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Aspen Institute's ranking for schools that prepare students for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day businessAspen Institute's ranking for schools that prepare students for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business

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Small school produces big results

Forbes’The Best Business Schools 2011” and the Aspen Institute’s “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” surveys have both recognized the Willamette University MBA program in their most recent rankings. The accolades follow a successful recruiting season, with all three of Willamette’s MBA programs experiencing record enrollment.

The Forbes ranking, released in August, recognizes schools based on graduates’ return on investment. This national ranking of the nation’s “best business schools” looks at program satisfaction, average starting salaries and career success. Willamette was the only program in Oregon and one of two in the Northwest to make the Forbes list.

“Beyond Grey Pinstripes” recognizes MBA programs committed to ethics, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Willamette’s MBA was ranked #23 in the world in the rankings released this week. Willamette received special recognition for its business impact, which measures how courses prepare students to lead for-profit businesses that improve social and environmental conditions.

“The Beyond Grey Pinstripes and Forbes rankings speak to the value of the Willamette MBA as an internationally recognized program,” said Debra Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise. “Our mission is to educate passionate students who will become socially-conscious managers in business, government and not-for-profit organizations.”

Ringold explains that “the Willamette MBA competes successfully with larger, more visible MBA programs because our faculty and staff exceed student expectations in the classroom, through experiential projects and through strategic career management services. In this regard, we fight above our weight.”

Recently the Willamette MBA added a sustainability management career area of interest to its full-time program. The school also established a Sustainable Enterprise certificate program for managers seeking to integrate sustainable thinking into their business plans. Continual research by faculty into corporate social responsibility, not-for-profit management and public management contributed to the Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking.

The Willamette MBA offers three programs:  an Early Career MBA for students without previous work experience, a full-time MBA for Career Change and an evening MBA for Professionals. Courses are offered in Salem and Portland, Ore.

09-21-2011