Maharishi University of Management (M.U.M.), formerly known as Maharishi International University, was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced the Transcendental Meditation technique.
The campus is located in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, on the grounds of the former Parsons College.
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 "consciousness-based education", that includes practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Degree programs are offered in the arts, sciences, in business, and in the humanities.
Maharishi University of Management cites high rankings on "benchmarks of effective educational practice" from the National Survey of Student Engagement and also the results of the ACT alumni survey that show a high level of alumni satisfaction.
Santa Barbara (1973-1974)
The first campus opened its doors in 1973 and was located in a former residential complex in Goleta, a small community near Santa Barbara, California, with one hundred students and thirty-five faculty members.
History of the university campus and Parson's College
Due to an expanding student body and the need for laboratories, libraries, residence halls, and cafeterias, the university moved its campus in the summer of 1974 from Santa Barbara, California to the then-defunct Parsons College campus in Fairfield, Iowa.
Parsons College, incorporated February 24, 1875, was the result of a legacy from Lewis B. Parsons, Sr., a merchant committed to education and to Christianity, and who had throughout his business life successfully invested in wild, Iowa land. On his death, the sale of thirty-eight hundred acres of undeveloped land was to provide for the creation of an institution of learning in Iowa.
The college opened in a building already on a site situated north of Fairfield, in September, 1875, and by December, of that same year, the college had moved into a newly completed building. The first president Rev. John Armstrong, A. M., and sixteen of the thirty trustees were required by the Articles of Incorporation to be members of the Presbyterian Church.
After 99 years as a functional college, Parsons College closed in June, 1973, and the campus was purchased the following year by Maharishi University of Management.
Maharishi University, Fairfield (1974-present)
Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission
followed the move to Fairfield, and the now, deserted Parsons College campus. The first Ph.D. programs were offered in 1979. 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 National Institutes of Health’s Cancer Institute; the NIH Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Science Foundation; the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the U.S. Department of Education. Research grants have been awarded in fields including physics, molecular biology, physiology, and preventive medicine.
The founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, laid out the following principles for the university:
- To develop the full potential of the individual
- To realize the highest ideal of education
- To improve governmental achievements
- To solve the age-old problem of crime and all behavior that brings unhappiness to our world family
- To bring fulfillment to the economic aspirations of individuals and society
- To maximize the intelligent use of the environment
- To achieve the spiritual goals of humanity in this generation.
The Beach Boys recorded their 1979 album M.I.U. Album on the campus, and named it after the university.
As a component of Consciousness based education, students and faculty practice the Transcendental Meditation
technique daily, which is said to offer a range of benefits. . Consciousness-based education is said to include both personal experience and intellectual understanding of knowledge and its possible source.
Maharishi University of Management operates on a block system. Students take one course at a time for approximately a four-week period.
Entering MUM freshmen and transfer students begin their first semester with a Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) class, which consists of 33 taped lessons created by Maharishi. The course, the theoretical aspect of the Transcendental Meditation technique, was designed by Maharishi, and claims to offer a complete, systematic understanding of consciousness that would enable students to connect any academic discipline to a holistic paradigm, that includes connection to themselves. Entering students also participate in “Base Camp,” where they travel as a group to a semi-wilderness environment to experience the outdoors.
Students may choose from a range of majors in the arts, sciences, business, and humanities, receiving traditional training in these fields.
All disciplines are also integrated with an understanding of the theoretical aspects of human consciousness as perceived by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Maharishi University of Management emphasizes "natural health". To this end, students are encouraged to maintain a regular schedule of academic work, rest, meals, and exercise.
In addition to a tobacco-free, alcohol-free, and drug-free campus policy, natural health techniques are provided. These include guidelines for daily and seasonal routines, diet and digestion, simple breathing techniques, simple yoga postures called asanas, personalized fitness programs, and self-pulse 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. The fully equipped Recreation Center and an outdoor swimming pool are open to students at no charge.
The university also offers an all-vegetarian, organic menu made from fresh ingredients rather than frozen or processed foods. The range of dishes includes home-style American pizza, lasagna, Chinese stir-fry, and Mexican, Greek, and Indian 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 some of the produce, cooked within a day of picking. A buffet-style dining room includes outdoor dining when weather permits. The campus meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.
Tuition and financial aid
More than 90% of U.S. undergraduate students receive financial aid covering most of their tuition, fees, housing and meals charges, which total $30,430. US graduate students may receive financial aid packages covering 100% of their educational charges. Financial aid packages consist of federal and state grants (undergraduate students only), institutional scholarships, and low interest federal loans.
International students may be eligible for financial aid. Different packages are available through the financial aid office. Awards vary depending on the program.
Maharishi University of Management has surrounded by wooded areas, fields, and two small lakes, and is located west of the Mississippi River. The original Parsons College campus included 80 buildings, including several that were listed on the National Register of Historic Places
; many of those structures have been demolished in favor of new buildings using ancient Vedic principles of architecture architecture and environmentally conscious design. As of 2007, the University has over 45 buildings on campus, including 17 main classroom and administrative buildings. A master plan for reconstruction includes attention toward environmental conservation, incorporating renewable energy, and state-of-the-art building technologies.
Administrative and teaching
The 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.
A new Student Center, opened in 2008, houses a large, open, reception area, large dining rooms, kitchens, student cafe, student book store and shopping area, interdenominational chapel, large lecture hall, classrooms, exercise studio, and Student Government offices.
The Library Building 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 videotaped 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. Interlibrary loans include books and articles and access to University of Iowa Library and worldwide Libraries.
Other buildings include:
- A fieldhouse;
- A K-12 Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, which includes a separate digital media center and a greenhouse;
- The McLaughlin Building, which houses the Computer Science Department and Mathematics Department;
- The Maharishi Veda Bhavan Building, which houses the Education Department, Maharishi Vedic Science Department, and the Center for Educational Excellence;
- 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;
- Two Golden Domes for Research in Consciousness classes.
Residential buildings and amenities
- 14 former fraternity houses, now used as residence halls;
- Six new Maharishi Sthapatya Veda arcitecture residence halls;
- Five Hi-Rise residence halls;
- Hildenbrand Residence Hall;
- Faculty and staff apartments and homes;
- Verrill Hall, which houses communications, custodial services, housing, mail room, the Press, Press Marketing, KHOE 90.5 FM radio station, and video studios;
- An Recreation Center.
The University's efforts to create a sustainable campus includes, green and energy-efficient architecture and community planning including a form of ancient Vedic architecture, a system of country, town, village, and home planning. Over 40 old buildings have been demolished and over a dozen new buildings have been erected according to these design principles.
Maharishi University of Management has had studies published in numerous scientific journals.
As well, the university has received over $20 million in funding from different branches of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. The university's Department of Physiology and Health 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 specializing in natural preventive medicine for minorities in the U.S. In the past decade, Institute director Dr. Robert Schneider and national collaborators received grants totaling over $10.5 million for research on prevention-oriented natural medicine. Studies were published in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension. Other Institute research findings were published in periodicals such as the American Journal of Cardiology, Psychosomatic Medicine, Ethnicity and Disease
, and the American Journal of Managed Care
. 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, and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention trains future researchers that includes graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and physicians, in the area of natural approaches to medicine.
The international flavor of the student body lends itself to learning opportunities both in and outside the classroom. Many students share the common goal of world peace, and through the Global Student Council — a group of student-run committees — there are opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and work with national and international organizations.
Single rooms are standard for all students to ensure quiet and privacy. All rooms are furnished and include high-speed Internet connections. Most residence halls are equipped with exercise and TV rooms. Family homes are available in a 200-unit Utopia Park located on the northern part of campus, and housing can also be found throughout the surrounding town of Fairfield. The University is now in the process of designing its first “green” residence hall, a fully nontoxic building with earth-friendly energy and water systems.
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 Vedic architecture. Geothermal technology is used to conserve energy, and natural materials were used whenever possible.
Sports and recreation
A indoor facility is equipped with a weight room, gymnastic equipment, basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, ping-pong tables, track, and a 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 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. Players represent as many as 16 countries, and the team has been three-time undefeated champion of its league. Within a five-minute walk is a small two-lake reservoir, suitable for flat water kayaking, canoing and windsurfing. A 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.
The Global Student Council hosts 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. Talent variety shows, open mike evenings, games night at the Cosmic Café, and national-day celebrations honoring the over 50 nations represented on campus occur during the year. The Student Union Theater hosts films and live performances, while a large downstairs ballroom is the site for everything from Latin dance classes to fashion shows. The library offers DVD/video rentals of over 1,500 titles.
Some noted alumni include Ronald J.D. Parker
, Jennie Rothenberg
, and Geoff Gilpin