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College of Business’ ethics lessons rank second in nation, Businessweek magazine proclaims

June 6, 2012

Bloomberg Businesweek: The Best Undergraduate B-Schools 2012 badgeBusinessweek magazine again has named the NIU College of Business to its list of top undergraduate business schools in the nation and, for the third consecutive year, placed the school among the elite for integrating ethics across the curriculum.

NIU’s business college ranks second in the ethics category, climbing one spot from 2011 and returning to its perch of 2010.

“We are extremely proud to be included in such a selective ranking for six straight years. It is a tremendous validation for all of the programs in the NIU College of Business,” Dean Denise Schoenbachler said.

“It is particularly gratifying to see our ethics program again singled out for recognition, as we consider ethics an important part of preparing our students for the challenges of today’s business world,” Schoenbachler added.

“Credit goes to all of the faculty who serve on our Ethics Task Force and to Bill McCoy, director of our BELIEF (Building Ethical Leaders Using an Integrated Ethics Framework) Initiative, who have crafted a unique approach that incorporates ethics into the fiber of every class taught here at NIU.”

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has held up NIU’s innovative approach to teaching ethics as an example for other schools to emulate. The ethics ranking was second only to that of the Mendoza School of Business at Notre Dame, which was ranked the top business school overall.

Only 142 of the nearly 650 business schools accredited by the AACSB were invited to participate in Businessweek ranking process. Of those, NIU is No. 102.

NIU also placed well in several other specialty rankings:

  • 23 – Information Systems
  • 24 – Sustainability
  • 40 – Marketing
  • 43 – Corporate Strategy

“To score so well in so many different areas demonstrates the strength of the entire college,” Schoenbachler said. “It’s a tribute to the quality of both our faculty and our students.”

Denise Schoenbachler and William McCoy

Denise Schoenbachler and William McCoy

Also contributing to the business school’s strong showing in the rankings were high marks awarded by recruiters who regularly visit NIU looking to hire. Were input from recruiters the only benchmark, NIU would place 64th on the Businessweek list, a fact that pleases Schoenbachler.

“It means that we are truly living out our brand of making the NIU College of Business the place ‘Where the Classroom Meets the Business World,’ ” she said.

Based on comments from students, which are part of the Businessweek polling process, that real-world emphasis is an important component of an NIU business education.

“What I have learned through my classes is always related to real life experience,” one student shared.

“We are forced to leave our comfort zones and interact with business people. This is great because the students really do get a chance to experience real life business situations. The university program is unique in the sense that it really produces well-rounded students. My peers and I have it all. We’re leaders. We’re smart and educated, and we have strong work ethics as well as ethics training. We are social and street smart. We’re extremely prepared for life after graduation.”

NIU ranked second among the four Illinois public universities on the list (trailing only the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and fourth among the seven total Illinois schools ranked.