Professor John Charles (Chuck) Ries was born January 8, 1930 in Marysville, California. He attended the University of Santa Clara where he received his Bachelor's degree in 1951. This was followed by a Master of Arts degree from the University of Detroit in 1953, and a Doctoral Degree in Political Science from UCLA in 1962.
Before assuming a faculty position at UCLA in 1965, Chuck Ries held positions as an Instructor (1958), Assistant Professor (1962-64), and Associate Professor (1964-65) with the United States Air Force Academy. Within six years of his appointment at UCLA as an Assistant Professor (1965-67), Ries was promoted to a full professorship (1971).
Ries was interested in national defense policy, organizational theory, military strategy and US defense policy, and politics and decision-making. His early (and abiding) research interest was in defense studies. His first article, "National Security Policy-A Challenge to Democratic Theory?" was published in 1960 in the Western Political Quarterly. This was followed by a book, The Management of Defense: Organization and Control of the U.S. Armed Services that was published in 1964. In 1965, he co-edited a book on American Defense Policy.
From 1969 to 1974, he served as Assistant, and Acting, Director of The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at UCLA. During this period, he authored or co-authored, three books, contributed book chapters to others, and wrote numerous monographs and articles on government organization and structure. Among his books were: Executives in the American Political System (1969); Providing Municipal Services: The Effects of Alternative Structures (1977); and, Selecting Service Deliver Structures (1982). With John C. Bollens, he co-authored a book on The City Manager Profession: Myths and Realities (1969). Just before his death, Chuck Ries' interests turned to government organization in Saudi Arabia. He co-authored an article about "Arabian Gulf Organizations: A Cultural Perspective," which looked at development administration, particularly the unique problems posed by Saudi Arabian public organizations.
Chuck Ries was a dedicated and extremely effective teacher at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He was an active instructor in the department's Master's in Public Administration Program (MPA), and supervised, or served as a member on, numerous doctoral committees in and outside the Political Science Department.
Over the span of his University career, Chuck Ries served in numerous high-ranking university positions. From 1966 to 1968, Ries was Director of the department's Program on the Politics of Economic Development. For the next five years, he was Assistant and Acting Director of the UCLA Institute of Government and Public Affairs. In 1974, he was appointed Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Affairs and Dean, Council on Educational Development and remained in this capacity until 1980, when he returned to his academic position in the Political Science Department.
Professor Ries died in 1987. Shortly thereafter, the John C. Ries Memorial Fund was established in his memory. In 1991 the John C. Bollens Memorial Lecture merged with the John C. Ries Memorial Fund creating the Annual Bollens-Ries Memorial Lecture.