Union Institute & University
|Union Institute & University|
|Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton, 45206
|President||Roger H. Sublett|
|Accreditation(s)||The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.|
Union Institute & University (UI&U) is a private, non-profit university, which specializes in limited residence and distance learning programs. With the main campus in Cincinnati, Union Institute & University operates satellite campuses located in Montpelier, Vermont; Brattleboro, Vermont; North Miami Beach, Florida; Los Angeles, California; and Sacramento, California.
Union Institute & University received regional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1985 and currently enrolls approximately 2,000 students from across the country. Union Institute & University currently has a first year persistence retention rate of 79%; approximately 66 percent of undergraduate students earn their degrees from the university.
Union Institute & University traces its origins to 1964, when a group of ten liberal arts colleges established The Union for Research and Experimentation in Higher Education. The consortium, headquartered at the campus of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, included a number of schools experimenting with alternative education philosophies during the period, including Antioch; Sarah Lawrence College; Bard College; Hofstra University; Goddard College; Franconia College; and Nasson College. 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 consortium provided administrative support for a number of programs run by its member schools under the title The University Without Walls. It also formed a graduate school called The Union Graduate School, which offered a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences. The consortium filed for bankruptcy in 1978. Emerging from its bankruptcy, the institution renamed itself The Union Institute in 1986. As the Union Institute, the school continued to operate its graduate school. After acquiring Vermont College in Montpelier, Vermont from Norwich University in October, 2001, it was renamed Union Institute & University. The purchase of Vermont College added several Master’s degree programs and an Adult Degree Program to Union Institute & University’s existing undergraduate and doctoral programs. This enabled The Union to provide a progression of degree opportunities, along with certificates in advanced graduate study. Since its inception in the 1960s, The Union has a continuing emphasis on social relevance and interdisciplinary programs.
The Union Institute & University's Ph.D. program came under scrutiny by the Ohio Board of Regents in the late 1990s early 2000s, which scrutiny culminated in its 2002 Reauthorization Report. The report was critical of the Union Institute's Ph.D. program, noting in particular that " ... expectations for student scholarship at the doctoral level were not as rigorous as is common for doctoral work ... " (OBR 2002 Reauthorization Report, page 13). The Union Graduate School was dissolved and the Ph.D. program was restructured. Formerly it had been a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences. A new Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in good standing was established, and the former Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences is no longer accepting students. The new program offers three areas of concentration.
In 2002, Roger H. Sublett became Union Institute & University’s fifth president. Under Sublett, who was director of the Kellogg Foundation from 1991–2001, Union has undergone major academic and structural changes to respond to the issues identified during its reauthorization process.
Union Institute & University awards the following degree programs:
Notable alumni 
- Tania Aebi, youngest person to circumnavigate the globe, in a 26-foot sailboat, age 18–21, author of Maiden Voyage and I've Been Around.
- Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle.
- Danny K. Davis, Congressman for Illinois 7th District.
- Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.
- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run With The Wolves.
- Sidney Harman, owner of Newsweek magazine and founder of harman/kardon, Inc.
- Michael T. Klare, Five Colleges Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, Hampshire College.
- Phillip Lopate, film critic, essayist, fiction writer, poet.
- Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, first female prime minister of Jamaica, 2006–2007; 2012–Present.
- Gary Null, talk radio host and author on alternative and complementary medicine and nutrition.
- Lincoln Ragsdale, member of the Tuskegee Airmen, and real estate developer in Phoenix, AZ.
- Barbara Vacarr, president of Goddard College
- Clayton Valli, prominent Deaf poet and linguist
- David Bates, “A Brief History of the Union Institute & University”(2002) < http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~hendra/Briefhis.html >
- Meet the President, Union Institute & University.
- “Union Institute Rules Get Stricter,” Cincinnati Enquirer (27 March 2004) ; “Union Institute To Sell 2 Historic Buildings,” Cincinnati Enquirer (4 July 2006).
Further reading 
- Fairfield, Roy P. (1972). "To Bury the Albatross?" Journal of Research and Development in Education 5(3): 107-18.
- Hungerford, Arthur and Fairfield, Roy P.(1973). "University Without Walls and Union Graduate School: New Frontiers in Humane Learning." Engineering Education 63 (7): 505-511.
- Kirkhorn, Michael. (1979). "Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities: Back from the Brink." Change 11 (3): 18-21.