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K-State Today

September 26, 2011



Reaching a high standard: College of Business Administration ranks 59th in the Aspen Global 100 'Beyond Grey Pinstripes'

By Communications and Marketing

When it comes to learning accounting at Kansas State University, there is much more than numbers and financial statements. In K-State's master's of business administration program, students also learn about the importance of ethics and how they, too, impact a company.

Ethics and social and environmental issues are a key component of the required and elective course work available to master of business administration students in the College of Business Administration. This emphasis on business ethics has made others take notice.

K-State's master of business administration program was ranked No. 59 in the Aspen Global 100 ranking for 2011-2012. The Aspen Institute evaluates the way schools prepare students in environmental, social and ethical aspects of business.

This is the second time that the K-State College of Business Administration's master of business administration program has been ranked by the Aspen Institute's "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" ranking. The program was ranked No. 76 of the Global 100 for 2009-2010 in its inaugural bid for inclusion.

Business schools from 22 countries submitted data for inclusion in this ranking. Reviewers analyzed course work, student exposure, business impact and faculty research to arrive at their ranking. Along with moving up 17 places in the overall ranking, the College of Business Administration improved its rankings in the course offerings, student exposure and business impact categories from 2008-2009.

"This ranking shows the effort our faculty and staff put into making ethics and social issues a key part of the curriculum of the College of Business Administration," said Ali Malekzadeh, dean of the college. "We are devoted to give students a better experience and instruct them in relevant business practices. We are honored to be part of the Aspen Global 100."

Business ethics and corporate social responsibility are a key focus in the college, and part of the Business Ethics Education Initiative headed by Diane Swanson, von Waaden Business Administration professor and ethics expert who leads the college's bid to be ranked in the Aspen Global 100.

"Kansas State University has long been a leader in ethics education, as indicated by the required ethics and social responsibility courses in our undergraduate and graduate programs," Swanson said. "Increasingly, faculty have been integrating ethics into other courses, which improves coverage across the curriculum. Our students can point to strong, practical ethics education when they enter the job market, giving them a potential advantage over students from many other schools."

Courses, such as Sports Marketing, were evaluated by the Aspen Institute for their integration of ethics into the material. In this class, students are taught about the role of sports in the promotion of positive values.

"Kansas State University is fulfilling its responsibilities to the wider community by preparing business managers and other employees to be sensitive to the ethical dimensions of organizational life. I am pleased that the Aspen Institute is recognizing our distinctive advantage in this important aspect of business education," Swanson said.