Maharishi University of Management

Maharishi University of Management

August 27, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Maharishi University of Management,
formerly Maharishi International University, is an American non-profit
university located in Fairfield, Iowa. It was founded in 1973 by Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi and features a “consciousness-based education” system
that includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Its
founding principles include the development of the full potential of the
individual, fulfilling economic aspirations while maximizing proper use
of the environment and bringing spiritual fulfillment and happiness to
humanity. The university is accredited through
the PhD level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central
Association of Colleges and Schools and offers degree programs in art, business,
education, communications, mathematical science, literature, physiology &
health, Vedic Science and sustainable living.
The original campus was located in Goleta, California, and in 1974 moved to
the current 272-acre campus in Fairfield, Iowa. During the 1990s many
older buildings were demolished and replaced using green technology and the
principles of ancient Vedic architecture. The university features an
academic “block system” and a diverse, multinational student body. It is said
to offer a “whole-system approach” that aims to move beyond the library and
classroom settings and engage students in a personal journey of evolution and
growth through meditation and an organic, vegetarian food program.
History The concept for a university came out of
a “series of international symposia on Science of Creative Intelligence”
attended by notable academics. It was established in 1971 by Nat Goldhaber. It
was created with the belief that a school that incorporated the “philosophy
and techniques of Transcendental Meditation” would create an “unusual
contribution to higher education”. Its founding principles were to develop the
full potential of the individual, realize the highest ideal of education,
improve governmental achievements, solve the age-old problem of crime and all
behavior that brings unhappiness to the world family, bring fulfillment to the
economic aspirations of individuals and society, maximize the intelligent use of
the environment, and achieve the spiritual goals of humanity in this
generation. It was inaugurated by Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi, and Robert Keith Wallace assumed his position as the first university
president in 1973. Its first location was an apartment complex in Goleta,
California. The university enrolled 700 students during its first year of
operation. In August 1974, the university purchased the campus of the
bankrupt Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, for $2.5 million and relocated
there. In 1975, the freshman and sophomore
years consisted of interdisciplinary studies, and were organized in a modular
format, with each course lasting a few weeks or months. All students,
regardless of their previous education, were required to attend 24
interdisciplinary courses, some of which consisted of pre-recorded video tapes of
“resident faculty” who were not on campus, while graduate students and
teaching assistants played the video tapes and conducted discussions. Nobel
Prize winner Melvin Calvin said that, even though he participated in a
symposium on SCI, the use of his name in the MIU catalogue was “perilously close
to false advertising”. John Lewis, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology who created video-taped lectures for MIU, was supportive, saying
that TM “unblocks the student’s pathways to education”. During this period, an
open admissions policy was instituted, and transfer students were welcomed
regardless of their academic history. In 1975 the university held its first
commencement exercise awarding 13 Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
degrees and 38 Master’s degrees. In 1976, the accreditation evaluation team
from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools said the
19 senior and 20 assistant faculty were “creative in their vision for higher
education and eminently qualified”, and the university was granted “candidate
for accreditation” status. At that time, faculty and administrators were paid
“approximately the same base salary of $275 per month”, with additional
compensation “on a sliding scale for those with spouses and children”, plus
free housing in university dormitories. On campus, drugs and alcohol were
“shunned” and a “strong sense of community” was said to pervade the
institution. Bevan Morris was appointed president and
chairman of Maharishi International University’s board of trustees in 1979.
The following year, the university received accreditation through the
doctoral level by the Higher Learning Commission, and became a member of the
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. 1981 saw the completion of
two 20,000 square foot meditation buildings called Golden Domes, that were
built on campus for daily group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and
TM-Sidhi programs. By this time the Henn Mansion, Trustee Gymnasium and Ballard
Hall buildings, built in the early 1900s, showed rapid deterioration. These
buildings were scheduled to be demolished but the university spent
$500,000 to restore Henn Mansion, starting 1984, and nominated six other
buildings for the National Historic Register.
In July 1983, the Argus-Press reported that competing meditation seminar
teacher, Robin Woodsworth Carlsen, had criticized and ridiculed the university
in a full-page advertisement placed in a local newspaper and had filed a lawsuit
against the university. As a result, “many students” who were distributing
Carlsen’s literature on campus were asked to leave the campus and several
were suspended with their meditation dome admission privileges revoked. In
December 1983, the university hosted a three-week “Taste of Utopia” conference
with more than 7,000 participants and practitioners of the TM-Sidhi program
“from around the world”. MIU president Morris later reported that research data
indicated the conference had reduced violence in war-torn areas and inspired
an increase in the Dow Jones stock index via the Maharishi Effect. By 1992, the
university had 800 students from more than 70 countries, paying approximately
$10,000 a year for their tuition and board.
In 1995, Maharishi International University changed its name to Maharishi
University of Management to emphasize that gaining deep experience and deep
knowledge had a profound practical value in enabling students to “fully manage”
their life. As part of its master plan to rebuild and expand the campus using
natural materials and Maharishi Vastu Architecture design principles, many of
the Parsons College buildings, which had high maintenance costs, were demolished,
including Foster Hall. In 2000, local preservationists
protested the demolition of Parsons Hall, built in 1915, and Barhydt Chapel,
designed in 1911 by Henry K. Holsman. University officials said that MUM would
donate the buildings to any community group who could raise the $1 million
needed to move what the local newspaper described as an “ailing building”. In
response to protests the university ensured the survival of the chapel’s
plaques, pipe organ, and stained glass windows, which are now displayed at the
Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Between 2000 and 2005, the university
demolished Carnegie Hall, Parsons Hall, Barhydt Chapel, Blum Stadium, Laser
Tower, the dining hall, and 38 dormitory-style “pods”. Seven student
“residence halls” with single rooms were completed in 2005 using eco-friendly
designs, natural materials and geo-thermal heating.
A stabbing incident occurred in 2004, when MUM student Shuvender Sem attacked
two other students in separate incidents on the same day. He stabbed the first
student with a pen and, hours later, fatally stabbed Levi Butler with a
knife. Sem was found not guilty due to insanity and the university settled a
lawsuit that charged it with negligence.=2005–present=
Beginning in 2005, film director David Lynch hosted an annual “David Lynch
Weekend for World Peace and Meditation” at MUM. The 2008 event included musical
performances by Donovan, Moby, and Chrysta Bell. The fourth annual David
Lynch Weekend of November 2009 featured Donovan, MUM professor John Hagelin, and
the American debut of James McCartney, who performed at the Fairfield Arts &
Convention Center. The weekend conference was intended to appeal to
those “interested in creativity, film, art, sustainable living, organic
agriculture, brain development, consciousness, meditation, natural
medicine, renewable living [and] peace”. By 2007, the university had over 45
campus buildings, including 17 classroom and administrative buildings. Between
1974 and 2008, a total of 43 buildings were demolished and 70 new buildings
erected in their place. At that time, MUM had 948 students of whom 78% were
foreign students – the third-highest number of foreign students at an Iowa
university that year. 71% of these students were enrolled in a graduate
degree program. The largest age group was 25–29 years of age. In this same
year, MUM awarded 125 Masters degrees and 34 Bachelor degrees.
In 2008, the Argiro Student Center was completed, featuring “the most advanced
green technologies” and included dining areas, student cafe, book store,
interdenominational chapel, auditorium, classrooms, exercise studio and student
government offices. In 2010, there were 1,210 students
enrolled – 754 full-time and 456 part-time students, with 928 full- and
part-time graduate students. According to the MUM publication Achievements,
total enrollment for 2009–2010 was 1,231, including 276 undergraduate and
955 graduate students. From this total, 516 were at the Fairfield campus, and
the rest were enrolled in distance education, or in MUM’s partner
institution in China. The students hailed from 75 countries including
Brunei and Liberia. The median age of new undergraduate students was 21, with
an increase in the percentage of new students in the 17–19 age range.
Enrollment in 2013 included 337 students from 54 countries and the university
graduated the largest class in its history. That year the university began
offering a program called the David Lynch MA in Film. The program’s segments
include courses called Advanced Narrative, Advanced Screenwriting and
Acting for Film. Other features include a three-month film project and question
and answer sessions with Lynch both in-person and via Skype. As of August
2013, 826 graduate and undergraduate full-time students and 365 part-time
students were enrolled at MUM.=Commencement speakers=
Hollywood actor and native Iowan Stephen Collins was the featured speaker at the
2010 commencement ceremony and spoke to the 234 graduating students about his
views on counter-culturalism. Psychiatry professor Norman E. Rosenthal addressed
graduates in 2011, CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley in 2012 and
Senator Tom Harkin in 2013. In May 2014 Jim Carrey delivered the address, and
received an honorary doctorate for his achievements as a comedian, artist,
author, and philanthropist. Carrey’s address has frequently been described as
one of the best in the genre. The 2015 address was given by former Prime
Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama. Previous commencement speakers include
former U.S. congressman Jim Leach and business executive Ramani Ayer.
Administration and faculty The board of trustees consists of 37
members and is chaired by Jeffrey Abramson, a partner in The Tower
Companies. Other members include Ramani Ayer, former chairman of The Hartford
Financial Services Group Inc., Bevan Morris, chairman emeritus of MUM, John
Hagelin, honorary chairman, and Ed Malloy, mayor of Fairfield. Former
trustees include retired major general and author Franklin M. Davis, Jr.,
Theodore Dreier, an engineer and educator who was one of the founders of
Black Mountain College, and Alfred L. Jenkins, a career diplomat who served as
chairman of MIU for three years. Bevan Morris is president of the university.
The university faculty includes “renowned PhDs from various
universities” including “world renowned physicist John Hagelin”. Author Jennifer
Gidley says that the faculty who come to MUM from other institutions notice that
the educational environment is “significantly better for teaching and
working”. For example the alertness level of the students is higher, the
heart value is more lively and stress levels much lower, which creates a
“mutually supportive environment” with no sign of the politicization and
“cutthroat nature” prevalent at some other institutions. Notable past and
present faculty at MUM include David Orme-Johnson, Ashley Deans, and Elaine
Ingham. In 2007 the university had 52 faculty
members and average salaries for full-time faculty ranged from $6,678 for
some instructors and assistant professors to $19,595 for full
professors. In 2011, MUM was one of more than 1,000 corporations which requested
a waiver to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s requirement to
offer maximum payouts of $750,000 per employee.
Campus The campus sits on 272 acres located 50
miles west of the Mississippi River. The grounds include wooded areas, fields and
two small lakes with U.S. News & World Report categorizing the campus setting
as “urban”. The original Parsons College campus
included 60-80 buildings before closing due to bankruptcy, standing empty and
being purchased by MIU. The Library Building continues to be used and houses
the main library, classrooms, administrative offices, multimedia
computer lab, Unity Art Gallery, Campus Security and Facilities Management. The
library catalog includes 140,000 volumes, 60 reference databases and
Internet reference resources, 7,000 electronic books, 12,000 full-text
periodicals, special collections including the Science of Creative
Intelligence Reserve Collection, Journal of Modern Science and Vedic Science, PhD
dissertations by university students, and a Vedic literature collection. A
campus-wide closed-circuit television network includes 10,000 hours of video-
and audio-taped courses, conferences and presentations. Additional facilities
include network plug-in ports for laptop users, support for international
distance education students, and DVD/video rentals with over 1,500
titles. Inter-library loans include books and articles and access to the
University of Iowa Library as well as to libraries worldwide.
Many structures have been replaced since 1974 as part of MUM’s master plan for
reconstruction and expansion which includes careful attention to
environmental conservation, incorporating renewable energy,
state-of-the-art building technologies, natural building materials and Maharishi
Sthapatya Veda principles of architecture. Two golden domes were
erected between 1980 and 1981 and are used for daily group practice of the
Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhi program and have been called
“particle accelerators of consciousness” by the university’s founder. The campus
was “thoroughly rebuilt” in the 1990s and seven student residence halls, with
single rooms, were completed in 2005 using eco-friendly designs, natural
materials and geo-thermal heating. By 2007, the university had over 45 campus
buildings, including 17 classroom and administrative buildings. Between 1974
and 2008, a total of 43 buildings had been demolished and 70 new buildings had
been erected in their place. The newly-created Dreier Building houses the
offices of Admissions, Alumni, Campus Reconstruction, Development, the dean of
faculty, the deans of women and men, the Enrollment Center, the executive
vice-president, legal counsel, Human Resources, and six classrooms.
The 50,000 sq ft Argiro Student Center was completed in 2008 and houses a
large, open reception area, dining rooms, kitchens, student cafe, student
book store and shopping area, interdenominational chapel, an
auditorium, classrooms, exercise studio, and student government offices. The
building incorporates many principles of Vedic architecture such as eastern
orientation, specific room placement size and proportions, energy efficiency,
day lighting, non-toxic and natural building materials and “higher than
normal” energy efficiency. The building is named for Vincent and Maggie Argiro
who were the principal donors for its construction.
In 2012, the university completed construction of a Sustainable Learning
Center building. According to the university, the building sets a “new
global standard for green buildings” by incorporating local building materials
and being completely energy self-sufficient, even during its
construction. It was designed to meet the Living Building Challenge
requirements and become one of three buildings in the US to meet that
standard as well as LEED Platinum certification. It houses both research
and classroom activities and allows students to “interactively monitor
performance and energy efficiency”. University officials hope this building
proves that the county has the expertise for technological jumps of this kind.
Other existing and newly constructed buildings and facilities include:
Henn Mansion, a restored 1857 building, housing the Resource Development Office,
Literature and Writing department, Public Affairs, and international
student advisor Gate Ridge Court Building housing the
Department for the Development of Consciousness, the Management
Department, accounting, and a number of classrooms
Verrill Hall, which houses communications, custodial services,
housing, mail room, the Press, Press Marketing, KHOE 90.5 FM radio station,
and video studios The 80,000-square-foot Recreation Center
The McLaughlin Building, home to the Computer Science and Mathematics
departments Building 140 residence hall for men
Hildenbrand residence hall for women Utopia Park, a 200-unit trailer park
Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, a K-12 school which has a
separate digital media center and greenhouse
Maharishi Veda Bhavan, which houses the Education Department, Maharishi Vedic
Science Department, and the Center for Educational Excellence
The Maharishi Tower of Invincibility Academics
=Accreditation and rankings=The university is accredited by The
Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association
of Colleges and Schools, the oldest accrediting agency in the USA. MUM is
recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher
Education Accreditation. The university’s business programs are
accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. The
university is also a charter signatory of the American College & University
Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The MUM website cites high rankings on
“benchmarks of effective educational practice” from the National Survey of
Student Engagement. The 2002 NSSE survey, which obtained data from 135,000
students at 613 institutions, shows MUM was in the top 10% for: active and
collaborative learning, supportive campus environment, enriching
educational experiences and student–faculty interaction. MUM
participated in the NSSE in 2002, 2005, and 2009.
The “Best Colleges 2013” Masters Midwest Category of U.S. News & World Report
college and university rankings gave Maharishi University of Management a
tier two rating, which places the school in the bottom 25% of colleges. The
report listed its application deadline as rolling, its acceptance rate as 41%,
its freshman retention rate as 80% and its student–faculty ratio as 12:1.
=Class structure=Maharishi University of Management
operates on a block system. Students take one course at a time during a
four-week period. Except for non-standard classes, the academic day
runs from 10 am to 3:15 pm, with an hour’s break for lunch, Monday through
Friday, and 10 am to noon on Saturday. The university is experimenting with
“brain integration report cards”, which will measure and evaluate a student’s
brain development as the education process progresses.
=Consciousness-Based Education=MUM is committed to achieving its goals
through Consciousness-Based Education which aims to unfold “creative
potential” and create life in harmony with the laws of nature. CBE includes
traditional subjects while simultaneously cultivating the student’s
potential from within. As a component of Consciousness-Based Education, students
and faculty practice the Transcendental Meditation technique twice daily. Both
Consciousness-Based Education and Science of Creative Intelligence are
said to include the personal experience and intellectual understanding of
consciousness. Classes at MUM present subjects such as art, economics,
physics, literature, and psychology in the context of these universal
principles of consciousness. Before 2009 MUM freshmen and transfer students began
their first semester with the 33-lesson SCI course, but it has since been
replaced by a course called Science and Technology of Consciousness. The
university president, Morris, has credited the knowledge and principles of
SCI with contributing to the success of its graduates and SCI degrees have been
awarded to Morris, Doug Henning, Mike Tompkins, Benjamin Feldman, the finance
minister for Global Country of World Peace, best-selling author John Gray,
and “Invincible Defense Technology” expert David R. Leffler.
According to the university web site, there are several “required courses” for
a Bachelor’s degree at MUM and several are related to the topic of
consciousness. They include: the Transcendental Meditation Program, the
Science and Technology of Consciousness, Physiology Is Consciousness and Higher
States of Consciousness. The 2011–2012 student handbook states that “students
are automatically enrolled” in Development of Consciousness courses
each semester and receive academic credit. The courses are required “for
continued enrollment and graduation” and include the TM course and “the
individual and group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi
programs as well as the supporting activities to maintain the
effortlessness of the practice and gain a deeper understanding”.
=Programs=The university offers Bachelor of Arts
degrees in 13 areas including Vedic science and sustainable living.
According to a 2006 report in The Des Moines Register, MUM “is establishing
itself as a leader in sustainable living architecture” among Iowa’s colleges and
universities and offers a sustainable living program that is “the first of its
kind in the nation”. The program includes a BS in Sustainable Living and
an MBA in Sustainable Business. MUM is listed with the Institute for
Sustainability as a university that offers eco-curriculums and a Bachelor of
Science in “sustainable living/environmental science” which
teaches students methods for designing and maintaining environmentally friendly
communities. Course content includes sustainable practices for agriculture,
technology, architecture, landscape design, business and the ecology of
living systems. MUM is reported to be the only
university in the U.S. that offers a PhD degree in the Neuroscience of Human
Consciousness. The university participates in a state-sponsored,
fast-track license program for school teachers. MUM also offers a BA in
Communications and Media with options for video and audio production, graphic
and web design, and professional creative writing. Students and recent
graduates have won awards for their work at the Iowa Motion Pictures Association
Awards, the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, and the Webby Awards.
Maharishi University of Management has a program known as the “Rotating
University”, in which students can take courses of study abroad, usually of 4–6
weeks’ duration, in its one-course-at-a-time format. MUM also
offers undergraduate programs in China. According to the CityTownInfo web site,
MUM has more degree programs than 86% of colleges of similar size, and more
degrees in conservation and resource management than 93% of all other
colleges.=Costs and financial aid=
The average net cost per student for the academic year of 2010 to 2011 was
$16,261. MUM participates in Title IV financial aid programs and aid packages
consist of federal and state grants, institutional scholarships, and
low-interest federal loans. U.S. graduate students may receive financial
aid packages covering 100% of their educational costs. International
students are also eligible for financial aid and packages vary depending on the
program. According to the university more than 90% of its students receive
“extensive financial aid”.The Wall Street Journal reports that the median
amount borrowed per student is $21,330 and the rate of default for student
loans is 5%. Student life
=Health and ecology=Maharishi University of Management
emphasizes “natural health” and students are encouraged to maintain a regular
schedule of academic work, rest, meals, and exercise. The university provides
guidance on natural health improvement practices to the students, including
guidelines for daily and seasonal routines, diet and digestion, simple
breathing techniques, basic yoga postures called asanas, personalized
fitness programs, and self-pulse health assessment techniques. Students are
required to participate in physical activity every day. A variety of
recreation, exercise classes and sports are offered to meet most schedules. A
recreation center and an outdoor swimming pool are open to students at no
charge. MUM prohibits the use of non-prescribed drugs, alcoholic
beverages, and smoking on its campus. The university also offers an
all-vegetarian, organic menu made from fresh ingredients rather than frozen or
processed foods. Organic, whole-grain breads and pastries are produced in
university kitchens, while a local, organic dairy farm supplies milk, yogurt
and ice cream. University organic farms and greenhouses supply produce, which is
cooked within a day of picking. A buffet-style dining room includes
outdoor dining when weather permits. The university’s endeavor to create a
sustainable campus include the use of green, energy-efficient architecture and
community planning that incorporates Maharishi Sthapatya Veda architecture –
a system of country, town, village, and home planning that utilizes natural
building materials and procedures. The university operates an organic vegetable
farm including a 1-acre, year-round greenhouse, which provides students and
faculty with a 100% organic food program. In 2011, the university
participated in the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s solar energy
project, Sustain Angoon.=Sports and recreation=
MUM students compete in numerous team and individual sports. Men’s and women’s
golf is an intercollegiate sport; men’s and women’s soccer is a club sport.
Intramural sports include soccer, archery, badminton, baseball,
basketball, fencing, field hockey, football, rock climbing, sailing,
swimming, tennis, ultimate Frisbee and weight lifting. Players on the soccer
team represent as many as 16 countries, and the team has been undefeated
champion of its league three times. A 60,000-square-foot indoor facility is
equipped with a weight room, gymnastic equipment, basketball courts, volleyball
courts, tennis courts, ping-pong tables, track, and a 28-foot rock-climbing wall.
Outside are 10 tennis courts, a soccer field and a swimming pool with an
adjoining sand volleyball court. The swimming pool is open from June to
mid-September, and there is an indoor pool in Fairfield available throughout
the year. There is also a soccer stadium, the home field of the
university soccer team. Within a five-minute walk is a small
two-lake reservoir, suitable for flat water kayaking, canoeing and
windsurfing. A 17-mile walking and cycling trail surrounds the lakes.
Bicycles, canoes, and cross-country skis are available for student use through
the Recreation Center. The Department of Exercise and Sport Science offers
three-day adventure trips that are professionally supervised. These can
include alpine skiing, rock climbing, white-water kayaking on the Wolf River
in Wisconsin, horseback riding and canoe trips.
=Activities=Activities and organizations include
drama/theater, a radio station, choral group, student newspaper, global student
council, fencing club and knitting club. Student services include a health
clinic, psychological counseling and legal services. First-year students
begin school year with “base camp”, a four-day camping trip that is integrated
into the first academic class, The Science and Technology of Consciousness.
Base camp activities include swimming, hiking and canoeing. The university
offers an assortment of dance classes including salsa, tango, jazz, ballet,
improv, modern, aerobics, Latin and ballroom.
Other activities include performance and variety shows, movies, parties, and
cultural celebrations held various venues including the Argiro Student
Center, Arts Center Theater and the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, as
well as bus trips for cultural events, out-of-town shopping and recreational
activities. The Global Student Council funds and sponsors events throughout the
year, and the Student Activities department supports and helps staff
these events. Cultural festivals are organized by students from different
nations and may include food fests with music and costume. Annual Eco Fairs
include presentations and panel discussions with experts in renewable
energy and sustainable living, sustainable agriculture, green building
processes and methods, and renewable water filtration systems for home or
business, plus a fashion show using only organic or recycled materials. The
library has over 1,500 DVDs/videos for rent.
=Residence halls=Single, furnished rooms are standard for
all students to ensure quiet and privacy, and include high-speed Internet
connections. Most residence halls are equipped with exercise and TV rooms.
Freshmen are required to live on campus. Compared to other colleges, MUM offers
dorm rooms to a higher than average percentage of its students.
Seven new “home-style” residence halls opened in early 2005, each with eight
private bedrooms and baths plus a central kitchen and living room area.
The new residence halls were built according to the ancient principles of
Maharishi Sthapatya Veda architecture. Geothermal technology is used to
conserve energy, and natural materials were used whenever possible.
=Dress code and deportment=According to the student handbook,
students are expect to maintain a dignified behavior and exhibit proper
speech, etiquette, and attire. Students are required to wear neat and clean
clothes in the classroom, dining hall, and meditation halls. Torn, stained, or
sloppy clothing is not allowed. Shorts are not allowed in class but may be worn
in the dining hall. Students from other cultures and traditions can wear
traditional dress. According to the 2009–2010 policy manual for the MSc
Computer Professionals Program, neatly trimmed beards are permitted.
Falsification of the attendance record is a violation of the honor code, along
with cheating and plagiarism. The university prohibits smoking, alcohol
and drugs on campus.=KHOE radio=
KHOE, MUM’s radio station, describes itself as “a nonprofit, noncommercial,
educational radio station” that began broadcasting on August 15, 1994. The
Federal Communications Commission database describes it as an Educational
Radio Station. Its transmitter and antenna are located on campus and are
licensed as a Class Non-Commercial FM Station with 100 Watts of power. Its
stated mission is to provide “uplifting, entertaining, and educational
programming” and to provide a forum for students and faculty of the university
to express topics and information unique to the Maharishi University of
Management. Programming includes classical Indian music, interviews with
university faculty, alumni and guests as well as recordings of press conferences
and meetings. Research
Maharishi University of Management publishes the Journal of Modern Science
and Vedic Science. MUM faculty members have published research on a variety of
TM-related technologies in numerous scientific journals, including the
American Heart Association’s journals, Hypertension and Stroke.
Since the establishment of its research facilities, the university has been
awarded over 150 federal, state, and private grants and contracts totaling
over $24 million, including funding from the NIH’s National Center for
Complementary and Alternative Medicine and its Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute. In 2012 the US Department of Defense granted MUM and the San Diego
Veterans Administration Medical Center $2.4 million to research the
effectiveness of TM for the treatment of PTSD.
=Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention=
The Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention collaborates with a
consortium of medical centers including the University of Iowa College of
Medicine in Iowa City, Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Charles R. Drew
University of Medicine and Science and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los
Angeles. The Institute trains future researchers that include graduate
students, postdoctoral fellows and physicians in the area of natural
approaches to medicine. In the past decade, Institute director
Robert Schneider and national collaborators have received grants
totaling over $10.5 million for research on prevention-oriented natural medicine.
The university had received more than $20 million in funding from different
branches of the National Institutes of Health as of 2002 The university’s
Department of Physiology and the Institute for Natural Medicine and
Prevention received $8 million from the NIH National Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine to establish the first research center in the U.S.
specializing in natural preventive medicine for minorities. and according
to the university web site, it has received more than $30 million through
the NIH and private foundations over the last 30 years.
=Other institutes and centers=The Institute of Science, Technology and
Public Policy was founded by John Hagelin to identify, scientifically
evaluate and implement proven, prevention-oriented, forward-looking
solutions to critical national and global problems
The Center for Advanced Military Science, whose founder and director is
David R. Leffler The Center for Brain, Consciousness, and
Cognition, whose director is faculty member, Fred Travis
=Views on research=Lola Williamson, who practiced the
TM-Sidhi program until 1981, wrote a book called Transcendent in America:
Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion. In the book, she cites two
former professors who in the late 1980s “testified against the research
practices conducted at the university”. In the book, she writes that former MUM
professor of economics and business law Anthony DeNaro alleged in 1986 that
there was “a very serious and deliberate pattern of fraud … designed to
misrepresent the TM movement as a science, and fraudulently claim and
obtain tax exempt status with the IRS”. Williamson writes in her book that
Dennis Roark, former dean of faculty and chair of the physics department in the
1970s, was a “witness to routine suppression of negative data” and that
Roark wrote in a 1987 letter that it was his “belief that the many scientific
claims both to the factual evidence of unique, beneficial effects of T.M. and
physics are not only without any reasonable basis, but in fact in many
ways fraudulent”. Roark said “he had questioned” MIU faculty member Michael
Dillbeck regarding his studies of brain wave coherence using EEG measurements
during practice of the TM-Sidhi program, and that Dilbeck confirmed that it was
impossible to make EEG measurements while the subjects are moving.
Williamson writes in her book that Roark questioned other investigators
“regarding the alleged reduction in crime if enough people practice TM or
the TM-Sidhi program” and they “confirmed that they had suppressed
negative evidence”. The EEG research referred to by Roark, which required
researchers to make EEG measurements during the TM-Sidhi program, was
subsequently published in two separate studies in the International Journal of
Neuroscience. The editor-in-chief, Sydney Weinstein, said that the studies
published in his journal are reviewed by “a distinguished group of scientists
from leading universities,” and added, “Not once have these scientists ever
questioned the integrity or scientific validity of the papers on Transcendental
Meditation.” In 2002, The Gazette and Chicago
Sun-Times reported that although “a few years ago” many “major medical schools”
would have “turned up their noses” at the studies MUM was conducting, “things
have changed” and MUM has received so many offers that it has “turned away”
collaboration proposals from a few institutions. According to an MUM
spokesperson, the university had received almost $18 million in grant
support from the National Institutes of Health in the prior 15 years and “its
researchers are strict about scientific standards because they work more often
with other, larger universities” including the University of Iowa;
University of California, Irvine; and University of Hawaii. The article
reports that Maharishi University and the University of Iowa were working on a
study that looked at the effects of holistic therapy on heart disease.
According to news reports in 2003, MUM’s Center for Natural Medicine and
Prevention was in collaboration with a “growing list of mainstream
universities” including Howard University, the Medical College of
Wisconsin, the University of Pennsylvania, Charles R. Drew University
of Medicine and Science and the University of California at Irvine.
According to the article, “mainstream medical researchers – including many
scientists suspicious of spiritualism” no longer believe that MUM’s research is
junk science. Reception
MUM has received both criticism and acclaim. Author Samuel Schuman reports
that while many in the higher education community did not take the university
seriously when it began in 1974, the college has “persisted cheerfully” for
more than three decades and its achievements and results are
“incontestably impressive”. Some members of the local community were initially
against the university with 540 residents signing a petition protesting
the local school board for allowing four MIU students to visit the public schools
as observers. However, author William Jefferson reports that by 1976, 200
local people had “taken up Transcendental Meditation themselves”
and compared to the “wild and woolly” students of the prior college, “nearly
all the residents now agree that they [MIU students] are nice people to have
around”. A 1976 article in The New York Times
described the campus as a “cheerful, optimistic place where people smile a
lot and tend to be considerate and trusting”. In 1992 The New York Times
reported that the university was a place where all students and faculty meditate,
and all the Maharishi’s teachings are woven into mathematics, physics and
every other subject, similar to colleges with strong religious affiliations,
while noting it is “an accredited university with grant-winning faculty
members and competitive students who mix transcendental meditation” and through
“serious academics studies” hope to create “their own new world”. The
article goes on to say that even as the university gains research grants and
subsequent credibility, it also faces controversy. For example, one critic,
1979 alumnus Curtis Mailloux, called the campus a “coercive environment” with a
“propensity for fraudulent research”. Accreditation officials say they are
aware of these accusations and “have been aggressive in checking Marahishi
[sic] International’s academic freedom”. The deputy director of the North Central
Association of Colleges and Schools, Steven D. Crow, says “Every move the
university’s made has been monitored” and MIU’s library, faculty, academic
mission and classroom space have been deemed appropriate. At the same time
John W. Patterson, a professor at Iowa State University has harshly criticized
The North Central Association’s evaluation, saying it “does nothing more
than to lend credibility to these crackpots”. The article also reports
that many non-students have moved to the city of Fairfield “so they can meditate
in the [campus meditation] domes”. In 1986, seven “former devotees” filed a
fraud suit against the Maharishi saying they paid thousands of dollars for
lessons at Maharishi International University that were designed to reduce
stress, improve memory, reverse aging, and develop clairvoyance and levitation.
One plaintiff said that after ten years he had not acquired any of the special
abilities that were promised. According to reviews of the 1992 book, Heaven on
Earth – Dispatches from America’s Spiritual Frontier, author and reporter
Michael D’Antonio wrote that the MIU physics department was teaching theories
that he believed were “dead wrong” and alleged that the university had taken
Transcendental Meditation “into a grandiose narcissistic dream, a form of
intellectual bondage, that they call enlightenment”.
A 2008 ACT alumni survey showed a high level of alumni satisfaction. MUM is
listed in Peterson’s 440 Great Colleges for Top Students 2010. According to the
National Survey of Student Engagement MUM scored in the top 3% for “active and
collaborative learning,” in the top 4% for “enriching educational experience,”
in the top 7% for “student/faculty interaction,” in the top 8% for
“supportive campus environment,” and in the top 26% for “level of academic
challenge.” MUM graduates also gave their college experience a “higher than
average satisfaction” rating as recorded in the “annual ACT alumni survey.”
Specifically, 73% said they would choose MUM again, more than twice the national
average of 32%. The university has been categorized as a
“Sierra Club Cool School” and in 2014 was ranked as the fourth best
environmental science school by career guide website, Environmental Science.
Popular culture The Beach Boys recorded their 1978 album
M.I.U. Album on the campus, and named it after the university. Man on the Moon, a
biopic of entertainer Andy Kaufman, includes a scene at Maharishi
International University in which Kaufman is asked to leave a retreat
because his behavior was unbecoming an enlightened individual. In October 2011,
Oprah Winfrey visited MUM, toured the campus and attended a group meditation
in the golden dome for ladies. Video footage of her visit to the MUM campus
was shown on an episode of her show. Comedian Jim Carrey was awarded an
honorary PhD from MUM in May 2014. Notable alumni and faculty
Noted alumni include self-help author Peter McWilliams, Nat Goldhaber, an
original founder of the University, ufologist Jeff Peckman who attended for
one year, and Ron Parker, a Canadian Natural Law Party candidate who received
his PhD in physics from MIU. Author John Gray has been called an alumnus of MIU,
but other sources list him as an alumnus of Maharishi European Research
University in Switzerland. Other alumni include Chris Hartnett, CEO of USA
Global Link, who received his BA from MUM, Michael C. Dimick, a Natural Law
Party candidate who received his MBA degree, Jennie Rothenberg-Gritz who is a
senior editor at The Atlantic and video game developer Mike Zak, who received
his masters degree in digital media from the university. In 1994, the son of
Mozambique’s president, Joaquim Chissano, and several children of the
country’s Cabinet members, attended the university on scholarships. Ashley
Deans, executive director of Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment.
Bevan Morris, president of Maharishi University of Management. David
Orme-Johnson, researcher, former professor at Maharishi University of
Management. References
Further reading External links
Maharishi University of Management Consciousness based Education Programs
MUM YouTube Channel Conscious Times Online The Student
Newspaper of Maharishi University of Management