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Dr Travis gives presentation to 800 university provosts
by Patricia Boland

The M.U.M. Review    Translate This Article
21 May 2006

Faculty member Fred Travis spoke to over 800 university provosts last month at the annual meeting of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). As a plenary speaker, Dr. Travis presented alongside veritable icons of American higher education and received very positive feedback from the audience.

Featured speakers included Derek Bok, university president emeritus, Harvard University, and Thomas Ehrlich, a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation and former dean of Stanford Law School. Professor Ehrlich is credited by Stanford as having helped establish it as one of the top laws schools in the nation.

Also featured were key leaders of the Campus Diversity Initiative, Alma Clayton-Pederson, senior policy director for the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and Daryl G. Smith, professor of education and psychology at Claremont Graduate University.

WASC, through its Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, accredits institutions in the western United States. The theme of the annual meeting was 'From Compliance to Commitment: The Inquiring Institution.' The aim was to provide top educators with the knowledge of how to improve student learning and organizational effectiveness.

The plenary sessions were described in promotional material as bringing together 'some of the most inspiring and creative thinkers in higher education.'

Dr. Travis spoke on the topic 'Does the College Experience Damage the Brain?' and presented recent brain research documenting how the college experience takes a terrible toll on a student's brain.

According to Dr. Travis, the usual college experience involves academic pressures, poor diet, sleep deprivation, and substance abuse. The resultant stress and fatigue actually breaks down the connection between the frontal lobe and the rest of the brain. This limits judgment, moral reasoning, synthesis, and planning. This is the antithesis of the goal of going to college, which is to cultivate these skills.

Dr. Travis showed how all experiences change the brain. On this foundation, it was a simple step for these educators to understand how practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique would also change the brain. He showed patterns of neural imaging, raw EEG, and EEG coherence that demonstrated that frontal attention circuits are enlivened during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, thereby integrating the functioning of the whole brain.

'The response was incredible,' Dr. Travis said. 'The educators knew that something was wrong with education and were sincerely interested in the possible implementation of the Transcendental Meditation technique in education.'

Ralph Wolff, president and executive director of the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, congratulated Dr. Travis on the success of his presentation. His staff reviewed audience feedback of the plenary speakers and Dr. Travis received the highest evaluation of all speakers. Dr. Wolff practices the TM-Sidhi program and invited Dr. Travis to present.

Copyright © 2006 Maharishi University of Management

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