Leah Waller

Leah Waller

  • Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
  • Leah Waller has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for three years


MUM alumni, Leah Waller is an Assistant Professor of creative writing and the director of the University Writing Center here at MUM. Leah’s work has been published in literary journals, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. Her book, Under the Cedar Tree, had a soaring debut in Amazon’s top ten best seller list for poetry, and continues to be a popular favorite among reading circles.

Leah received her bachelors in literature at MUM and went on to achieve a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Northern Arizona University. At NAU, Leah worked as the Assistant Managing Editor for Thin Air Magazine, and an instructor of composition writing. Leah is delighted to return to MUM and teach alongside the same dynamic team of creative professionals who once inspired her to follow her dreams.

James Fairchild

James Fairchild

  • Associate Professor of Literature and Writing
  • Dr. Fairchild has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for twenty years


  • Dr. Fairchild has been a teacher since 1967. He began in secondary education, teaching English in junior high and high school.
  • In 1971 he became a teacher of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation® technique.
  • He first started teaching English on the college level in 1974 at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Later, at the University of Iowa beginning in 1983. He graduated with a PhD in 1992.
  • He started teaching Professional Writing at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in 1995. Since around 2000, he has been teaching Literature and Creative Writing at MUM.
  • In 1979 he worked as an editor for a couple of years for Nevada Publications, for whom he also wrote a book which reviewed important Nevada publications. Since then he has been a freelance editor and has edited probably a dozen books, from doctoral dissertations to histories and various types of novels.
  • He also worked for and ultimately became the director of MIU World, the University’s publication, which no longer exists.
  • He likes to write, but mainly for himself, though he has published dozens of articles on Iowa and on the TM® organization.
  • He has written several short stories, including a couple of children’s stories, but has never sought to publish them.

Testimonials from Jim Fairchild’s students.

Terry Fairchild

Terry Fairchild

  • Associate Professor of Literature and Writing
  • Dr. Fairchild has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for twenty-six years



Dr. Fairchild has over twenty years of experience in college administration, curriculum design, and the teaching of literature, literary theory, film, and composition at the university level. His courses range from the classics to post–modernism, with emphasis on the twentieth century. He also has a strong background in such specialized areas as modern drama, Asian literature, media studies, and spiritual literature. Dr. Fairchild earned his PhD in English from the University of Iowa. He teaches Film, Shakespeare, Medieval, Drama, Modern British, Proseminar (Literary Theory), American Literature II. Research areas include Literature and Literary Criticism of the Twentieth Century, Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM as Literary Theory, Bernard Malamud, T. S. Eliot, Frank Waters, Postmodernism.


  • PhD English Literature, University of Iowa
  • MA English Literature, University of Utah
  • BA English Literature, University of Nevada

Faculty Appointments

1998 — Associate Professor of Literature, Maharishi University of Management

1990 — Assistant Professor of Literature, Associate Department Chair, Maharishi University of Management

1984–1989 — Graduate Instructor University of Iowa

  • Taught a variety of undergraduate literature courses
  • Served on graduate teaching committee

1983–1984 — Research Assistant, University of Iowa

  • Served as chief research assistant for Professor Florence Boos on numerous literary projects including:
  • Researched, edited, and proofed a variorum edition of William Morris’s Earthly Paradise
  • Edited, formatted, and cross–indexed a bibliography of literary criticism by and about feminist writers entitled Women in Literature
  • Researched and edited numerous smaller papers including bibliographies of 19th century figures William Morris, Jane Morris, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Algernon Swineburne, and Gerard Manley Hopkins

1975-1976 — Graduate Instructor University of Nevada, Las Vegas

  • Taught Introduction to Composition


Life and Art: The Short Fiction of Bernard Malamud — a critical analysis of the major themes, style, and moral vision in Malamud’s significant body of short fiction, a relatively overlooked portion of the author’s oeuvre in the wake of general praise. Because so many of Malamud’s stories are concerned with art, this text examines the author’s aesthetic interests in light of the existential humanism that dominates the body of his work.

Areas of Interest

20th Century British and American Literature, Modernism, Postmodernism, Critical Theory, Modern Drama, Poetry, Shakespeare, Medieval Literature, Film.

Teaching Experience

“I have over twenty years of teaching experience in literature and composition ranging from the most basic introductory courses to advanced seminars and graduate courses.”

Specific Teaching Assignments

University of Nevada

  • Introduction to Composition

University of Iowa

  • 8G:1 — Introduction to Literature
  • 8G:5 — The Forms of Comic Vision
  • 8G:6 — Narrative Literature
  • 8G:8 — Literature of the Theater
  • 8G:12 — Comic and Tragic Literature

Maharishi University of Management

  • Lit 205 — Introduction to Literature I (Fiction, Drama)
  • Lit 206 — Introduction to Literature II (Poetry, Research Paper)
  • Lit 330 — Literature of the Middle Ages
  • Lit 335 — Shakespeare I
  • Lit 336 — Shakespeare II
  • Lit 348 — Twentieth Century British Literature
  • Lit 351 — American Literature II (Realism to Present)
  • Lit 354 — Modern American Literature (Seminar)
  • Lit 360 — Contemporary Poetry
  • Lit 361 — The Novel
  • Lit 362 — Drama and Theater I (History of Drama)
  • Lit 363 — Introduction to Film
  • Lit 365 — History of Film
  • Lit 367 — Drama and Theater II (Modern Drama)
  • Lit 490 — Proseminar: Literary Theory
  • Lit 498 — Senior Project
  • Lit 503 — Bibliography and Methods
  • Lit 506 — Studies in American Literature II (20th Century)
  • Lit 518 — Studies in Modern British Literature
  • Lit 590 — Final Project


  • “Stafford’s ‘Traveling Through the Dark,” The Explicator 55.3 (97)
  • “Consciousness and Literary Study” with Susan Andersen, Modern Science and Vedic Science Vol 7.1 (97)
  • “Father” (poem), In Other Words (Fall 97)
  • “Time, Eternity, and Immortality in T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets,” Modern Science and Vedic ScienceVol 9.1 (99)
  • “Loving Henry,” Chicken Soup for the Single Soul, 1999
  • “Operating on the Planck Scale in Frank Waters’ The Man Who Killed the Deer,” South Dakota Review (Accepted)
  • “The Varieties of Consciousness in Henry IV,” Studies in Literary Imagination Vol. 34.2 (Fall 2001)
  • “The Sins of the Father in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex” Consciousness, Literature and Art Vol. 3.2(99)
  • “Maharishi Vedic Science and Literary Theory,” Consciousness, Literature and Art Vol. 5.3(04)


  • Senior editor for Nevada Publications
  • Senior editor on variorum edition of William Morris’s Earthly Paradise and Women in Literature
  • Executive Editor of Modern Science and Vedic Science


  • “Art and Artists in the Fiction of Bernard Malamud” — presented for Graduate Conference on Professional Publishing at the University of Iowa, Spring 1989
  • “Naming as Myth and Metaphor in the Novels of Bernard Malamud — Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, Nov. 2–4, 1989
  • “Postmodern Paradox” — presented for the Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, November 1990
  • “Time and Eternity in T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets,” for Iowa Council of Teachers, 1993

Faculty Positions

  • 2001–Present — Chair of MUM Literature Department — Presiding over every aspect of the department including recruiting and hiring of faculty, student recruitment, philosophical direction, curriculum design, course assignments, and department finance.
  • 1994–2000 — Associate Chair of MUM Literature Dpt.— Shared and assisted the Chair in all the duties of the Literature Department
  • 1992–Present — Departmental Advisor — Advise all Literature majors and minors on curriculum choices and the design of their programs as well as post-graduate choices


  • 2004 — Present FAPC Committee: Finance and promotions
  • 2002 — present Academic Council: Committee of department chairpersons.
  • 1993 — 2002 Curriculum Committee: Reviews additions or changes to curricula and/or faculty departments
  • 1996 Publishing Committee: Formed to give direction to faculty publications
  • 1997 Search Committee: Formed to locate distinguished faculty in the fields of Film Arts and Dramatic Arts
  • 1998 Expansion Committee: Formed to explore the means for developing the University’s buildings
  • 1999 — Present Film Committee: Chooses films and gives direction to film related projects for the university
  • 1999 — Present Drama Committee: Gives guidance in choosing plays and acts as a liaison between the university drama program and other drama programs in the community
  • 1999 — Present Library Committee: Gives advice on books and other programs for the library
Nynke Passi

Nynke Passi

  • Assistant Professor of Literature and Writing
  • MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University
  • BA in Literature with a minor in Theater from MUM
  • Nynke Passi has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for seventeen years


Nynke Passi started teaching at MUM in 1998, first in the former MA in Professional Writing program, then in the undergraduate Literature and Creative Writing program.

“Whether she is teaching poetry, graphic narrative, or memoir writing, Nynke Passi is more than a teacher; she is a mentor, confidante, and muse. With compassion and care, she guides students in expressing their creativity through language—she inspires students to be bold, authentic, and honest.” So writes Anna Maria Cornell, a graduate of MUM’s English program, now doing graduate work in Linguistics and ESL at the University of Iowa.

One of the University’s most popular teachers, Nynke has developed an extensive undergraduate creative writing curriculum with courses such as creative process, graphic narrative, poetry, poetry and transcendence, memoir, personal essay, fiction, and travel writing.

A graduate of MUM herself (class of 1986), she went on to get her MA degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

Nynke’s writing has been published in literary magazines such as The Gulf Coast Review, The Anthology of New England Writers, Thirteen, and Ink. Her poems have been anthologized in The Dryland Fish, This Enduring Gift, River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-First Century, and the Brook Road Literary Anthology.

Her work was also featured on the website of nationally known artist Toc Fetch, and she was commissioned to write a poem for artist Ken Dubin to accompany his painting “Field of All Possibilities.” Her story “The Kiss” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her essay “Oom Ealse and the Swan” was a finalist in the 2014 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize of The Missouri Review.

Nynke also works as a freelance editor and translator. Together with Rustin Larson and Christine Schrum, she edited the poetry anthology Leaves by Night, Flowers by Day. She is a former member of the board of the New England Writers’ Association and was associate editor of the ’93 and ’94 issues of The Anthology of New England Writers.

In the Fall of 2013, Nynke helped organize the 40-year reunion of MUM’s English department, the first event of its kind at MUM. As a result, she was awarded an MUM alumni award. Nynke also received three student appreciation awards during her tenure at MUM.

See testimonials from her students.

Ken West

Ken West

  • Assistant Professor of Management
  • BA, Maharishi International University
  • MA, Maharishi International University
  • Professor West has taught at the Maharishi University of Management for twenty-three years


Professor West has extensive knowledge and experience of almost every aspect of commercial photography and printing. He is a master photographer, from a long line of photographers and artists. In the master apprentice tradition, he learned about the principles of photography from his grandfather and father. His early photographic training included working for Hallmark Cards.

His landscape photographs have been exhibited at the National Center for Nature Photography, America’s first and only center devoted exclusively to nature photography. His landscape photographs are featured on Public Television and his exhibition prints are displayed in corporate and institutional settings.

He is especially appreciated for his work with landscape photography and his use of high dynamic range imaging (HDR) techniques. View his work online.