Maharishi University of Management

Maharishi University of Management
Maharishi University of Management

Golden Dome and Maharishi Tower of Invincibilty
Established 1971
Type Private, not-for-profit
Endowment $9.0 million[1]
President Bevan Morris[2]
Vice-president Craig Pearson
Academic staff 47 full-time, 10 part-time
Admin. staff 200[citation needed]
Students 1210[3]
Undergraduates 256 full time
26 part-time[3]
Postgraduates 498 full time
430 part-time[3]
Location Fairfield, Iowa, United States
Campus Rural, 272 acres (1.1 km2)
Former names Maharishi International University
Colors Green and Gold         
Affiliations Transcendental Meditation movement[4]
Maharishi University of Management logo 1.jpg

Maharishi University of Management (MUM), formerly known as Maharishi International University, is a non-profit, American 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.[5][6] Its founding principles include the development of the full potential of the individual and achieving the spiritual goals of humanity in this generation.

It 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 business, education, communications, mathematical science, literature, physiology & health, Vedic Science and sustainable living.[7][8] The university features; an academic “block system” (where students study one subject for four weeks), a multi-national student body and an organic, vegetarian meal program. The original campus was located in Goleta, California and in 1974 moved to a 272 acre facility in Iowa where many buildings featuring the principles of Maharishi Sthapatya Veda architecture.



Aerial photograph of the MUM campus

The university was conceived by Transcendental Meditation teachers, established in 1971 by Nat Goldhaber and created with the belief that a school that incorporated the Transcendental Meditation technique would create an "unusual contribution to higher education".[9] It was inaugurated by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, with Robert Keith Wallace becoming the first university president in 1973. Its first location was an apartment complex in Goleta, California with one hundred students and thirty-five faculty members.[6] In June 1974, the university relocated to the campus of the former Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa.[6][10]

In 1975, the freshman and sophomore years were interdisciplinary 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 "the 24 freshman courses", some of which were recorded "by 'resident' faculty who did not set foot on campus during the course". The freshman admission requirement was a high school diploma and transfer students were "accepted regardless of academic record". [10] [9]

In 1976, the accreditation evaluation team from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, said the faculty were “creative in their vision for higher education and eminently qualified” and the university was granted "candidate for accreditation" status.[9] At that time, faculty and administrators were all 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.[9]On campus, drugs and alcohol were "shunned" and a "strong sense of community" pervaded the institution.[9]

Bevan Morris was appointed president and chairman of the board of trustees in 1979.

In 1980, the university received accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and became a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS).[3]

1981 saw the completion of two 20,000 square foot, meditation domes or Golden Domes, that were built on the campus "for the group practice of the Transcendental Mediation and TM-Sidhi program".[11]

In July 1983, it was reported that many university students were asked to leave the campus when they attempted to distribute literature for meditation seminars by Robin Woodsworth Carlsen, a critic of the university leadership, during the university's graduation ceremony. As a result several students were suspended and their "super-radiance cards", needed for admission to the meditation domes, were revoked.[12] In December 1983, Morris organized a special three-week "Taste of Utopia" gathering which attracted more than 7,000 practitioners of the TM-Sidhi program. He later reported that reduced world tensions and a higher Dow Jones stock index occurred during, and as a result of, this event.[13]

In 1995, Maharishi International University changed its name to Maharishi University of Management (MUM).[6]

In order to rebuild the campus according to Maharishi Sthapatya Veda design principles, many of the original Parsons College buildings were demolished, including four that were listed on the National Historic Register. Beginning in 2000 and continuing through 2005, the university demolished Carnegie Hall, Parsons Hall, Barhydt Chapel, Blum Stadium (1966), Laser Tower, the dining hall, and 38 dormitory "pods".[14] In 2000, local preservationists protested the demolition of Parsons Hall, built in 1915,[15] and of Barhydt Chapel, designed in 1911 by Henry K. Holsman. University officials said that MUM would donate the buildings to a community group who could raise the $1 million needed to move what the local newspaper described as an "ailing building".[16][17]

The university's stabbing incident occurred in 2001 when Shuvender Sem, a student at MUM, attacked two other students in separate instances.[18] 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.[18] According to journalist Anthony Barnett, the attacks led critics to question the movement's claims that advanced meditation techniques could end violence.[19] Maharishi said of the incident that "this is an aspect of the violence we see throughout society", including the violence that the U.S. perpetrates in other countries.[19]

Beginning in 2005, film director David Lynch began hosting an annual "David Lynch Weekend for World Peace and Meditation" at MUM.[20] The 2008 event included musical performances by Donovan, Moby and Chrysta Bell.[21] The 4th annual event, November 12–16, 2009 featured Donovan, MUM professor John Hagelin, and the American debut of James McCartney who performed on November 14, 2009 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa.[20][22] 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, peace".[20][23]

Actor, native Iowan, and Yogic Flyer Stephen Collins was the featured speaker at the 2010 commencement ceremony and spoke to the 234 graduating students about his views on "counter-culturalism".[24][25]

Board of trustees

The Board of Trustees consists of more than 30 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.[26][27][28][29] 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,[30][31] and Alfred L. Jenkins, a career diplomat who served as chairman of MIU for three years but later left the movement.[32][33]

Founding principles

The founding principles of the university are:

  1. To develop the full potential of the individual
  2. To realize the highest ideal of education
  3. To improve governmental achievements
  4. To solve the age-old problem of crime and all behavior that brings unhappiness to our world family
  5. To bring fulfillment to the economic aspirations of individuals and society
  6. To maximize the intelligent use of the environment
  7. To achieve the spiritual goals of humanity in this generation.[6][34]


Maharishi University of Management, looking west.
Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment.

Maharishi University of Management has 272 acres (1.1 km2) surrounded by wooded areas, fields, and two small lakes, and is located 50 miles (80 km) west of the Mississippi River. The setting of the university has been called "urban".[35] The original Parsons College campus included 80 buildings, several of which were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of those structures, including Blum Stadium, have been demolished in favor of new buildings using Maharishi Sthapatya Veda principles of architecture and environmentally conscious design.[36] 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.[36]


The Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome of Pure Knowledge (for men) and the Bagambhrini Golden Dome (for women) are used for daily group practice of the TM-Sidhi program, including "Yogic Flying". They have been called "particle accelerators of consciousness" by Maharishi.[37]

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 50,000 sq ft (5,000 m2) Student Center that opened in 2008 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 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 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.

Other buildings include:

  • Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, a K-12 school which has a separate digital media center and greenhouse;
  • The McLaughlin Building, home to the Computer Science and Mathematics departments;
  • 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;
  • A fieldhouse;
  • The Maharishi Tower of Invincibility;
  • 14 former fraternity houses, now used as residence halls;
  • Six new Maharishi Sthapatya Veda residence halls;
  • Five high-rise residence halls;
  • Hildenbrand Residence Hall;
  • Utopia Park, a 200-unit trailer park;[38]
  • 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 80,000-square-foot (7,000 m2) Recreation Center.
  • Sustainable Living Center (under construction)[39]


MUM is establishing itself as a leader in sustainable architecture among Iowa colleges and universities.[40] The University's efforts to create a sustainable campus includes 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.[40] Over 40 old buildings have been demolished and over a dozen new buildings have been erected according to these design principles.[41][42]

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.[43]

In 2010, the University began construction on a Sustainable Learning Center (SLC) building using the standards of Maharishi Vedic Architecture.[44] According to the University, the building will "set a new global standard for green buildings" by incorporating local building materials and being completely energy self-sufficient, even during construction.[45][45] It is 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.[39][45][46] The SLC will house both research and classroom activities and allow students to "interactively monitor performance and energy efficiency".[39][45][46][47] University officials hope this building can prove that the county has the expertise for technological jumps of this kind.[40][48]

In 2011, the University participated in the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council's, solar energy project, Sustain Angoon.[49]


Development of consciousness

Dome shaped building on MUM campus, for the group practice of the TM-Sidhi program and Yogic Flying

As a component of Consciousness-Based education, students and faculty practice the Transcendental Meditation technique and the TM-Sidhi program twice daily.[5] Consciousness-Based education includes both personal experience and intellectual understanding of both knowledge and consciousness.[50]

According to the student handbook, students are automatically enrolled in Development of Consciousness (DoC) classes every semester they are on campus, and must pass every DoC class to graduate.[51][52] Attendance is mandatory and recorded. Falsification of the attendance record is a violation of the honor code, along with cheating and plagiarism.[53] Development of Consciousness topics include Group TM program, Individual TM checking, TM Experience meetings for Meditators, Advanced Knowledge Meetings for Sidhas, and World Peace Assemblies for Sidhas.[52] Many students go on to take the TM-Sidhi program, including Yogic Flying.[52]

The TM-Sidhi course costs thousands of dollars and claims to reverse aging, give clairvoyance, and allow one to levitate. Students have not seen results. In 1986, seven former students filled a lawsuit stating that "instead of flying they only learned to hop".[54]

Science of Creative Intelligence

For most of its history, entering MUM freshmen and transfer students began their first semester with a Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) class,[55] which consists of 33 taped lessons created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.[56] The 2009 MUM Catalog omits the undergraduate SCI course; a course in Science and Technology of Consciousness appears in its place.[57] SCI remains a requirement for graduate programs. SCI outlines a systematic understanding of consciousness that enables the students to connect any academic discipline to a holistic paradigm that includes themselves.[56]

All disciplines are integrated with an understanding of the theoretical aspects of human consciousness as outlined in the Science of Creative Intelligence course.[58]

Block system and academic day

Maharishi University of Management operates on a block system. Students take one course at a time during a four-week period.[59] Except for non-standard classes, the academic day runs from 10 am to 3 pm, with an hour break for lunch, Monday through Saturday.[60]

Accreditation, rankings and recognition

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.[61] MUM is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).[62] The University’s business programs (B.A., MBA, and Ph.D.) are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).[62] The University is also a charter signatory of the American College and University Climate Commitment.[63]

Maharishi University of Management was listed as a tier 4 university in the "Best Colleges 2010" Masters Midwest Category of U.S. News & World Report College and University rankings. Tier 4 is the lowest ranking for this category.[35]

MUM participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in 2002, 2005, and 2009.[64] According to the 2002 NSSE survey, which obtained data from 135,000 students at 613 institutions, MUM was in the top 10% for: active and collaborative learning, supportive campus environment, enriching educational experiences and student-faculty interaction.[65][66]

The results of the ACT alumni survey conducted in 2008 show a high level of alumni satisfaction.[67]

MUM is listed in Peterson's 440 Great Colleges for Top Students 2010.[68]

Maharishi University of Management website cites high rankings on "benchmarks of effective educational practice" from the National Survey of Student Engagement.[69]


In 2007, 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.[8][70] Seventy-one percent of these students were enrolled in a graduate degree program.[8] The largest age group was 25–29 years of age (42%).[8] In this same year, MUM awarded 125 Masters degrees and 34 Bachelor degrees.[8]

In 2010, there were 1,210 students enrolled — 754 full-time and 456 part-time students, with 928 full- and part-time graduate students.[3]

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, Iowa 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.[71]

According to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2010" report, MUM's application deadline is "rolling" and its fall admissions selectivity is "less selective".[35]

Financial aid

At MUM more than 90% of U.S. undergraduate students receive financial aid covering most of their tuition, fees, housing and meal charges, which total $30,430 per year.[72][not in citation given] U.S. graduate students may receive financial aid packages covering 100% of their education charges. Financial aid packages consist of federal and state grants (undergraduate students only), institutional scholarships, and low-interest federal loans.[73] MUM participates in Title IV financial aid programs.[8]

International students may be eligible for financial aid. Packages are available through the financial aid office that vary by program.[74]


According to, 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.[8]

The University participates in a state sponsored, fast-track license program for school teachers.[75][76][77] The University offers a sustainable living program, the first of its kind in the nation.[78] The program includes a B.S in Sustainable Living and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Business.[63] 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.[79]

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.[63] MUM also offers undergraduate programs in China.[3]



  • Art and Design (B.F.A.)
  • Business (B.A.)
  • Communications and Media (B.A.)
  • Computer Science (B.A. / B.S.)
  • Elementary Education (B.A.)
  • Secondary Education (B.A.)
  • Literature (B.A.)
  • Literature with an Emphasis in Writing (B.A.)
  • Maharishi Vedic Science (B.A.)
  • Mathematical Sciences (B.S.)
  • Physiology and Health (B.A.)
  • Sustainable Living (B.S.)


  • Maharishi Gandharva Veda music
  • Physics
  • World Peace
  • Improvisation Movement



  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sustainable Business
  • Accounting Professionals Program (MBA)
  • Computer Science (M.S.)
  • Teaching: Elementary Education (M.A.)
  • Teaching: Secondary Education (M.A.)
  • Maharishi Vedic Science (M.A.)
MUM campus sign


  • Maharishi Vedic Science
  • Management

Other features

The University is experimenting with "brain integration report cards", which will measure and evaluate a students brain development as the education process progresses.[80]

Student life


Argiro Student Center and Dining Hall at MUM

Maharishi University of Management emphasizes "natural health"[81] and students are encouraged to maintain a regular schedule of academic work, rest, meals, and exercise.[82] 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.[83] 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.[84] MUM prohibits the use of non-prescribed drugs, alcoholic beverages, and smoking on its campus.[85][86]

The university also offers an all-vegetarian, organic menu made from fresh ingredients rather than frozen or processed foods.[81][87] Organic, whole-grain breads and pastries are produced in university kitchens, while a local, organic dairy farm supplies milk, yogurt and ice cream.[88][89] University organic farms and greenhouses supply the produce, and are cooked within a day of picking.[81] A buffet-style dining room includes outdoor dining when weather permits.[81]

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. Family homes are available in a 200-unit Utopia Park located on the northern part of campus,[citation needed] and housing can also be found throughout the town of Fairfield. Freshmen are required to live on campus.[8] Compared to other colleges, MUM offers dorm rooms to a higher than average percentage of its students.[8]

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.[41]

The University is now designing its first "green" residence hall - a fully nontoxic building with earth-friendly energy and water systems.[citation needed]

Dress code and deportment

According to the student handbook, students are expect to maintain a dignified behavior, and are guided in their speech, etiquette and attire.[60] Students are required to wear neat and clean clothes in the classroom, dining hall and meditation halls. T-shirts are allowed during meditation, but not in classes or the dining hall. Shorts and other revealing clothing are only allowed during sports. Dyed hair and unusual piercings are not allowed in the classroom. Students from other cultures and traditions can wear traditional dress.[90] Men are only allowed beards for religious or medical reasons, and with a letter from their clergy or doctor.[91]

Sports and recreation

MUM students compete in numerous team and individual sports. Mens and women's golf is an intercollegiate sport; mens 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.[84]

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.[84] The swimming pool is open form 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.[84]

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.[84]


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. Base camp activities include swimming, hiking and canoeing.

The Global Student Council hosts events throughout the year, and the Student Activities department supports and helps staff these events.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] The library has over 1,500 DVD/video for rent.


Maharishi University of Management publishes the Journal of Modern Science and Vedic Science.[92] 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.[93]

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,[94][95][96][citation needed] including funding from the NIH'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.[citation needed] A university website says that research grants have been awarded in the fields of physics, molecular biology, physiology, and preventive medicine.[97][98][dead link][citation needed]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[99] The university has received more than $20 million in funding from different branches of the National Institutes of Health.[99] 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.[95][96]

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.[100][101]

Other views of research

In 1992, a New York Times article described Maharishi University as a place where all students and faculty meditate, and where the Maharishi's teachings are woven into mathematics, physics and every other subject, similar to colleges with strong religious affiliations. The article describes MUM as "an accredited university with grant-winning faculty members and competitive students who mix transcendental meditation ... with serious academics studies striving to create their own new world". The article said that even as the university gained research grants and subsequent credibility, it also faced controversy. Curtis Mailloux (class of 1979), said the Fairfield campus is a "coercive environment" with a "propensity for fraudulent research".[102]

In 2002, the Gazette (Cedar Rapids and Iowa City) reported that, despite the fact that major medical schools might have in the past "turned up their noses" at studies MUM was conducting, millions of dollars had been awarded by the National Institutes of Health, and major universities, including the University of Iowa; University of California, Irvine; and University of Hawaii, were conducting research on alternative medicine and therapies with MUM. Maharishi University and the University of Iowa, the article reported, were working on a study that looked at whether holistic therapy can effect the slowing or progression of heart disease.[103]

According to religious scholar Lola Williamson, former MUM professors have criticized the research conducted at MUM and the uses to which that research is put, including to obtain tax exempt status, as fraudulent. Former MUM professor of economics and business law, Anthony DeNaro, stated in 1986 that there is "a very serious and deliberate pattern of fraud...designed to misrepresent the TM movement as a science". Williamson also says that Dennis Roark, former Dean of Faculty and chair of the physics department in the 1970s, stated in a 1987 letter that he believed negative data was routinely suppressed in MUM research, and that scientific claims as to both the beneficial effects of TM and physics "are not only without reasonable basis, but are in fact in many ways fraudulent." Roark stated that he had questioned MUM professor Michael Dilbeck regarding his studies of brain wave coherence using EEG measurements during practice of the TM-Sidhi program, and that Dilbeck admitted that it was impossible to make EEG measurements while the subjects were moving. Williamson says that Roark also wrote that when he was on faculty in the 1970s he questioned other investigators regarding studies of alleged crime reduction as a result of the Maharishi Effect, and they admitted to suppressing negative data and using only data that supported favorable conclusions.[104]


According to the New York Times, some former members of the movement have called MUM a "training ground" for a cult. Non-student members of the movement have moved to Fairfield so they can join in group sessions in the university's golden domes, and to help establish world peace.[102] The article quotes Stephen Crow, then deputy director of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the accrediting body for Midwest schools, as saying that North Central has found the university and its facilities and faculty to be "appropriate". The article says that John Patterson, a professor at Iowa State University, questions the accreditation itself, saying it lends credibility to what he describes as "these crackpots".[102]

In 1992, reporter Michael D’Antonio wrote in his book, Heaven on Earth – Dispatches from America’s Spiritual Frontier,[105] that, as practiced at MUM, Transcendental Meditation is "a cult rather than a culture". D'Antonio wrote that Transcendental Meditation was like the worst of religion: rigid, unreasonable, repressive, and authoritarian, characterized by overt manipulation, a disregard for serious scholarship, and an unwillingness to question authority. For the first time in his travels he found people he believed to be truly deluded, and a physics department teaching theories that were dead wrong.[106] D’Antonio charges that they have taken Transcendental Meditiation "into a grandiose narcissistic dream, a form of intellectual bondage, that they call enlightment".[107]

Popular culture

The Beach Boys recorded their 1979 album M.I.U. Album on the campus, and named it after the university.[108] 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.[109]



As of 2007, MUM had 52 faculty members.[110]

For the 2007-2008 academic year, average salaries for MUM full time faculty were as follows,[110] followed by the national averages for that year:[111]

Level MUM Male Faculty MUM Female Faculty National Average
Professor $19,595 N/A $98,500
Associate Professor $14,648 $9,644 $70,800
Assistant Professor $17,109 $6,678 $59,300
Instructor $7,992 N/A $55,300
All Faculty $15,692 $7,296 $71,100

Notable past and present faculty at MUM include David Orme-Johnson, John Hagelin, Ashley Deans, and Elaine Ingham.[112]


Noted alumni include UFO expert Jeff Peckman who attended for one year, Ron Parker, a Canadian who ran on the Natural Law Party ticket and received his PhD in physics from MUM, filmmaker Shrikar Madiraju, and writer Peter McWilliams.[113] Author John Gray has been called an alumnus of MIU,[114] but other sources list him as an alumnus of Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in Switzerland.[115][116] 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,[117][118][119][120] and Jennie Rothenberg-Gritz who is the senior editor for[121][122] A son of Joaquim Chissano, then President of Mozambique, and several children of his cabinet members received scholarships to Maharishi International University in the mid-1990s.[123]


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