Alliant International University

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Alliant International University
Alliant International University Logo - Horizontal Lg v2.jpg
Type Private for-profit benefit corporation
EstablishedCalifornia School of Professional Psychology 1969
United States International University 1952
Join date 2001
Parent institution
Bertelsmann Education Group
PresidentAndy Vaughn
ProvostTracy Heller
Campuses in Fresno, Irvine, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Tokyo

Alliant International University is a private, for-profit benefit corporation university with its main campus in San Diego and other campuses in California, and Mexico. The university is also known as Alliant. It offers programs in six California campuses – in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Sacramento, and Fresno – and four international campuses – in Mexico City, Mexico; Nairobi, Kenya; Tokyo, Japan; and Hong Kong. Its enrollment is approximately 4,000 students, of whom 95% are post-graduate.


Alliant was formed in 2001 by the combination of two older institutions: the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) and United States International University (USIU). [1] Like the institutions that it descended from, Alliant has its home campus in San Diego, California. Until 2007, USIU also had a Europe campus in a former public school in the UK, which was used as a site for many films, including the Harry Potter series. [2]

USIU is the descendant of the original Balboa School of Law founded by Leland Ghent Stanford as a private graduate institution, in 1924. The name was changed to Balboa University, and then to California Western University in 1952. Once again, in 1968, the school's name was changed to United States International University. The law school, however, retained the name of California Western School of Law. [3]

William C. Rust, was the president of California Western University who ushered in the transformation to USIU and led the school for the next 37 years. [4] [5] Rust's vision was "to create global understanding through a single university with campuses all over the world.". [6] The founding goal for USIU was a focus on "human excellence" over "intellectual excellence." [6] By 1971, Rust had transformed the former small liberal arts school of California Western University located in Point Loma (at present day Point Loma Nazarene University) into what the San Diego Reader referred to as an "international phenomenon." [7] [6] Besides the main Point Loma campus, USIU had developed a network of campuses both nationally in Maui, Steamboat Springs, and Guam as well as internationally, with branch campuses in: London, Mexico City, Tokyo and Nairobi. [8] [9] [10] In 1986, Rust was still breaking new ground for buildings and maintaining a focus on further expansion in: Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and Russia. [5] However, by 1990, after 37 years of leading the university and enduring several rocky financial episodes, Rust was removed of all governing power by the board of trustees. [5] [8] Gary Hays, former chancellor of the Minnesota State University, took over as president of USIU in April 1990 and reorganized the University into just two remaining colleges; arts and sciences and business administration. [11] In 1999, the Nairobi campus became its own independent entity known as United States International University Africa. [12]

In the early 1980s, USIU held a broadcast license to operate KUSI, a startup UHF television station in San Diego. However, for unknown reasons, USIU decided not to launch the channel. The license was transferred to Texas businessman Mike McKinnon and it began as a commercial station in 1982. KUSI still exists as an independent station and assumed this status when the station dropped United Paramount Network UPN on January 16, 1998. [13]

In February 2015, Alliant became a for-profit benefit corporation and part of the Arist Education System, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann. [14]


Alliant International University is composed of several academic schools:

  • California School of Professional Psychology [15] The California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) was founded in 1969 under the auspices of the California Psychological Association. CSPP offers programs in clinical psychology, clinical counseling, and marital and family therapy. [15]
  • California School of Management & Leadership [16] In 2011, Alliant International University renamed their management school to Alliant School of Management then to California School of Management & Leadership in 2018. Formerly the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management, named for organizational consultant and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, the School of Management offers a 4-year BSBA program, master's and doctoral degrees in Business, Management, and Leadership. [16]
  • California School of Education [17] The California School of Education offers programs in teaching, school psychology, educational leadership, and teaching English to speakers of other languages. [17]
  • California School of Forensic Studies [18] The California School of Forensic Studies offers programs in criminology and criminal justice. [18]
  • San Francisco Law School [19] San Francisco Law School became a constituent school of Alliant International University in 2010. [19]


Alliant, including all of its programs, is accredited by the WASC Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities. [20] The university's education programs are accredited by the California State Board of Education. Clinical psychology programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). [21] Alliant's marital and family therapy programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. [22]



Alliant was included in GI Jobs magazine's 2013 list of Military-Friendly Schools, the third year in a row the university had been included in this listing. It was also included on the Military Times EDGE magazine's list of Best for Vets Colleges in 2010 and 2011; in 2011, Alliant was ranked #10 on the list, making it the highest-ranked non-traditional university in California. [27]


The USIU Gulls Football team produced 6 professional football players. [28] The team was once briefly coached by the legendary player and coach Sid Gillman before he took his final coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles. [29] In just 4 months, " Gillman turned the team into a west coast legend." [29] In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Al Palmiotto, USIU’s athletic director during Gillman's time, recalled that Gillman said, “What a lucky sonofabitch [sic] I am finding a place like this for the last years of my life." [30]  Four of the coaches he recruited all went on to have extensive careers in the NFL: Tom Walsh, John Fox, Mike Solari and Mike Sheppard. While 2 players he recruited became NFL starters Bob Gagliano and Vernon Dean. [29]

USIU's international presence and student body allowed it to field a competitive NCAA Division I hockey team the USIU Gulls, which was the only NCAA team "west of the Rockies." [31] In 1980, Sports Illustrated covered the team's triumphs with a 16-8-2 record in article titled the " Beach Boys on Blades." [31] However, in 1990 after 10 years and producing two NHL Pittsburgh Penguins players Darren Lowe and Pat Mayer the program was dropped due to the rising costs associated with "traveling 2000 miles to compete." [32]

USIU also maintained a NCAA Division I basketball team which has been referred to as the " greatest show in college basketball" and the "forgotten team of San Diego." [33] When playing for the USIU Gulls, Kevin Bradshaw, former Navy All Star's player and earlier teammate of David Robinson, recorded an NCAA record for the most points in a single game versus a NCAA Division I team by scoring 72 points in a 186-140 loss to Loyola Marymount University on January 5, 1991. [33] [34] Bradshaw was the first African-American coach in professional Israeli basketball history and the subject of a 2012 documentary "shooting from home". [35] [33] The Gulls played their final men's basketball season in 1990–91.

USIU's, softball team appeared in one Women's College World Series in 1982. [36] The Gulls defeated Ohio State 1–0 in the team's first game. Freshman pitcher Jenny Stallard then hurled an eight-inning perfect game to stun top-seeded and eventual tournament champion, Texas A&M, 1–0 in the team's second game. [36] However, losses to Michigan and Central Michigan ended the Gulls' season.

Alliant International University, phased out its intercollegiate athletics programs in 2007. [37]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


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External links