Friday, September 19, 2014


Working at MUM is a 200% Life
Steve Langerud is a counselor, facilitator and executive coach. He works with people to improve their skills in communication, team-building, leadership and strategic thinking in the workplace. He has worked with over 15,000 people to facilitate effective professional development, career and life decisions and improve their effectiveness at work.
Here is what he says about his experience with life at MUM:
I have learned a lot since coming to MUM in June. The kindness of faculty, staff, and students have meant a lot to me.  I can be a bit slow on the uptake but you have all been patient as I learn about MUM.  

Most importantly, I remain steadfast in my belief that focusing on 200% of life for both individuals and the University, combined with a solid core of liberal arts and professional skills, is the education for the future. 200% of life means 100% of outer and 100% of inner life.  

In my professional life as a consultant, I daily work with people who have experienced the outer 100% of success in life - money, homes, cars, position, prestige.  But many times I miss in them the inner 100% of life that provides resilience, continuity, and coherence.    

Speach at the High Likes Leadership program

When they become my clients, we know that it is never too late to develop this inner 100% of life.  And we move forward.  However,  I think of when I work with them I become even more aware how fortunate are they who develop this profound stillness, focus, and deep reserve during their college years.  

Recent research shows that happiness is one of the important outcomes of education. Meditation can be the core to crafting creative, resilient professional and personal lives and communities.  This is a product and value proposition of MUM that stands on its own.  I am proud to speak to students and others about the role of meditation in education.

It is exciting to see faculty and staff publishing papers, appearing in the media, and speaking about their expertise at professional meetings.  These activities are the currency that establishes MUM as a convening point for knowledge and practice in higher education and work.  
I am eager to see MUM continue the legacy of Maharishi bringing together thought leaders to engage in dialogue about their ideas, opinions, and practices.  MUM is a convening point to explore ideas about education, careers, and the dilemmas of the 21st century.  

Steve with the Minister of Bhutan Thakur S. Powdyel

In the fall, I spent two weeks traveling around Iowa on a speaking tour with His Excellency Thakur S. Powdyel, former Minister of Education from Bhutan.  We travelled to two professional conferences, and to Grinnell College, Coe College, and the University of Northern Iowa.  

At each stop, we engaged students, faculty, and administrators on issues of education policy, pedagogy, and school design.  They had heard of MUM and we had lively discussions about the University and Fairfield. Some of them came to visit MUM.

In my work, I regularly speak with people around the country about leadership, career and life planning, communication, and professional development.  While it is never my primary topic, I always get to talk about life at MUM eventually.  People are curious! They want to know about the 200% of life that we deliver here at MUM.

Last week I spoke at the top ranked school for public affairs about crafting a life of meaning, significance, and service.  MUM or mediation was not the main topic, but where I go MUM goes with me.  And, as is typical, usually during a break, lunch or dinner people will summon the courage to ask me: “What is it like at MUM?”  “Do you meditate?”  “Do you think it helps you?”

Steve with K. Thomas, Vice-President of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry

It is exciting to speak about the connection between MUM and preparation for the world of work. Graduates of MUM can: 

  • Speak and write clearly and within their professional context; 
  • Be effective leaders and members of work teams;
  • Manage projects from start to finish;
  • Apply discipline driven expertise in the workplace;
  • Use quantitative skills to understand and make decisions based on data.  

We can be confident that graduate schools, employers, colleagues, and clients of MUM graduates will experience:  high performing people with resilient and sustainable lives; 
people who contribute to the spiritual and economic growth of their workplace, family, and community;  people who thrive in their professional lives.    

Students and families can select MUM as the place to begin a journey that starts inside to build an unshakable core on which sits a life of meaning, significance, and service.  A journey to which each of us as faculty, staff and alumni actively contributes our expertise.  We provide a clear, consistent, and observable narrative about the university and our mission.  

Classroom session at the graduate school
As employees of MUM, we each support this narrative by ourselves but we don’t do it alone.  The collective kindness and caring at MUM is palpable. You have heard about the love prospectives feel when they visit campus.  That love is people.
One lasting memory from my early visits to MUM is the light and energy in the south dining hall.  Laughter, bright eyes, big smiles.  Animated conversations between students, faculty, staff, and community bring MUM alive.  

In my opinion, if we are willing to be bold, with our collective energy MUM is poised to take a leading role in higher education.  We will provide a high quality, cost effective, resilient, and sustainable education with tangible professional outcomes for students.  Our crystal clear focus; unflinching self-reflection; and deep commitment to executing a vision will lead us to be a 200% university. 


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