Picture of Riley Family

Jim, Scotty, Janie & Lee

Copper Mountain, Colorado


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Jim Riley's Web Page

(This is not an official Regis University Web Page)

 Copyright 2017

 September 20, 2017

to my web page! I plan to periodically expand and enhance this page so that it will remain useful and interesting to my friends, students and colleagues. The information contained will be both personal and professional. This is, I think, appropriate in order to get a sense of my values, goals and person. I invite all comments and suggestions for improvement (in particular please let me know if any links are out of date). No doubt there could be improvement on my picture but it will have to do for the time being. Thank you for taking the time to view and consider what I have provided.

Retirement Notice

           After more than three decades as a  member of the Regis College faculty, the time for my retirement has come.  Although I hope and plan to remain a member of the Regis community for many years to come, spring, 2010 was my last semester of full-time teaching. 

          My start at Regis was in January, 1976 after previously being on the faculty at the University of Nebraska, University of Kansas and Southern Illinois University.  Moving to Colorado and joining the Regis faculty proved to be one of the best decisions of my life.  Colleagues, students and friends at Regis have enriched my life far beyond my ability to adequately describe their impact on me.  Suffice it to note that I have been fortunate in the extreme to have benefited from knowing them.  I have feelings of deep affection and high regard for many of those with whom I have encountered during my many years in academia.

          To all of my former students, know that I will be available to help in any way that I can as you pursue your chosen careers or further education.  Regis has generously granted my request to maintain both my existing e-mail account and web page.  Feel free to contact me via those avenues.  In the coming months I plan on modifying and updating my page so that it will continue to be of use to Regis students.  I invite you to use it as you see fit.  Suggestions for improvement and or criticisms are welcome.

    Open Letter to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:


Members of the Commission:
        You and your work may very well constitute the last best hope America has to devise a workable plan to begin our nation's turnaround from our current path to disaster.  You know better than most the catastrophic consequences of continuing to accrue additional debt. 
        I urge you to state most forcefully and clearly in your report the dire situation facing our country along with the need for a true national commitment to stop our profligacy and to begin living within our means.  Of course this will then need to be made operational with a specific set of recommended policies that will achieve the goal of a balanced budget within a specified period of time.
        None of this will be meaningful absent a commitment from the President, leaders of Congress, Governors and other policy makers.   If there was ever a time for profiles in courage it is now.  Your report may serve to forge such a unified call to action.  Although my heart tells me it can happen, my fear is that it will not and that through the unwillingness of our national leaders to coalesce around a set of clear policies they will continue to pursue short term political goals rather than work for the long term fiscal health of our nation.  If this happens we will continue to slouch toward the abyss.

Mark the words of the Greek Orator Isocrates: 

“Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress.”

Current Issues of Great Significance


America's War Against Islamo-Fascist Terrorists

     Terrorism Research Center

John O'Neill:  The Man Who Knew

National Debt and Public Policy Sites

Waste in Government

The U.S. Debt Clock

Defeat the Debt  

Outstanding Research Papers of My Students

(begun 9/06)

Geo-Political Analysis and Warfighting Implications

Peter Fanning

Lessons for Chief Justice John Roberts

William Dong

Oral Argument:  U.S. Morrison

An Analysis of the Oral Argument Presented Before the Supreme Court

Will Gohl

Repealing Disaster: The Perils of a New Entitlement

Jimmy Sengenberger

Revised View on Anthropegenic Climate Change

Jim L. Riley    

Having previously taken the position that human effected climate change was insufficiently demonstrated to justify extremely costly and invasive public policies to reduce carbon emissions, I have come now to the conclusion that the evidence is sufficiently overwhelming to revise my views.   

Although the degree to which climate change is caused by human activities is yet to be accurately determined, I now believe meaningful and multiple actions need to be taken by individuals, governments and sector entities throughout the world to reduce significantly human produced carbon emissions and other environmentally damaging waste.  As the only species able to impact its own destiny by willful plans and actions for the future we must diminish significantly our fouling of the planet on which we rely for not only our survival but for which we are ethically obliged to protect to the extent we can.

      In particular we need to increase reliance on solar, wind, thermal, hydroelectric and nuclear power along with massive improvements in the power transmissions systems, transportant mechanisms and many other basic systems of society including enhanced policies in the area of conservation, efficiency, environmental protection, waste recycling and the like.  These expansive policies including but not limited to governmental regulations should be implemented not only with a view toward their effectiveness but also with proper consideration of individual freedom,  privacy, productivity and wealth.  Finding the balance that is acceptable to the myriad of competing interests -- political, social and economic -- will be a Hurculean task indeed.  

     Nature's experiment with highly advanced intelligence and self awareness does not guarantee wisdom.  Nor do the present configurations of political arrangements and procedures offer much by way of confidence that meaningful and effective policies will be forthcoming.  Are we as a species up to the job?  Probably not but then not trying is to doom future generations to a bleak existence.

Short Cuts

You may access the information in this web page either by scrolling down, clicking on the table of contents to the left, or on the major headings below. By clicking on the "Back" button on the tool bar you will return to the page from whence you came.

Professional Background Personal Background
My Course Syllabi Information for Students of Politics
Information for PreLaw Students Miscellaneous Information
Various Writings by Jim Riley E-Mail to Jim Riley

Professional Background

My undergraduate education was obtained while attending the University of Missouri at Columbia and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Despite an early flirtation with becoming a math major, I quickly became fascinated with the subject of politics and obtained my B.A. in 1962 from SIU with a major in Government and minor in History.  While in high school I had been required -- as a punishment for misbehavior -- to write out the U.S. Constitution three times and the Illinois Constitution twice!  As such I knew the material for the required Illinois test on the two constitutions and made a very high score.   It also prepared me well for Introduction to American Government course.  Who says that rote memorization has no benefits?

The next two years were spent at SIU working on my master's degree which I obtained in 1964 with a Thesis on the subject of the White Citizen's Councils in the southern regions of the U.S. After a one year hiatus from academia (much of the time spent laying sewer lines in the swamps of Southern Illinois) I returned to graduate studies attending the University of Kansas where I began my Ph.D. program. After one year at KU I resumed my studies at SIU in the fall of 1966. I spent the next four years there finishing my doctoral program. In 1971 I was awarded the Ph.D. My dissertation was on the subject of juvenile courts with a special emphasis on their establishment, development and functioning in Illinois.

During my graduate years at SIU and KU I was fortunate to be given my own classes to teach so when I obtained my first full-time position in September, 1970 at the University of Nebraska/Omaha I was more than a little familiar with the responsibilities of college instruction. My position at UNO lasted through December, 1975 when I resigned from UNO and assumed my position at Regis College (now Regis University) in Denver in January, 1976. I have remained at Regis to this time. Other than Regis I have taught in Colorado at CU/Boulder, CU/Denver, Colorado School of Mines, Metro State College and Denver University. The Regis University Home Page will provide much useful information about my home institution. Let me urge you to also access the Web Page for the Regis Department of History & Politics for a description of the Department and its members.

My primary areas of professional interest are U.S. Constitutional Law, Judicial Process, American Politics generally and PreLaw activities. As a member of the American Association of University Professors, American Political Science Association, Colorado\Wyoming Political Science Group, PreLaw Advisor's National Council (past chair), Western Association of PreLaw Advisors (past president and founder), former  member of the Colorado Supreme Court Committee on Public Education, and the American Bar Association PreLaw Committee, I have found that participating in organizational activities is both professionally and personally rewarding. In particular I am very proud to have been the 2014 recipient of the Gerald L. Wilson award for excellence in PreLaw Advising.

In addition, having served as President of the Regis University Chapter of AAUP and as its Chief Negotiator, the benefits of Regis University administrative/faculty collegiality were especially apparent to me.

Teaching at the college and university level is a privilege I have enjoyed for many years.  During that time I have occasionally thought about my profession from what might be called a philosophical perspective.  A favorite professor of mine Randall Nelson best expressed my sentiments and beliefs when he wrote a short piece entitled:  Educational Philosophy.  I urge you to read it.

Personal Background

Being born and raised in southern Illinois, I have a particular love for small town America.  Some very old pictures are available if you want to see them.  After losing my parents while in high school and having no siblings, it quickly became clear that self-reliance supported by education was essential to achieve my desired goals. Fortunately for me higher education was more affordable then than it is today (as I painfully learned recently when I paid tuition and other fees for Lee, my oldest son, who entered college in Fall, 2003).

In addition to spending much time on Crab Orchard Lake near SIU, I was fortunate enough to tour Europe with friends. During these wonderful summer trips of 1967, 1969 and 1971 I rode a BSA Lightning and Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. The road from London to Istanbul (with many stops in between -- Paris, Rome, Athens, Belgrade, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Salzburg, Vienna, Istanbul, Palma, Brussels and others) was filled with adventure, challenge, fun. tough times and lots of wonderful memories. Once in Yugoslavia our path was blocked by a parade of very large automobiles one of which contained Marshal Tito who was waving at a genuinely appreciative crowd of admirers. Aside from touring Europe I lived there for several months offering graduate and undergraduate courses to U.S. armed forces personnel. While living in Madrid, Spain and Wiesbaden, West Germany I acquired a perspective on European affairs otherwise not available to me. It was a marvelous learning experience as well as a challenging assignment.

There were other memorable experiences not the least of which was making several journeys to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the Spring Spring races and RoadAmerica 500.   When ever we went we always tried to look cool.

In 1984 and 1986 I became the father of two boys -- Lee and Scott. Here they are as  teenagers. We spent much time together skiing, biking, traveling, searching museums, zoos and other sites. Raising two sons I am now very appreciative of the role mother's have traditionally played in our society: homemaker, nurse, disciplinarian, cook, chauffeur -- not to mention that of provider. From the time they were little they are sometimes marvelously friendly and on other occasions they are just having fun . (I won't show the arguments and other manifestations of sibling rivalry.)   Occasionally they went fishing.  Lee has recently become adept at developing his own web page and now has a professional page.   Now that both Lee and Scotty have graduated from high school he has to have his own picture for distribution to all his friends.  Scotty chose this one.  They have each finished college now but occasionally I can get them together as I did when we went to the zoo in summer, 2005.

Being avid downhill skiers and explorers of Colorado we spend much time out-of-doors. In particular we enjoy traveling, exploring deserted mining towns, visiting historical sites and finding places off-the-beaten-track. They, however, also thoroughly enjoy the very "beaten" tracks of such places as Disneyworld and Disneyland.   Sometime we might even get to view a launch of the Space Shuttle. 

In the Summer of 1998 we enjoyed a week at a working ranch in Wyoming with lots of horseback riding, camping, fishing, boating and rodeoing.  One of our most memorable days this summer was in Aspen hiking the Maroon Bells.  There is one picture of the boys, Janie and I on our trek up to a 9,000 foot lake at the base of the mountain and another at Thanksgiving (see also Thanksgiving 2002 and 2003.  Several years ago Janie and I got married. Our Golden Retriever,  Sam, is very happy with the new family and especially his new friend "Sanity the Pug (also known as the Chunk)."

During June, 1999 we spent almost three weeks on a trip to EuropeJanie, Lee, Scotty and I visited Germany, France, the Czech Republic, and Austria.  Kristen, Janie's daughter got married in Stuttgart.  This was my first visit to Europe since 1984.  Pictures here!

Somehow it seems that we always take our vacations in June.   This year of the new millennium was no different.  For the first time in four years we went to Florida.  Although travelling around the country is always enjoyable, skiing in Colorado remains one of my great pleasures.

For 2001 our trip was to spend time searching American history in the middle eastern seaboard states of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.  You are welcome to take a peek at our time there.

In late May, 2002 we took a trip to San Francisco.  This was one of our few trips that was strictly urban.  It was expensive but fun.   Great food, eye-opening diversity of people, unique cosmopolitan environment -- all there!   Shortly thereafter Janie and I visited her daughter and son-in-law (Christi and Frank respectively) in Bonn, Germany.  We spent about ten days travelling through wine country, floating on the Rhine and enjoying beer, brats and sauerbraten.  As usual there are some images of our trip you are welcome to view.

In late July and early August of 2003 we were in New York City and surrounding environs for a 10 day vacation.  Well, for everyone except Janie it was a vacation.  Her current assignment is in New York City so she had to work   much of the time that we played and explored.  If you are interested you can see some images of our time there.  We also visited in the summer of 2005.

Lee turned 21 this fall.   Although I had hoped I could take him to New Orleans for a birthday trip the tragedy of Katrina prevented that.  Instead, we went to Las Vegas for a few days.   Despite my best efforts, Lee managed to win a few dollars at the slot machines.   Hopefully he will not get bitten by the gambling bug although he didn't escape Vampira.  As always I took a few pictures.

Lee accomplished something that is increasingly unusual in this day and age:  he graduated from college in four years (eight semesters).   Earning a college degree is an admirable achievement in and of itself, but doing so with a very high GPA and in four years, well, that's remarkable (of course, as his Dad, I am unashamedly prideful).  .  He was very happy as you can see.  If you have a few minutes to wait for the image to load, you can see a short video of Lee's graduation and Scotty's boistrous but loving congratulations.  Scotty graduated a year later from CSU.  What a wonderful feeling it is to have your youngest successfully complete a four year college curriculum.  Way to go Boys!

On several occasions we have visited our good friends Phil and Jan in Southern California, just north of San Diego.  On a recent trip we spend much time on the beach and in LA.  Here are a few images.

For Summer of 2007 we travelled to Maui to clebrate Scotty's twenty-first birthday.  Fortunately we were a couple of weeks ahead of a hurricane which skimmed along the southern portion of the islands.   It was a trip filled with new sights, sounds, and experiences.  Here are some images.

Course Syllabi

The following syllabi have been used in my classes. The date on the syllabus will indicate if it is currently in use or not. Although these documents are comparably extensive I believe firmly that students are entitled to have detailed information about the course in which they are enrolled. Of special importance, it seems to me, are the standards used in grading as well as the foundation on which grades will be determined. You may access the desired syllabus or other links by simply clicking on the name of the class.

Within the syllabi below are schedules of daily class discussions.   These course titles are linked to an on line image of the class lecture/discussion outline.  Moreover, these outlines contain additional hypertext links to sites with information pertinent to the named topic.

Introduction to U.S. National Politics U.S. Elections and Political Behavior
Congress and the Legislative Process State and Local Politics
U.S. Constitutional Law: 
Civil Rights & Liberties
Internship in Politics
Introduction to Political Science  Judicial Process
United States Public Policy  Constitutional Law:  Structure and Processes 
Topics in Political Theory The United States Presidency 
Capstone Course in Politics   Seminar in U.S. Politics:  The U.S. Supreme Court:   
Introduction to U.S. Politics:  CU

Information for Students of Politics

Below are various WWW links that may be of use to students of Politics and those interested in politics generally.

The Discipline of Politics

Regis University Politics Area Department of Politics and Political Science WebPages
Ultimate Political Science Links American Political Science Association

Government Resources on the Web

Government Resources on the Web Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Library of Congress U.S. Houses of Representatives
United States Senate Historic Supreme Court Decisions
Congressional Research Service Reports Presidential Libraries
Federal Courts Home Page Virtual Tour of the Supreme Court
Historical Documents Government Documents
The Federal Register U.S. Supreme Court

Current Political Event Sites


Washington Post Home Page The New York Times
CNN Politics Page The Public Agenda

State and Local Government Sites

State of Colorado Web Page* Council of State Governments
National Conference of State Legislatures Legal Information for Various States
Denver, Colorado Littleton, Colorado
Constitutions of the Fifty States State Government and Politics Generally
Governing the States State and Local Governments on the Net

*Other state web pages may be found by typing in the "open" box on the taskbar the following:
"www.state.[state abbreviation].us"

Miscellaneous Political Reference Sites

Statistical Abstract of the U.S.

Great American Speeches

The Federalist Society
Yahoo Politics Page Judicial Watch The Debt of the United States
Cornell Legal Information Institute The Cato Institute The Concord Coalition
The Heritage Foundation Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations History-Out-Loud -- Great Speeches and Private Conversations
Political Science Resources U.S. Public Policy Campaign Information
Electronic Encyclopedia The National Archives Council on Foreign Relations
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education  The Constitution Society The Federal Judicial Center
Great Political   Speeches   The Census Bureau American National Election Studies 
Browse Members of Congress The Federal Election Commission Pork Spending Revealed 
CyberLaw Journal (links galore) Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy   (Thanks to Liz Kerr) Arlington National Cemetery
The National   Constitution Center Republican National Committee    Democratic National Committee  
State Taxes and Spending Political Parties of the World Reference Guide to U.S. Supreme Court
Education and Subsequent Achievement Levels  Supreme Court Historical Society (Thanks to Flynn Murphy) Guide to Money in U.S. Elections

(Thanks to Charity Tilleman-Dick)

Yale Law School Documents Collection  (a superb source) The U.S. Constitution Annotated American Rhetoric:  Great Speeches and
The Interactive Constitution Justice Robert H. Jackson -- Website Taxpayers for Common Sense
Recordings of Phone Conversations of President Lyndon Johnson   Tax Policy Center Recordings of Phone Conversations of Lyndon B. Johnson
Overview of U.S. Government Presidential Powers
(Thanks to History Club)
Homes and the Stock Market Crash of the 1930's  
(Thanks to Ryan Sellers)

Here are additional links to Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Courts

Information for PreLaw Students

Information About the Regis University PreLaw Program

Overview of Regis University PreLaw Program Answers to Questions of PreLaw Students
Do I Want to Become a Lawyer? The Application Process
Law School View of Letters of Recommendations The Law School Admission Test - On-Line Sample Test
The Personal Statement Three Basic Rules Regarding Financing a Legal Education
PHI ALPHA DELTA:  Regis Chapter Basic Advice
The LSAC:  Preparing for the LSAT LSAT Test Questions and Related Information

Links to Professional Organizations

Law School Admission Services ABA Statement on Preparing for Law School (revised)
Legal Resource Guide West Publishing Company Home Page
Counsel Connect The American Bar Association-PreLaw Tool Kit
Internet Law Library ABA Approved Law Schools
Financial Aid - Law Access Group PreLaw List Serve (send message:  subscribe prelaw-students Your Name)
National Association for Public Interest Law The Ranking Game Critique of Rankings
National Association for Law Placement PreLaw Advisors National Council
Recommendations for Financing a Legal Education Western Association of PreLaw Advisors
ABA:   Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar The LSAT
ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools Jesuit Law Schools in the U.S.

PreLaw Information on Other Campuses and Elsewhere

  Legal Careers-Snippets of Information 
Rice University Arizona State University:  PreLaw
Find Law - PreLaw Resources Boston College Law School Locator
PreLaw Student Services Paying for Education & Financial Aid
PreLaw Insider Magazine Exploring Legal Careers
Legal Internships   Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
Mega Links for PreLaw Students  


Miscellaneous Research and Writing Information

Research References How Not to Write a Term Paper
Citing Resources on the Internet Writing Hints
Undergraduate Gems of Wisdom

(things you never knew about history)

Professional Journals: History, Political Science, Law
Logical Arguments Similes and Metaphors Found in High School Essays  
Fallacious Arguments Guide to Writing and Grammar

Various Writings by Jim Riley

The Future of Limited Government The Debt of the United States: 

Courting National Disaster  -

Introduction to Political Ideologies Moderate Political Ideologies
Extremist Ideologies of the Right Group Preferences/Affirmative Action
The Death Penalty Justified Disrespecting the Constitution - Again!  
PC: More than a Computer and

Dangers of Multiculturalism

Federalism Revitalized
Respect the Constitution Misinformation About Tragedy at

Columbine High School

Citizen's Councils:  Masters Thesis

Juvenile Justice:  Ph.D. Dissertation
W*A*P*L*A*   History   National Debt Crisis: Causes and Solutions
Riley on Golf



Please any comments and suggestions to me.

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