Union Institute & University

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Union Institute & University (UI&U) is a private, non-profit, doctoral-granting, research university that specializes in limited residence and distance learning programs. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Its main campus is in Cincinnati, Ohio, and operates satellite campuses located in Vermont, Florida, and California.


Union Institute & University traces its origins to 1964, when the president of Goddard College hosted the presidents of nine liberal arts institutions at a conference to discuss cooperation in educational innovation and experimentation. [2] The Union for Research and Experimentation in Higher Education [3] was established with Antioch College, Bard College, Goddard College, Chicago Teachers North, Monteith Masson, New College at Hofstra University, Sarah Lawrence College, Shimer College, and Stephens College originally forming The Union. [2] The Union for Research and Experimentation in Higher Education [3] The "discovery" of the English open education movement may have played a factor in the interest in progressive education. [4] From its inception, The Union had a continuing emphasis on social relevance and interdisciplinarity of research. The Union Graduate School's doctoral programs were based on the British tutorial system. The first doctoral students were admitted in 1970. Dr. Samuel Baskin, a psychologist and educational reformer, who served on the faculty of Stephens and Antioch Colleges, was the founding president of the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities, Union Graduate School, and the University Without Walls. The legendary philosopher and author Margaret Mead was one of first Professors. [3]

Renamed The Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities in 1969, The Union directed its focus toward providing educational opportunities for non-traditional students whose needs were best served by a low-residency college experience, as well as those students who sought to conduct socially relevant research in an interdisciplinary manner.The Union is based on the Oxbridge educational model. By 1971, five more colleges and universities joined the Union, bringing the total consortium to 22 schools of higher education. [2] In 1975, the number of schools in the University Without Walls network reached 34. [6] The Union provided administrative support for these programs under the guidance of Samuel Baskin. [2]

The Union of Experimenting Colleges and Universities, or UECU, disbanded in 1982, but the University Without Walls remained in operation. [2]


Emerging from its bankruptcy, the surviving University Without Walls was renamed sometime between 1986 and 1989 as The Union Institute. [2] The Union Institute acquired Vermont College in Montpelier, Vermont from Norwich University in 2001. [2] The purchase of Vermont College added several master's degree programs and an Adult Degree Program to the Union's existing undergraduate and doctoral programs. This enabled The Union to provide a progression of degree opportunities, along with certificates in advanced graduate study. In October, 2001, Union was renamed Union Institute and University. [2]


Union Institute & University offers BA, MA, and PhD. programs in a variety of fields and disciplines. [2]

The Union Institute and University's Ph.D. program came under scrutiny by the Ohio Board of Regents, culminating in a Reauthorization Report published in 2002. [2] In response to the Report, The Union underwent major academic and structural changes, including dissolution of The Union Graduate School and restructuring of its Ph.D. programs. The Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences, for example, was redesigned to a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, with four majors: Ethical and Creative Leadership, Public Policy and Social Change, Humanities and Culture, and Educational Studies. [2]

Notable alumni

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