Maharishi University of Management

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Maharishi University of Management
Maharishi University of Management logo 1.jpg
Established 1971
Type Private, not-for-profit
Endowment $9.0 million1
President Bevan Morris2
Vice-president Craig Pearson
Academic staff 67 full-time, 31 part-time3
Students 12104
Undergraduates 256 full time
26 part-time4
Postgraduates 498 full time
430 part-time4
Location Fairfield, Iowa, United States
Campus Rural, 272 acres (1.1 km2)
Former names Maharishi International University
Colors Green and Gold         
Affiliations Transcendental Meditation movement5

Maharishi University of Management (MUM), formerly known as 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.67 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.8

The university is accredited through the Ph.D. 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.910

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.8 The university features an academic "block system" (only one subject for four weeks) and a diverse, multi-national 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.811


University sign at campus entrance

The concept for a university came out of a "series of International symposia on Science of Creative Intelligence" (SCI) attended by notable academics.12 It was established in 1971 by Nat Goldhaber.13 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".14 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 our 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.7

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.7 The university enrolled 700 students during its first year of operation.12 In August 1974, the university purchased the campus of the bankrupt Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa for $2.5 million14 and relocated there.71516

Aerial photograph of the MUM campus

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,12 some of which consisted of pre-recorded video tapes of "resident faculty" who were not on campus1415 while graduate students and teaching assistants played the video tapes and conducted discussions.12 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 (MIT) who created video taped lectures for MIU, was more supportive, saying that TM "unblocks the student's pathways to education".12 During this period, an open admissions policy was instituted, and transfer students were welcomed regardless of their academic history.1415 In 1975 the University held its first commencement exercise awarding 13 Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degrees and 38 Masters degrees.17 In 1976, the accreditation evaluation team from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools said the 19 senior and 20 assistant faculty12 were "creative in their vision for higher education and eminently qualified", and the university was granted "candidate for accreditation" status.14 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.14 On campus, drugs and alcohol were "shunned" and a "strong sense of community" was said to pervade the institution.14

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 (NCACS), "the oldest and largest accrediting body in the U.S.".48818 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.19 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 instead the university spent $500,000 to rebuild Henn Mansion and nominated the six other buildings for the National Historic Register.20

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 ad placed in a local newspaper and had filed a law suit 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 and their meditation dome, admission privileges were revoked.21 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.2223 By 1992, the university had 800 students from more than 70 countries, paying approximately $10,000 a year for their tuition and board.24

In 1995, Maharishi International University changed its name to Maharishi University of Management (MUM) to emphasize that gaining deep experience and deep knowledge had a profound practical value in enabling a student to "fully manage" their life.78 As part of its master plan to rebuild and expand the campus using natural materials and Maharishi Sthapatya Veda design principles, many of the Parsons College buildings which had high maintenance costs, were demolished, including Foster Hall and Henn Mansion.20

In 2000, local preservationists protested the demolition of Parsons Hall, built in 1915,25 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".2627 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.20 Between 2000 and 2005, the university demolished Carnegie Hall, Parsons Hall (1915), Barhydt Chapel (1911), Blum Stadium (1966), Laser Tower, the dining hall, and 38, dormitory style "pods".28 Seven student "residence halls" with single rooms were completed in 2005 using eco-friendly designs, natural materials and geo-thermal heating.29

Moby performing in 2008

The university's stabbing incident occurred in 2004, when Shuvender Sem, a student at MUM, attacked two other students in separate instances on the same day.30 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.30

Beginning in 2005, film director David Lynch began hosting an annual "David Lynch Weekend for World Peace and Meditation" at MUM.31 The 2008 event included musical performances by Donovan, Moby and Chrysta Bell.32 The 4th 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.3133 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".3134

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 had been erected in their place.29 At that time, MUM had 948 students (813 full time) of whom 78% were foreign students — the third highest number of foreign students at an Iowa university that year.1035 Seventy-one percent (71%) of these students were enrolled in a graduate degree program.10 The largest age group was 25–29 years of age (42%).10 In this same year, MUM awarded 125 Masters degrees and 34 Bachelor degrees.10

In 2008, the Argiro Student Center was completed, featuring "the most advanced green technologies"8 and included dining areas, student cafe and book store, interdenominational chapel, auditorium, classrooms, exercise studio and student government offices.36

In 2010, there were 1,210 students enrolled — 754 full-time and 456 part-time students, with 928 full- and part-time graduate students.4 According to the MUM publication Achievements, total enrollment for 2009/2010 was 1,231, including 276 undergraduate and 955 graduate students.37 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. These 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.37 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".3839

Psychiatry professor Norman E. Rosenthal addressed graduates at the 2011 commencement, CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley in 2012 and Senator Tom Harkin in 2013.404142 Previous commencement speakers include former U.S. congressman Jim Leach43 and business executive Ramani Ayer.

Enrollment in 2013 included 337 students from 54 countries and the university graduated the largest class in its history.42 That year the university began offering a program called, the David Lynch MA in Film. The program's segments include courses called Forest Academy, Advanced Narrative, Advanced Screenwriting, Acting for Film, The Frame, The Media Market and the Field. Other features include a three month film project and "Q&A session"s with Lynch both in-person and via Skype.44 As of August 2013, 826 graduate and undergraduate full-time students and 365 part-time students were enrolled at MUM.45

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, chairman of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Bevan Morris, Chairman Emeritus of MUM, John Hagelin, "Honorary Chairman", physicist and MUM faculty member, and Ed Malloy, mayor of Fairfield, Iowa.46474849 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,5051 and Alfred L. Jenkins, a career diplomat who served as chairman of MIU but left after three years.5253 Bevan Morris is president of the university.

The university faculty includes "renowned PhDs from various universities" including "world renowned physicist John Hagelin.8 Author Jennifer Gidley says that the faculty who come to MUM from other institutions (including herself) 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, stress levels much lower, which creates a “mutually supportive environment” with no sign of the politicization and "cutthroat nature" prevalent at some other institutions.18 Notable past and present faculty at MUM include David Orme-Johnson, Ashley Deans, and Elaine Ingham.54

In 2007 the university had 52 faculty members55 and average salaries for full-time faculty ranged from $6,678 for some Instructors and Assistant Professors to $19,595 for full Professors.5556 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.57


Maharishi University of Management, looking west

The campus sits on 272 acres (1.1 km2) located 50 miles (80 km) west of the Mississippi River. The grounds include wooded areas, fields, two small lakes with U.S News & World Report categorizing the campus setting as "urban".58

The original Parsons College campus included 60-80 buildings before closing due to bankruptcy, standing empty and being purchased by MIU.165960 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, Ph.D. 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.61 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.62 The campus was "thoroughly rebuilt" in the 1990's and seven, student "residence halls" with single rooms, were completed in 2005 using eco-friendly designs, natural materials and geo-thermal heating.29 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.296364 The newly created Dreier Building houses the offices of Admissions, Alumni, Campus Reconstruction, Development, the Dean of Faculty, the Dean of Women and Men, the Enrollment Center, the Executive Vice-President, Legal Counsel, Human Resources, and six classrooms.

Argiro Student Center and dining hall

The 50,000 sq ft (5,000 m2) 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.36 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.8 The building is named for Vincent and Maggie Argiro who were the principal donors for its construction.65

In 2012, the University completed construction on a Sustainable Learning Center (SLC) building.6667 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.666668 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.666869 It houses both research and classroom activities and allows students to "interactively monitor performance and energy efficiency".66686970 University officials hope this building proves that the county has the expertise for technological jumps of this kind.7172

Other existing and newly constructed buildings and facilities include:73

  • Henn Mansion, a restored 1857 building, housing the Resource Development Office, Literature and Writing department, Public Affairs, and International Student Advisor Office;
  • Gate Ridge Court Building houses 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;
Maharishi Tower of Invincibility and golden dome
  • The 80,000-square-foot (7,000 m2) 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;74
  • 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;citation needed
  • The Maharishi Tower of Invincibility;


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.75 MUM is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).76 The University’s business programs (B.A., MBA, and Ph.D.) are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).76 The University is also a charter signatory of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).77

The MUM website cites high rankings on "benchmarks of effective educational practice" from the NSSE.78 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.7980 MUM participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in 2002, 2005, and 2009.58

The "Best Colleges 2013" Masters Midwest Category of U.S. News & World Report College and University rankings gave Maharishi University of Management a tier 2 rating,81 which places the school in the bottom 25% of colleges.82 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 12:1.81

Class structure

Maharishi University of Management operates on a block system. Students take one course at a time during a four-week period.2483 Except for non-standard classes, the academic day runs from 10 am to 3:15 pm, with an hour break for lunch, Monday through Friday, and 10 am to noon on Saturday.84 The University is experimenting with "brain integration report cards", which will measure and evaluate a students brain development as the education process progresses.85

Consciousness-Based Education

Golden dome for the group practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi programs

MUM is committed to achieving the university's goals through Consciousness-Based Education (CBE) which aims to unfold "creative potential" and create life in harmony with the laws of nature.8 CBE includes traditional subjects while simultaneously cultivating the student's potential from within.29 As a component of Consciousness-Based education, students and faculty practice the Transcendental Meditation technique twice daily.629 Both Consciousness-Based education and Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) 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.1286878889 Before 2009 MUM freshmen and transfer students began their first semester with the 33 lesson SCI course.9091 but it has since been replaced by a course called Science and Technology of Consciousness.92 The university president, Morris, has credited the knowledge and principles of SCI with contributing to the success of its graduates and93 SCI degrees have been awarded to Morris,94 Doug Henning,95 Mike Tompkins,96 Benjamin Feldman the Finance Minister for Global Country of World Peace,97 best-selling author John Gray,98 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.99 The 2011-2012 student handbook states that "students are automatically enrolled" in Development of Consciousness (DC) courses each semester and receive academic credit. The courses are required "for continued enrollment and graduation"100 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".100101


The university offers bachelor of arts degrees in 13 areas including Vedic science and sustainable living.102 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 universities103 and offers a sustainable living program that is "the first of its kind in the nation".104 The program includes a B.S in Sustainable Living and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Business.7177 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".11

MUM is reported to be the only university in the U.S. that offers a Ph.D. degrees in the Neuroscience of Human Consciousness.24 The University participates in a state sponsored, fast-track license program for school teachers105106107 MUM also offers a B.A. 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.108

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 the one-course-at-a-time format.77 MUM also offers undergraduate programs in China.4 According to the CityTownInfo web site, MUM has more degree programs than 86% of colleges of similar sizes, and more degrees in conservation and resource management than 93% of all other colleges.10

Costs and financial aid

The average net cost per student for the academic year of 2010 to 2011 was $16,261.109 MUM participates in Title IV financial aid programs10 and aid packages consist of federal and state grants (undergraduate students only), institutional scholarships, and low-interest federal loans.110 U.S. graduate students may receive financial aid packages covering 100% of their educational costs.110 International students are also eligible for financial aid and packages vary depending on the program.111 According to the university more than 90% of its students receive "extensive financial aid".112113The Wall Street Journal reports that the median amount borrowed per student is $21,330 and the rate of default for student loans is 5%.109

Student life

Health and ecology

Maharishi University of Management emphasizes "natural health"114 and students are encouraged to maintain a regular schedule of academic work, rest, meals, and exercise.115 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.116 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.117 MUM prohibits the use of non-prescribed drugs, alcoholic beverages, and smoking on its campus.118119

The university also offers an all-vegetarian, organic menu made from fresh ingredients rather than frozen or processed foods.114120 Organic, whole-grain breads and pastries are produced in university kitchens, while a local, organic dairy farm supplies milk, yogurt and ice cream.121122 University organic farms and greenhouses supply the produce, and are cooked within a day of picking.114 A buffet-style dining room includes outdoor dining when weather permits.114

The University's efforts 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.71 The University operates an organic vegetable farm including a 1-acre (4,000 m2), year-round greenhouse, which provides their students and faculty with a 100% organic food program.123 In 2011, the University participated in the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council's, solar energy project, Sustain Angoon.124

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.1 Players on the soccer team represent as many as 16 countries, and the team has been undefeated champion of its league three times.117

A 60,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) indoor facility is equipped with a weight room, gymnastic equipment, basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, ping-pong tables, track, and a 28-foot (9 m) rock-climbing wall. Outside are 10 tennis courts, a soccer field and a swimming pool with an adjoining sand volleyball court.117 The swimming pool is open from June to mid-September, and there is an indoor pool in Fairfield (owned by Fairfield Parks & Recreation) available throughout the year. There is also a soccer stadium, the home field of the University soccer team.117

Within a five-minute walk is a small two-lake reservoir, suitable for flat water kayaking, canoeing and windsurfing. A 17-mile (27 km) 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 (on weekends between courses) 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.117


Activities and organizations include drama/theater, radio station, choral group, student newspaper, global student council, fencing club and knitting club.1 Student services include a health clinic, psychological counseling and legal services.1 First-year students begin school year with "base camp", a four-day camping trip that is integrated into the very first academic class, The Science and Technology of Consciousness.125 Base camp activities include swimming, hiking and canoeing.126 The university offers an assortment of dance classes including salsa, tango, jazz, ballet, improv, modern, aerobics, Latin and ballroom.127

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 and Convention Center.100 As well as bus trips for cultural events, out-of-town shopping and recreational activities.100 The Global Student Council funds and sponsors events throughout the year, and the Student Activities department supports and helps staff these events.100 Cultural festivals are organized by students from different nations and may include food fests with music and costume.100 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.128 The library has over 1,500 DVD/video 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.10 Compared to other colleges, MUM offers dorm rooms to a higher than average percentage of its students.10

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.63

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 aren't allowed in class but may be worn in the dining hall. Students from other cultures and traditions can wear traditional dress.84 According to the 2009-2010 Policy Manual for M.Sc. Computer Professionals Program, neatly trimmed beards are permitted.129 Falsification of the attendance record is a violation of the honor code, along with cheating and plagiarism.130 The university prohibits smoking, alcohol and drugs on campus.43

KHOE radio

KHOE, MUM's radio station describes itself as a "a nonprofit, noncommercial, educational radio station" that began broadcasting on August 15, 1994.131 The Federal Communications Commission database describes it as an Educational Radio Station.132 Its transmitter and antenna are located on campus and are licensed as a Class Non-Commercial FM Station with 100 Watts of power.133 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.131


Maharishi University of Management publishes the Journal of Modern Science and Vedic Science.134 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.135

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,136137138 including funding from the NIH's National Center for Alternative Medicine and its Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.139

Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention

The Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention (INMP) (formerly the Center 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 includes graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and physicians, in the area of natural approaches to medicine.140

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.141 The university had received more than $20 million in funding from different branches of the National Institutes of Health as of 2002141142 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 (NCCAM) to establish the first research center in the U.S. specializing in natural preventive medicine for minorities.137138 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.143

Other institutes and centers

  • The Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy (ISTPP) 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 (CAMS), whose founder and director is David R. Leffler; and,
  • The Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition, whose director is faculty member, Fred Travis.144145

Views on research

Lola Williamson, who practiced the TM-Sidhi program until 1981,146 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 1980's "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 (not a cult), 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".147 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.148149 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."150151

In 2002, The Gazette (Cedar Rapids and Iowa City) and Chicago Sun-Times reported that although "a few years ago" many "major medical schools" would've "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.152 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"152 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.153

According to news reports in 2003, MUM's Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention (CNMP) 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.154


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".29 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.14 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".12

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".14 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".24 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 (NCACS), 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.24 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".24 The article also reports that many non-students have moved to the city of Fairfield "so they can meditate in the [campus meditation] domes".24

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.155dead link According to reviews of the 1992 book, Heaven on Earth – Dispatches from America’s Spiritual Frontier,156 author and reporter Michael D'Antonio wrote that the MIU physics department was teaching theories that he believed were "dead wrong"157 and alleged that the university had taken Transcendental Meditation "into a grandiose narcissistic dream, a form of intellectual bondage, that they call enlightenment".158

A 2008 ACT alumni survey showed a high level of alumni satisfaction.159 MUM is listed in Peterson's 440 Great Colleges for Top Students 2010.160 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."29 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%.29

Popular culture

The Beach Boys recorded their 1978 album M.I.U. Album on the campus, and named it after the university.161 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.162 In October 2011, Oprah Winfrey visited MUM, toured the campus and attended a group meditation in the golden dome for ladies.163 Video footage of her visit to the MUM campus was shown on an episode of her show.164165

Notable alumni and faculty

Noted alumni include self-help author Peter McWilliams,166 Nat Goldhaber, an original founder of the University, UFO expert 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,167 but other sources list him as an alumnus of Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in Switzerland.168169 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,170171172173 Jennie Rothenberg-Gritz who is a senior editor at The Atlantic174175 and video game developer Mike Zak, who received his masters degree in digital media from the university.176 In 1994, the son of Mozambique's president, Joaquim Chissano, and several children of the country's Cabinet members, attended the university on scholarships.177178 Ashley Deans, Executive Director of Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment.179dead link 180 Bevan Morris, president of Maharishi University of Management.181 David Orme-Johnson, researcher, former professor at Maharishi University of Management.182


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External links

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