SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release

SF State's MBA program recognized for socially responsible curriculum

College ranks among top 40 business schools worldwide

SAN FRANCISCO, October 10, 2007 -- San Francisco State University's MBA program has been named one of the top in the world for preparing students for social and environmental stewardship by the Aspen Institute's Center for Business Education. The Institute ranked SF State's MBA program among the top 40 worldwide in its biennial business school ranking "Beyond Grey Pinstripes." The complete list of schools can be found at beyondgreypinstripes.org.

SF State's College of Business, which launched the MBA Emphasis in Sustainable Business in fall 2007, ranked 37th on the Aspen Institute's list of 111 schools providing socially and environmentally responsible business school curricula. Among the West Coast business schools on the list, SF State ranked sixth, and among programs located in the Bay Area, SF State ranked third. The Aspen Institute praised SF State for the number of courses offered in sustainable business, ethics and socially responsible topics.

The MBA Emphasis in Sustainable Business is the first of its kind offered within the 23-campus California State University system. SF State's program prepares students to transform mainstream companies into more socially responsible, ethical and environmentally conscious businesses. "We're creating traditional MBA graduates first, but ones that have developed a sustainable vision that they can call upon to help existing, mainstream businesses become more sustainable," explains Murray Silverman, professor of management and sustainable business.

SF State's College of Business has required all graduate and undergraduate students to take a course on business and society for the past 25 years. Faculty members in such fields as finance, accounting, information systems, hospitality management and decision sciences regularly integrate modules on ethics and social responsibility into their courses.

During the College of Business' second annual Business Ethics Week, November 5-9, faculty members across business disciplines will focus their coursework on business ethics and sustainable business issues. Visiting lecturers include Jon Hoak, chief ethics and compliance officer at Hewlett-Packard and Kim Winston, manager of civic and community affairs at Starbucks Coffee Company.

Five full-time faculty members teach exclusively in the sustainable business concentration. They are available to speak with the media regarding sustainable business, green business and business ethics:

Murray Silverman, professor of management

Areas of expertise: Business and society, strategic management, business impact on the natural environment; environmentally sustainable business practices. Silverman created SF State's first courses on business and the environment.

Tom Thomas, assistant professor of management

Areas of expertise: Social, political, ethical and legal environment of business; business political strategy and corporate environmental management. Thomas co-founded the first environmental management MBA in the U.S.

Bruce Paton, assistant professor of management

Areas of expertise: Social dimensions of sustainability and government; environmental consulting; corporate product stewardship programs; corporate voluntary environmental initiatives; policies to influence corporate environmental performance. Before teaching, Paton worked on environmental management issues at Hewlett-Packard.

Peter Melhus, assistant professor of management

Areas of expertise: Institutionalized incentives for corporate social and environmental responsibility; the relationship of corporations to their external constituents. Before teaching, he directed environmental policy for PG&E.

Denise Kleinrichert, assistant professor of management

Areas of expertise: Business ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainable business; human resources in the insurance, hospital and banking industries; agricultural practices; environmental changes; and land use.

SF State's MBA program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Part-time and full-time programs are available at SF State's Downtown Campus at the Westfield San Francisco Centre.

Courses include:

  • Business Management and Environmental Leadership, covering the impact of business on the natural environment and the approaches businesses are taking to respond to environmental issues.
  • Sustainability and Business Opportunity, discussing business opportunities emerging at the intersection of business and society, such as global poverty and other needs not met effectively by current business practices.
  • Managing the Sustainable Business, focusing on the path to sustainability that firms can take to effectively transform their organizations.


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