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Drake’s Zimpleman College of Business rated among top schools for societal impact

Thursday, December 7th, 2023

Zimpleman announces societal impact focus areas, joins global business school initiative

In the most recent Positive Impact Rating (PIR) survey of perceptions of business schools’ positive societal contributions, Drake University students rated the Zimpleman College of Business at a Level 4 Transforming Schools category. This places the school in the second-highest tier of PIR-rated schools worldwide. Building on its commitment to create positive social change through business and the strong survey findings, the college has announced the adoption of three societal impact focus areas: propelling first-generation business student success, supporting mission-driven businesses, and accelerating access to financial inclusion.

“The results of the nearly 200 Drake business student responses to the PIR survey show that Zimpleman is on the leading edge of social impact,” said student Marguerite Stoffel who managed the survey for the college. “It is empowering to know that the student voice is central to the future focus of our college’s societal impact efforts.”

The Zimpleman College of Business was one of only seven U.S. business schools to achieve a Level 4 rating (with none in the Level 5 category) this year. In total, more than 70 business schools in 25 countries took part in the student-led survey (read the full report). The data generated by the Zimpleman students who responded to the 20-plus question survey indicate that the college’s societal impact efforts and related learning opportunities make a positive impression on their experience at Drake.

“The PIR findings confirm our students recognize that our vision to serve as a force for good is at the forefront of everything we do,” said Alejandro Hernandez, dean of Zimpleman College of Business. “This student input has driven us to adopt three focus areas that play to our strengths, align with stakeholder interests, and offer us the opportunity to have meaningful societal impact within this decade.”

The college will address the three chosen focus areas—first-generation student success, mission-driven business development, and access to financial inclusion—through curriculum, research, and outreach initiatives that will be developed and implemented over the next five years. The focus areas will build on initial steps that the college has taken over the last three years to engage students, faculty, staff, and supporters to make positive contributions to society.

As part of the mission-driven business development focus area, The Zimpleman College of Business recently joined the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a United Nations-supported initiative to raise the profile of sustainability at business schools around the world.

“Zimpleman joins nearly 900 business programs worldwide in ensuring future business leaders have the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals,” said Hernandez. “As a signatory to this global initiative, Drake students, faculty, and staff now have access to a dedicated community of practice, global and regional events, and student leadership opportunities to deliver on our societal impact mission.”

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