An expanded membership to help achieve an expanded mission. The nonprofit Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, seeking to boost the numbers of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students in top MBA programs to 30% by the year 2030, has added a new member school to its ranks — one that, historically, outranks them all.
The Consortium last month approved the addition of Columbia Business School as its first new member since the University of Washington Foster School of Business joined in 2018. The 21st school to join the nonprofit, Columbia is the Consortium’s fourth Ivy after Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, Yale School of Management, and Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management. It is also the first M7 school in the group and the highest-ranking, sitting at No. 7 in both the Poets&Quants aggregate ranking and U.S. News’ newly released list.
“We are excited to welcome Columbia to our list of top-ranking member schools that are dedicated to advancing opportunities for underrepresented minorities in graduate business education and leadership,” says Peter J. Aranda III, Consortium executive director and CEO. “It is clear that Columbia Business School will be a passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic partner in furthering our mission. We look forward to working with Dean Costis Maglaras and his team.”
33% U.S. MINORITIES IN LATEST COLUMBIA MBA CLASS
The Consortium’s board of trustees approved Columbia’s membership on March 25. The school officially becomes a member on July 1, joining a roll that includes UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, Emory University Goizueta Business School, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Business School, Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business, the University of Rochester Simon Business School, the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School.
Columbia, of course, brings a storied history to The Consortium’s ranks as one of the oldest business schools in the world. But it also has one of the largest full-time MBA classes, with a current enrollment of more than 750. In addition to its permanent station in the U.S. top 10, Columbia also has been a fixture in the upper reaches of The Financial Times global ranking — at least until this year, when it joined Harvard and Wharton in a boycott.
Columbia’s place among the upper echelons of graduate business education gives the B-school a powerful voice in the drive to diversify, says Dean Costis Maglaras. And Columbia walks the walk, reporting 33% minorities of U.S. origin in its latest incoming MBA class — among the leaders in the top 100 U.S. MBA programs, and well above the average at the other Consortium member schools.
“Business schools like Columbia have a number of essential responsibilities when it comes to enhancing and improving diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Maglaras says. “We must endeavor to diversify our own communities with the goal of building a student body reflective of what we want to see in the business world. We must teach students to recognize the value that diversity adds to business. And we must enhance their abilities to lead in a more inclusive and equitable manner. All of these efforts will be strengthened considerably through our partnership with The Consortium, and we are extremely proud and humbled to be a part of their efforts.”
BIG 2020 ENROLLMENT SUCCESS
The Consortium’s mission since 1966 has been the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in graduate business education and American business. The nonprofit works with top-ranked MBA programs around the country to increase the ranks of under-represented minorities in business education and corporate leadership, recruiting for graduate business education qualified U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. Most candidates recruited by The Consortium receive full-tuition, merit-based fellowships to the MBA programs they attend.
Poets&Quants reported earlier this year on The Consortium’s drive to increase the population of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students in top MBA programs to 30% by the year 2030 through its “30 by 30 Initiative.” It’s a steep climb: Outside of Columbia, the average U.S. minority enrollment at the organization’s other member schools is just 17%. That means a lot of work needs to be done in the next nine years, CEO Peter Aranda says.
“I don’t want to jinx it, but in our entering class from fall of ’19 we had a handful of people over 500 spread across 20 schools,” says Aranda, who joined the Consortium in 2003. “And this year, fall of ’20, with the same 20 schools, we had 594 students. So, that’s an 18% increase in enrollment, which puts us well ahead of what we were hoping to accomplish in terms of our 30 by 30 Initiative.”
During Aranda’s tenure, the organization has seen marked growth, with membership growing to 21 schools from 12 and revenue tripling from $14 million to $47 million annually. While the organization’s incoming classes have almost tripled in size, corporate sponsorships have grown as well, with more than 90 Fortune 500 companies supporting the organization’s mission.
“For 45 years, we kind of went along just growing as best we could, but without really an end goal in sight,” Aranda says. “And I’m always that person that says, ‘A good nonprofit is supposed to put itself out of business.’ We’re supposed to deliver the mission, right? And so if we actually deliver the mission, what does that look like? And that means to me that representation in business school and beyond should look a lot like the population demographics in the United States.
“And so I know that 30% falls short of the African-American, Latinx, and the Native-American figures when you add them up, but 30% is a whole bunch closer than where we were when I started, when it was back at 10%. So I think it’s a good objective, and I’m delighted that the schools are on board. And I’m delighted that the population seems to be responding to us and applying in great numbers.”