Questions follow surprise resignation of Sofia University head

Neal King had extended contract before his abrupt resignation Saturday

Students and faculty at Palo Alto's Sofia University are asking questions following the surprise resignation Saturday of Neal King, president since 2011.

Seven out of ten members of the school's board of trustees also have resigned, a Sofia staff member said.

The 38-year-old university, previously known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and offers on-campus as well as online degrees in psychology, with a bent toward the discipline's spiritual, emotional and creative aspects.

Robert Frager, who founded the university in 1975 and continues as a professor, said faculty members would rally to restructure the institution.

"Going forward, Sofia needs true leadership and stability," Frager said. "We will do everything we can to restructure the leadership to ensure the continued success of Sofia University for years to come."

Sofia has 526 full-time-equivalent students, according to its Statement of Accreditation Status with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Shortly before his abrupt resignation, King had signed a five-year contract extension.

King had led the institution, housed in former office buildings on East Meadow Circle, in its 2012 rebranding from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology to Sofia University. The restructuring was based on research on social and economic trends in higher education, according to a statement from the university at the time of the name change.

With its new name, Sofia broadened from a graduate institute to a university offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, dividing itself into three schools, the Graduate School of Transpersonal Studies, the Graduate School of Clinical & Spiritual Psychology and the School of Undergraduate Studies.

Just last month King hosted California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, former Stanford University President Donald Kennedy and former UCLA chancellor Charles Young at an event at Sofia celebrating the 25th anniversary of the California Campus Compact, a university consortium for service learning and civic engagement now housed at Sofia.

Chris Kenrick

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2 people like this
Posted by An ITP/Sofia PhD Student
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

Yes. Questions from this and other news sites shoud follow Dr. King's resignation. I would like to encourage reporters to go and ask questions to ITP/Sofia faculty, staff, students and alumni. More than two years of secrecy, unilateral decision making (including the highly unpopular name change), massive firing of staff that questioned Dr. King's authoritarian style,and other questionable administrative decisions have just begun to be uncovered (and finished) last night, after a community meeting of ITP/Sofia faculty, staff, students and alumni took place. Dr. King even tried to impede this meeting by locking the ITP/Sofia building, and sending massive e-mails with the false information that this activity was cancelled. The community met anyway in a church in midtown Palo Alto. A couple hundred people were present in the room while 500+ attended online. This meeting allowed the law of silence and fear to break for the first time in years in this institution.
So, yes, please keep asking the important questions.

A Sofia PhD Student.

Note: I decided to keep my identity undisclosed considering that as long as the current ITP/Sofia president and the 3 remaining board members remain in their roles, there is a reasonable fear that personal retaliation can take place. This has already happened many times over the ast two years.

2 people like this
Posted by Karambir Singh
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2013 at 11:47 am

It is paramount that news agencies continue to uphold the values of truth and transparency. The actions of Dr. King do not appear to be in integrity with the mission of Sofia University. As a current student, I count on the media to provide the transparency that is lacking in regards to this situation.

2 people like this
Posted by Char
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Agreed. There is much more to this story than has been presented and I hope the full story comes out soon.

1 person likes this
Posted by Mimm Patterson
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I am a global student in the MATP program. Please continue to cover (and un-cover) this story. As Sofia regroups and rebuilds, I believe it's important to investigate Dr. King's tenure at Antioch College and how he came to be hired at ITP/Sofia. In order to move forward we need to understand the past.

2 people like this
Posted by A Former ITP/Sofia Vice President
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I was a senior manager at ITP/Sofia for a year, hired by Dr. King. I was the only African-American senior staff member in the history of the school. In that time, Dr. King presided over and insisted upon an "off with their heads" managerial strategy to get rid of any and all parties which disagreed with him and who would not do his bidding without questioning. In the year that I was on staff, approximately 45 good, hard working and grossly underpaid staff were [portion removed.] As a VP, I was privy to the "behind the scenes" planning to [portion removed.] Strategies included entrapment, not following HR policy for progressive discipline when warranted or not warranted, and undermining of those who wanted to best serve the students and faculty per professional standards and decorum. At one point, I decided I couldn't cosign many of the tactics to remove staff without cause, and eventually, I was removed without cause, told that I "wasn't vice presidential. At one point, I was asked to fire a Black woman that did not even report to me, so that she couldn't claim racism. That was the final straw for me.

He fired me but refused to remove my likeness from their website videos and other documents, despite my protestations. I guess they need a Black face somewhere, since there aren't any on the faculty, in the administration and only a few Blacks are students. Blacks students have an abysmal retention rate - half of every other racial group.

All of the 11 staff I hired in that year are now gone. They all couldn't have deserved such a fate.

So many of us have been hurt financially, professionally and in our personal lives because of the arrogance and selfishness of this man who cared not about the school or the community but only his own advancement.

In spite of all of the pain I and others have suffered, I remain a loyal advocate for all of the wonderful things this school is and can bring. And it breaks my heart to see it fall just because this man wanted to use the school for his own purposes.

I hope someone looks into the HR practices over Dr. King's tenure as well.

Thank you, in advance, for any efforts to bring this matter into the light of day.

2 people like this
Posted by Chris Kenrick, Palo Alto Weekly Staff Writer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Sofia students and faculty members,

I plan to pursue this story and would welcome your comments. If you want to share your thoughts or experiences please contact me at

1 person likes this
Posted by Dr. Nye
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Dr. Nye is a registered user.

Having graduated when Dr. King had barely began his tenure with ITP, I was not intimately involved with the successive developments that were evoked last night at the community meeting. However, when the school was rebranded Sofia University, two-and-a-half years ago, the entire process that took place was a definite clash with the culture of the school. It was shrouded in secrecy and stonewalling on the part of the board and the executive team. Thus, whether one agrees with the name change or not, it has become the symbol of the dismantling of ITP values.

3 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

This place sounds like a cult, attended by acolytes and seekers.

1 person likes this
Posted by Kaelyn
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Dec 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm

"The restructuring was based on research on social and economic trends in higher education, Sofia said at the time."

There is no evidence to support this statement. ITP community members asked repeatedly for market analysis and research to support the economic success of the name change. No information or research was provided to the community.

1 person likes this
Posted by Colin
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm

As a new guy here, I have no idea about what has been happening here. But what I want to say is that no matter who is in charge of the school, he or she should devote his/herself to the welfare of the whole community. Now my suggestion is to have a peaceful and frank talk between the two or more sides. Let us be honest and work in concert for the welfare of the whole community

1 person likes this
Posted by Marlena
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I began work with ITP between 2011- 2012. I left a mere two days before the name change to Sofia University took effect for a number of reasons. I was enraged at time that a school who claimed to uphold certain values demonstrated those values in a very confusing and contrary manner (after all, life is one giant paradox...); I was not OK with continuing education with a school that would give credentials to people who could then go out into the world and do more harm than good. The integrity was slipping, and I wasn't going to let my own integrity go down with it all. That's my truth - this school is by no means perfect.

Neither is any other institutional system though; this school offers a certain paradigm of experience that is hard to match. Exactly one year later, I decided to rejoin the school - but in a new program. Things still felt "off" in terms of communication - something I can be hypersensitive to. With all of that said, sadly, the situation that is occurring now comes as less than shocking to me. I am choosing to share all of this because in my opinion, the school needed this wake up call. Transpersonal work does NOT mean let's trust in everything and everyone because we all of course must value the same things; plus, it is all going according to plan and we don't need to do much to keep it going. At least that's not how I think of transpersonal work. In fact, transpersonal work is about quite the opposite in my mind: it is about remembering to trust one's self, first and foremost - and actions ought to align with that, no apologies. In my opinion, words and actions did not match up during my 2011-2012 stay; it is no wonder someone with a mirrored integrity showed up then to run the school up until now.

It is unfortunate how many people this has already touched. It is my sincere hope that any lessons the school needed to learn not only get the "Pass" but a complete turnaround into a more sound and grounded structure that upholds the values that seemed to have gotten lost in the fog. Nobody is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes; I truly do hope that we can embrace honesty and transparency at the same time that we can embrace compassion and forgiveness. We don't need to demonize anyone or anything; we created this and frankly, it is my humble opinion that we ought to thank the President and the Board for being such an integral part to this lesson. Without them, we would not have seen our own fears so clearly. At least we have meaning right?

1 person likes this
Posted by Janaka Prins
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I'm a fairly new student at Sofia, and I've been very impressed my the faculty: They are very interesting people and great resources. Over the last half year I've seen them working under strained conditions, and while I am new to the school and university politics, I am no stranger to leadership and the qualities that make it excellent. The president has lost the consent of the governed, the respect of his employees and the spirit of the school. His continued presence only polarizes things further, he needs to resign immediately and let those who truly know and understand the mission of the school lead.

1 person likes this
Posted by zailyn prada
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Just praying it all gets resolved soon. I was always uncomfortable with the name change and other matters. I love ITP, and truly respect the founders...something happened. we can't go back, but we can rebuild, rebirth, and heal from it. Alumni MATS 2007

Like this comment
Posted by Deal Breaker
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Dec 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm

The name change made the school sound like a fly-by-night, cultish, "new age" kind of institution. How can anyone take a graduate of this place seriously?

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Posted by DT
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 19, 2013 at 7:06 am

There is a peaceful protest scheduled at ITP/Sofia at 2 p.m. today, Dec. 19th.

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Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 19, 2013 at 8:02 am

The current president is doing exactly the opposite of what the mission of this institute is supposed to be about. However, he did not get to this point by himself, and those people who’ve allowed him to completely govern without and consequences, now need to remove him and return back to their core beliefs, while also moving forward. I am angered and upset for those people who have been treated unfairly, mainly staff members removed from their positions for no other reason than not drinking the president’s cool-aid. The minute he realized someone on his staff was questioning his ethics and practices, he found a way to have them removed. All of the wronged employees deserve their day in court, an in person apology from the parties still there, and should be offered the opportunity to return to their previous positions. Many of these staff members believed in this school as much as the founding members, faculty and students.

The idea of being transpersonal is great. However, one needs to have people on staff that understands how to run a business, YOUR business. Wishing the best for all concerned, especially the wrongfully terminated staff, the students, and entire university community.

2 people like this
Posted by Belinda Brent PhD
a resident of Portola Valley
on Dec 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I entered ITP in 1991 and received my PhD in 1994 and my Psychology license in 2001. ITP taught me who I really am, how to think for myself, take responsibility for my decisions. Most importantly, it taught me how to view people (including my therapy patients) as a whole person, looking at their good and bad points. Basically through Transpersonal Therapy, the person figures out how to fix his/her problems by him/herself. It is the BEST way to practice Psychology.

I was on the Board for four years. From my point of view, the members never focused on the mission statement, nor the idea that they have a fiduciary responsibility for the Schools health, well-being and health.

However, ITP was a very good institution at that time.

If the Board and the President will leave, I think the school needs to:

1. Change its name which I feel is impractical and appears "airy-fairy." It is not a "draw" for someone who is serious and wants to spend $22,000 per semester.

2. Get a new mission statement.

3. Decide whether it wants to be a school that is a safe haven for all who are facing issues with "social justice," or whether it wants to be a school which teaches its students to be personally aware of him/herself, to be responsible for him/herself and to acquire skills to go into the community and work and help people do the same. The world would be a much better place.

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Posted by concerned former employee
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

WOW. Now 12 more very good, deeply passionate and highly skilled faculty and senior administrators have also been summarily fired. Vice President and Provost Roy, Vice President Byars, Faculty Senate President Cooper, FOUNDER Bob Frager, and Chairpersons Herrick, Poon and other staff. These folks are model professionals and have now met a fate similar to mine for speaking out last year. WHEN WILL IT STOP. Please please please help us!

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Posted by Former Staff Member
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I had the pleasure of working there as a staff member for several months coming off a contract position. The message and curriculum of the school are phenomenal. I came on board during the re-branding and moving from an institute to a university in name was a good idea for expanding curriculum and program offerings but the community was not fully included in the decision making process. I grew personally and professionally in my short tenure there and increased recruitment significantly but was let go due to some of the aforementioned politics. I wish the best to all the students and faculty past, present, and future and hope you continue to bring great works and healing to the world.

1 person likes this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm

My name is Elizabeth. I'm a clinical therapist who has close to 20 years exprience working mostly with the abused, and disenfranchised. The level of abuse which my clients have suffered causes severe damage to the psyche, and the results are painful and require insight, empathy and creativity to treat.

I studied at ITP and met the most brilliant individuals I have ever encountered in my life. As a practicing LCSW who graduated from Fordham University in New York City I did not attend ITP out of a need for a Ph.d. to practice, but to learn about subjects which helped me to develop a personal philosophy on life which in turn informed my ability to work with clients and friends in desperate need with a sacred spiritual certainty about where I was coming from.

I am responding due to clinical and intuitive insight I received while reading the letter written by our former African American VP. What he describes of this president to a clinically trained therapist, is a president with an Axis II disorder...potentially Group B. If this exiting president man believed he owned the school, because he was hired...and locked people out.....Well, as a Sicillian.. I find his behavior laughable. However this particular personality type is quite frightening and disorienting without your DSMIV in hand. And to claim to any degree he began anything about ITP...well this is getting serious.

Perhaps ITP got a little too fuzzy and was not discerning enough to evaluate the person in front of them. I never felt ITP was clinically superior, just spiritually and academically. Find a clinician from Michigan who is an expert in Personality Disorders, or even Harville Hendrix who can explain to you what about ITP attracted such a man, and why he was tolerated. And by the way...the name Sophia is awful.

Why didn't anyone at ITP know how to give a good old fashioned smack down?
Its time for this man to be shown the door and never to look at it again.

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Posted by Laurie
a resident of another community
on Dec 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm

"My name is Elizabeth. I'm a clinical therapist who has close to 20 years exprience working mostly with the abused, and disenfranchised. ...

I am responding due to clinical and intuitive insight I received while reading the letter written by our former African American VP. What he describes of this president to a clinically trained therapist, is a president with an Axis II disorder... potentially Group B."

I don't know about a trained professional making this type of public diagnoses, but I do appreciate it and find it interesting and informative. If we can't objectively once in a while experience the proverbial eagle's eye view like this, how can we learn about the occasional thoroughly perplexing people that all we lay types run into and have to deal with. Sometimes, it would be really great to know that sooner than later would be better to just cut bait and fish elsewhere when this type of person is involved. It is alarming what has occurred at this institution and I wish it all the best in recovering and restoring itself.

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Posted by Ann
a resident of another community
on Dec 21, 2013 at 8:38 am

I am a current 4th year doctoral student at Sofia. In the years I have been here I have seen and felt the rapide deterioration of the school. I, too, came to this INSTITUTE as an already licensed clinican who wished to further my own personal and professional growth in an area and within the beliefs that this instution once stood for. Through the years I have seen that belief slip away under the RULE of Dr. King. This is not someone who chose to lead or guide this school into betterment but instead someone who wished to egotistically rule it. I do wish the administartion would have stood up to him sooner. We as students could have potentially gotten involved sooner rather than it coming down to this.
I am now left at a cross-roads. Half-way through my degree, credits that can only be minimally transferred, thousands of dollars lost and an unknown road ahead. Shameful. Please make this story fully known and public. With a shread of hope and light perhaps this institution can be saved and we as students and the amazing faculty that we have come to know and love can move on to do our work in the world.

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Posted by Staff member
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2013 at 1:32 am

What's happening at this school is nothing short of tragic. Staff and faculty who thrived under the former president, Tom Potterfield, have become disillusioned and frightened for their jobs under Neal King. Fear and intimidation have been King's weapons of choice. The interim president will likely be no better as he's appointed by the same two board members who allowed King to run amok. While dozens of loyal, long-time staff members were fired or pressured into leaving by Draconian means, King was allowed to do little to no fundraising, secure a salary increase while reducing staff's, expand the school into a neighbouring building that sits half empty, travel the world on the school's dime, and appoint longtime friends into key positions at high salaries. If there was ever a situation that screams negligence by board members and a school president, it's this one.

1 person likes this
Posted by Mimi Matossian
a resident of another community
on Dec 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

Bravo to the Sofia/ITP community for coming together to stand up to tyranny. As one of many who was fired for opposing the bullying of this administration, I am glad to hear you finally came together and found your spirit. I hope you make a clean sweep of the rest of Neil's cronies so you can start fresh.

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Posted by Mimi Matossian
a resident of another community
on Dec 22, 2013 at 10:15 am

Wait - just saw that note about all those people being fired, including Bob. WOW. So everyone who opposed Neil, or that Neil didn't like, he fired on the way out the door??? That's SICK. Please restore these good people to their jobs - Susie and Fred are some of the best people I have ever met, as are the rest of those good folks. My love to you all. Stay together and stay strong!

1 person likes this
Posted by Current Student
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2013 at 3:13 am

I am a current student at ITP/Sofia - I'd love to give my name, but for obvious reasons, I will remain anonymous here. However, I would like to make it known that I have serious concerns about the actions of Neil King and 'his' board. Starting with the firing of some of the best professors in the school, and culminating in the hiring of the new interim president, who is a complete unknown to the community. Given the recent upheaval, and the overwhelming consensus of community, why is an outsider being brought in to lead at this point? With so many qualified and experienced people who are long-standing members of the ITP/Sofia community apparently willing to step in, this feels like an extension of the malfeasance that got us into this mess in the first place. Please give us back our school!

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Posted by Concerned Prospective Student
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

This is quite tragic and unfortunate. I do hope things will get resolved for the students and current employees.
I was about to apply to Sofia but since all of this just happened, I am having second thoughts. Does anyone know if Sofia lost it's accreditation with WASC as a whole institute?

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Posted by Surprised
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I would be shocked if Sophia still had its accreditation. It is one of those schools that prospective employers will warn you to stay away from: too much tuition, too little real or useful education. Just another cheezy, for- profit school that will get you nowhere, whose degree nobody will recognize or accept as valid.

I looked into this many years ago, and I was counseled to run the other way. It is a sham if not a scam. And it borders on being a cult.

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Posted by Doug
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm

While the loss of incredibly qualified and talented professors and employees is tragic, I would like to underscore the massive injustice that is being done against students who have invested ant least one to two hundred grand each in their education!!!! This is horrific! Robbery! Illegal!!! Dr Neil King has ****bankrupt*** the school, professors AND STUDENTS!!! Restitution is necessary, absolutely --- and even mandatory to restore justice to all.

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Posted by Cinzia
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 28, 2013 at 9:40 pm

STUDENT: take the advice of one who has been there and wasted a small fortune. RUN the other way!

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Posted by Patricia (Macie) Kaiser
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm

I graduated from ITP's residential PhD program in l997 with my MACP and am a licensed MFT in private practice with two offices in Santa Cruz County. When I took my Board of Behavioral Science board exams, ITP had the highest first time pass rate of any college, State or private (at that time we had written and oral exams). The education I received was top notch, as were all of my professors. I've also taken classes at Stanford and other universities, so I am able to draw a comparison. I found ITP remarkable in its holistic approach to learning, which was beneficial to me, a "left brained" type of person. It was at that time, and is now, WASC accredited, so for anyone who has written ("Surprised" from Fairmeadow) that a degree from ITP is not "valid" or "recognized," you are incorrect. Most of my classmates are psychologists or other licensed mental health clinicians doing good work in the world. For 10 years after graduation I worked as a crisis counselor with the school district here ~ I was the only counselor with a census of 1,000 middle school students, and if it weren't for my education in body/mind/spirit, grounding (mindfulness, spiritual base), and preparation (intellectual/practical) that I got at ITP, there's no way I could have done that (and gotten standing ovations at graduations). I am very sorry that my alma mater is experiencing these problems and hope that it can find in its founders a solution to re-center the school and its priorities.

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Posted by curious onlooker
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Why was the school renamed Sofia? After the capital of Bulgaria? Sophia is the goddess of wisdom. Maybe that was a clue.

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Posted by Johnny Stork
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 1, 2014 at 11:58 am

Myself (and at least one other student) left the Global Master's Program last year after a series of disappointing experiences with technology, administration, instructors/mentors and being completely ignored when we tried to raise concerns with the (ex) president Neal King and the Provost, Paul Roy. As more details come out it would appear there were fundamental and system problems for much King's tyrannical reign. For the sake of my fellow students still enrolled in the program, I certainly hope this turns out well for them. It is also comforting to know that the Attorney General's office has now officially opened an investigation.

Web Link

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Posted by A veteran of King's poison
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Sofia is, as far as I know now, the 5th academic institution ravaged by Neil King. I am on the faculty of one of these; because of the depth of his contamination, I prefer to remain anonymous out of respect for members of my campus community. Clinically, King qualifies for the diagnosis of Psycopath, white-collar version. Narcissistic, charming, intelligent, a chronic liar, he is a weak, brittle man who, when disagreed with, strikes out. He used to do this by charming certain staff and pitting them against those who pose threats to King's power; essentially, he would manipulate the people around him into opposing camps, splitting the campus in two. Sycophant and charmer of those above him, he insured the vulnerability of his challengers at the hands of our chancellor. Ours was the 2nd institution I know of where he instigated a federal civil rights violation complaint (false, and thrown out) by a student against a faculty member who openly challenged him. Some faculty received anonymous hate mail sent to them and to others about them that (as this never before or since has happened on our campus) could only have been done my him or his husband.

Neil King rarely lasts more than two-to-three years at any one academic institution. In several of those places, he worked hard to eliminate and replace the president, which he finally achieved at Antioch U.LA. He clearly has become much more brazen in his lust for power and totalian rule, but his tactics of divide and conquer haven't changed. Openly firing faculty, which he could not arrange several years ago, has resulted at last in his undoing.

I applaud all of you students, faculty, staff, and board of Sofia University for finally exposing him to the public! Keep it up, reclaim your university, and make sure King can never charm his way into "leading" another school!!!

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Posted by Phil
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I was an student @ ITP through the transition. I found the entire process of change appalling!!
FYI - The student body was told that the name Sofia had deep roots and spiritual consideration went into its selection. However in light of the following demographic data:

Top Five Names for Births in 1913-2012
Year Rank 1
2012 - Sophia
2011 - Sophia
Web Link

Their RE-naming strategy was nothing more than status quo for that year...WTF??

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Posted by Mimi
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Phil: You should be glad you transferred out, or I hope you did. The "school" never had a solid reputation. As someone else commented in the more recent article, the school caters to a small market: people who have a lot of disposable income, and are looking for a second career, in addition to. The "school" has always been known for being very lax on graduation requirements, or in academic requirements. The situation with this president apparently is not new, and is only the tip of the iceberg. Just look at it, they're on "blaming, save me mode" For this to happen in a school of psychology, is so pathetic...really.

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Posted by Alethea Devi
a resident of another community
on Jan 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm

If Neal King has this reputation for destroying small graduate schools, then why didnt the ITP/Sofia Board of Directors do their job and do a background research first? I am curious about the level of their complicity. I would also like to know where all the money went? ITP supposedly had over 4 mill in savings? Why did I have to find all this out thru the "grapevine". and no communications from my school? I am very sad to see how all this has deeply damaged my school.

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Posted by lusijah
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

I am hoping the writer of "victim of King's poison" might contact me. I am an ITP alum, MACP 2012, supportive of ITP to be restored, to thrive, and continue to be a beacon of training in transpersonal psychology. It would be helpful to those of us who are working on this to know more about the other schools.
Thanks, Lusijah (

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Posted by Inquiring Grad Student
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I am considering a graduate (master's) program where I can obtain a legitimate and sound degree in transpersonal psychology or human potential. I was ready to sign up for Sofia until I did a search and ran across all the issues and concerns with the Board and Dr. King. My question is: does anyone know of a reputable school, that is accredited and offers a Master's degree other than Sofia?

Would love to hear back from anyone in the community.


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Posted by Prospective Student 2
a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2014 at 8:54 am

Inquiring Grad Student:

I, like you, am in a similar position. Other schools that offer a Master's in Transpersonal psychology or related to it is the California Institute of Integral Studies, Naropa in Colorado, Saybrook University. You can also check out and they offer a couple of schools related to these subjects.
I deciding what school to apply to at the moment or to get a regular Master's degree and then a certification/Ph.D. from a school I mentioned above.

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Posted by But for the grace of....
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 22, 2014 at 10:11 am

Naropa in Colorado has such esoteric curricula that no one will ever take you seriously, unless you wish to become a Buddhist monk.

Do what I did ten years ago: check out Sofia U carefully, then run as fast as possible the other way.

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Posted by Yet another inquiring student
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I am in the process of applying to Sofia for my master's, and my friend who is about to graduate told me to look into the recent developments. I checked out other schools, but nothing speaks more to me than Sofia, and I wholeheartedly hope that it bounces back to what it once was. How are things looking for the next few years and is there hope for incoming students?

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a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 18, 2014 at 8:43 pm

I am attending sofia this semester and somehow JUST found out about all the drama there. Are there any current students that can offer advice or insight into what to expect from Sofia going forward? I appreciate the input as classes start in just a few weeks and I'm left without any other options.

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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 18, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Do not drink the Kool-Aid! Repeat, do not drink the Kool-Aid!

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