Maharishi University of Management (MUM) boasts of it’s international diversity in many of it’s online and printed publications, but what about the underlying lack of diversity associated with the university and associated enterprises? For example, consider this statement issued by the university’s Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees of Maharishi University of Management remains committed to this ambitious and global vision. In the most recent academic year, students from 88 countries were enrolled, a new record. We are expanding our international collaborations, online education offerings, and service programs.
Harboring “students from 88 countries” is just the tip of the iceberg. The university extends the corpus of it’s diversification to infer an essence of “global thinking” leveraged in the refinement of the curriculum and the campus on the whole expressing:
The Board also recognizes we must “think globally and act locally.” Every enrolled student is precious. We take seriously our obligations to provide not only the unique benefits of Consciousness-Based education, but academic rigor, real-world training, and a life-supporting learning environment. The Board works closely with faculty and administration, constantly refining our curriculum and teaching, and improving the campus.
While I’ve addressed matters of “academic rigor” and “refined curriculum” in such posts as “the 90 min homework myth” or “Egregious Geometric MUMbling“, this entry seeks to paint the forest arround MUM’s claims to “Diversity” within the scope of “global thinking.”
From a marketing — and comedy — standpoint, consider the diversity claim of the Maharishi University of Management website’s home page as visually inferred in the screenshot below.
As we consider the photo representing the “Diverse Student Body” touchpoint, it’s difficult to ignore what appears to be twin sisters; twins seem to suggest sameness rather than difference. But on a more subtle level, the twins are even wearing the same outfits differing only in color!
This phenomenon is much like the diversity of the Board of Trustees which totes the diversity claim as their global golden goose. Upon visitation of the university’s webpage featuring the board of trustees we find 30 of the 33 trustees represent one(1) country; The United States. On a domestic level, 17 of the 33 trustees represent either Fairfield or Vedic City Iowa; over half of the trustees are Iowa residents. The closest proximity to diversity within the Board of Trustees resides in the male to female ratio, male trustees numbering twenty-six(26), while female trustees total seven(7).
As I extend an invitation to consider diversity from a purely visual standpoint, I can’t help but reflect on the above image of diversity from the university’s homepage — diversity rooted primarily in the color of wardrobe — when casting gaze at the Board of Trustees below.
But in all fairness, the cistern of administrative diversity surely isn’t completely dry. Introspecting deeper, perhaps we can add Vedic City’s City Council members, and even include the ministers of the Global Country for World Peace while we’re at it.
If we approach diversity strictly from a Maharishi University of Management faculty standpoint only, as it’s the university that boasts of diversity, perhaps we’ll notice a change in the diversity trend.
Let us not forget the Department of Sustainable Living and Mathematics, who feature a department photo rather than individual head shots.
When we consider diversity beyond the scope of the student body — not that some of the faculty aren’t students — the most likely location to find it is in the role of assistant professor.
Of the nearly 100 faculty members noted on the MUM website, just 27 are women. Even further, all but 11 are Caucasian. I couldn’t think of a more non-diverse organization — aside from the Ku Klux Klan.