Rice U. political scientists available to discuss Syria, Paul Ryan

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations


David Ruth

Amy McCaig

Rice U. political scientists available to discuss Syria, Paul Ryan

HOUSTON – (April 11, 2018) – Rice University political scientists are available to discuss today’s breaking news regarding U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s retirement and a controversial tweet about Syria and Russia sent by President Donald Trump.

Mark Jones

Mark Jones photo courtesy Rice University

As news outlets report Ryan does not plan to seek re-election, Rice political scientist Mark Jones is available to discuss this decision and what it means for congressional Republicans.

Jones called Ryan a “force for stability” during the first half of the Trump administration.

“With it looking increasingly likely that the Republicans may lose the majority in the House, his decision to retire is not as consequential as it would be if the GOP keeps the majority,” Jones said. “This is perhaps part of a broader trend where we are seeing more Republicans believing that they will lose their House majority in November.”

Jones, a professor of political science in Rice’s School of Social Sciences, is also a fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. He is a leading political expert and a frequent contributor to Texas and U.S. media outlets. His research has been cited widely in the media as well as by numerous political campaigns.

Richard StollStoll is available to discuss the tweet, in which Trump taunts Russia for vowing to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria, and warns, “Get ready, Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” He further condemns Russia for partnering with a “Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

“Many people would agree that something should be done about the use of gas in Syria,” Stoll said. “But this needs to be part of an overall strategy, not just a single act.”

Stoll is the Albert Thomas Professor of Political Science in Rice’s School of Social Sciences and a scholar at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. His research focuses on forecasting terrorism and the quantitative study of international conflict, for which he uses both statistical analysis and computer simulation. He is quoted regularly by local and national media outlets on issues involving national security and international conflict.

To schedule an interview with Jones, contact him directly at 832-466-6535. To schedule an interview with Stoll, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.


This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Rice Department of Political Science in the School of Social Sciences: https://politicalscience.rice.edu/

Mark Jones bio: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/mark-p-jones/

Photo link: https://news.rice.edu/files/2014/09/mark-jones.jpg

Ric Stoll bio: https://politicalscience.rice.edu/richard-stoll

Stoll’s Baker Institute bio: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/richard-stoll/

Photo link: https://news.rice.edu/files/2015/01/stoll2.png

Photo credits: Jeff Fitlow

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.