “The sustainability specialization at UC Denver’s Business School helps to empower hundreds of students each semester to be change agents for their current companies and future employers.”

The Business School at UC Denver has one of the few programs globally that offers a specialization in Managing for Sustainability for both its MBA and MS in Management programs.

“The best business 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. “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.”

Relevant data collected in the survey, as well as the entire “Global 100” list of business schools, is available at: School highlights from the Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey are featured in a new guidebook for prospective MBA students, titled The Sustainable MBA.


About the UC Denver Business School
Located on the University of Colorado Denver’s downtown campus, the Business School at UC Denver is the largest accredited graduate school of business in Colorado with more than 18,000 alumni. The school serves more than 1,200 graduate students and 1,400 undergraduate students each year. Students and faculty are involved in solving real-world business problems as they collaborate on more than 100 projects with area businesses every semester through classroom work, guest lectures and research projects.

About the Aspen Institute
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. 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.