Universidad de las Américas-Puebla Homepage of Dr. Paul Rich

Picture of Dr. Paul Rich
One of Dr. Rich's hobbies is collaging, and his home in Mexico has rooms which are completely collaged with thousands of assemblages, montages, and constructions. He is a member of the International Society of Assemblage and Collage Artists.

Paul Rich is the senior professor in the Department of International Relations and History at The University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico. He is a Visiting Fellow at The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the President of The Policy Studies Organization, the scholarly organization for political and social policy scholarship to which more than 700 universities belong.

He is Past President of the International Society Phi Beta Delta (see interview in The Medallion), Chancellor of the General Grand Chapter of Phi Sigma Omega, and Chair of the Library Committee of the American Political Science Association.

Much of Dr. Rich's career has been involved with the establishment and nurturing of universities outside of the United States. He went to Saudi Arabia as Adviser in the Ministry of Higher Education and Professor in the Universiy of Riyadh, now King Saud University. He then spent more than a decade in the Emirate of Qatar as head of supervisory training programs in the Ministry of Education and Culture and adviser to the then Crown Prince.

He is a member of the Arts Club of Washington, one of the oldest organizations in the capital, whose clubhouse is the historic James Monroe mansion which President Monroe used as a residence after the British burnt the White House, and stays there on visits. Since its founding he has helped with the annual summer symposium on Fremasonry hosted by the Grand Lodge of California and is a donor to the Henry Wilson Coil Masonic Library in San Francisco. Hed has also donated to the libraries of Essex Institute, Eton College, Tonbridge (his old school in England), Harvard, Stanford, and the University of the Americas.

Dr. Rich has worked closely with several famous Mexican artists to develop gardens and collections at the University of the Americas. Particularly noteworthy are the exhibits of the work of Leonardo Nierman, Eugenia Perez, and Heriberto Juárez. The collections are integrated into an ambitious landscaping project.

A major project of Dr. Rich and his students has been developing a website to serve the region near the University of the Americas, promoting tourist visits and local business.

Dr. Rich's office has many ongoing projects, big and small. It is responsible for book ordering for the department, which has resulted in a substantial growth in the university library collections in international relations and political science. The office coordinates with the University regarding facilities with which he has helped develop such as the Currier and Ives Room and Cervantes collection and café at Gaos College, the French and Japanese Rooms and Torreador Cafe at Berenal College, the Rare Books Room and the Canada Room in the main library, the Salon of the Americas lecture hall, and the university outdoor amphitheatre and other outdoor areas. There are usually about ten TAs, outstanding scholarship students each with a specific area of concern. For example, one TA and her assistants work exclusively on the forthcoming Congress of the Americas and the 2005 World Vernacular Congress.

Dr. Rich's house and gardens are intended to someday be a study center and place for reflection and research, and he hopes to endow them for that purpose and has provided for their funding in his will, which will be administered by some of his old students. He has been considerably influenced in developing the gardens by those at Sissinghurt Castle in England.

As a Harvard graduate, a major inspiration to him has been the various houses donated to Harvard for studies. They include Harvard's Hellenic Center in Washington, D.C. and of course Dumbarton Oaks, also in Washington. Dumbarton Oaks was the work of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, who gave their home to Harvard. Dumbarton Oaks now has resources in Byzantine studies, the history of landscape architecture, and Pre-Columbian studies. The gardens there were designed by Beatrix Farrand and are open to the public.

A third Harvard house is perhaps the most remarkable. I Tatti in Italy belonged to the historian and art critic Bernard Berenson. He lived there from 1900 until his death in 1959. In his will, he bequeathed the I Tatti estate, located on the outskirts of Florence, and his books, photographs, and works of art to Harvard University, from which he had received an A.B. in 1887. He hoped that providing such a place would increase understanding of the values by which civilizations develop and survive.

Much of Dr. Rich's recent research and scholarship concerns the part that voluntary organizations play in democratization and civil society. In particular, he is one of the world's most widely published scholars on Freemasonry and kindred groups. Several of his students and research associates have become in their own right voices in the field of political legitimacy, ritual and symbolism, and political culture.

Not all his work concerns secret societies and among his books are a lengthy analysis of the rise and fall of British rule in the Middle East entitled The Invasions of the Gulf, two volumes about the British Empire, Elixir of Empire and Chains of Empire, and a new three volume edited collection of recent work on world policy studies.

Dr. Rich is the sponsor of the University of the Americas chess club, and has been helping to develop both an outdoor playing area with giant pieces as well as an indoor facility.

Some News

Dr. Rich recently was made an honorary life member of the computing honor society Upsilon Pi Epsilon.

Dr. Rich has written a number of articles about fraternal societies for Heredom, the journal of the Scottish Rite Research Society.

Dr. Rich was installed as president of the Policy Studies Organization at the American Political Science Association annual meeting. See http://www.apsanet.org/PS/organizations/related/pso.cfm.

In the current proceedings between Qatar and Bahrain before the World Court at The Hague, Dr. Rich's book Invasions of the Gulf is cited as authoritative.

His work on civil society is on several reading lists, including the American Social Structure course at the University of Sussex in England.

And his work on Chiapas is included on reading lists such as at Duke University for the course on North American Collective Identity.

Doris M. Rich, world traveler

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Copyright © 1996 - 2005 by Dr. Paul Rich
Chris Steimel