Paul Weber was born in a rural Iowa community, and attended high school at Campion school at Prairie du Chien. Paul studied for three years at Notre Dame, and then received five separate degrees from St. Louis University--a BA in Arts and Letters, an MA in Political Science, a Licentiate in Philosophy (Ph.L.), a Master's in Divinity, and an MA in Moral Theology. He received his Ph.D. in 1977 from the University of Chicago. Paul taught at Marquette as an assistant professor before joining the Political Science Department at the University of Louisville in 1976. He received tenure in 1979, and was promoted to full professor in 1984.
Paul taught undergraduate and graduate courses in judicial process, constitutional law and civil liberties, religion and politics, political leadership, administrative law, and American government. He mentored hundreds of students at all levels and, as pre-law advisor for the Department of Political Science, was instrumental in securing entry to law school for many of the Department's majors.
Paul served the university community in many capacities. He was Chair of the Political Science Department for nine years, from 1988 to 1997. During that time he worked with Charles Grawemeyer to establish the Award for Ideas Improving World Order, and with Senator Mitch McConnell to set up the McConnell Center for Political Leadership. He then served as Executive Director of the World Order Award for four years, and Director of the McConnell Center for eight. Paul was Chair of the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences for nine years, and served on virtually all the College's committees. He was a member of several dozen university-wide organizations and committees, including Faculty Senate, the Athletic Association Board of Directors, and Board of Directors for the Cardinal. He also served as Associate Dean for Personnel in Arts and Sciences, and was appointed by President Shumaker as Executive Director for all five Grawemeyer awards.
Dr. Weber won a number of prestigious honors while at the University of Louisville. In 1984 he was named University Distinguished Teaching Professor. He received the Interfraternity Council Outstanding Faculty Award, and the Faculty Mentor Award from the Center for Academic Achievement in 1990. Dr. Weber was named President of the Southern Association of Pre-law Advisors for 1988-89. He received the Grawemeyer Instructional Development Award and the Outstanding Achievement Award for Affirmative Action in 1984, and the Red Apple Alumni Award, in 1994. In 1990 Dr. Weber won the prestigious Trustees' Award, the highest award conferred on faculty by the University. After stepping down as Director of the McConnell Center in 1999, he was given the title of the Center's first Senior Fellow.
Although he devoted so much of his time to teaching, mentoring, and university service, Dr. Weber also was an active scholar. He published six books over the years-- Private Churches and Public Money (1981); Unfounded Fears: Myths and Realities of Constitutional Convention (1989); Equal Separation: Understanding the Religion Clauses (1990); Religious Interest Groups (1994); The Power of Ideas (2000), and (with Jo Formicola and Mary Segers) Faith Based Initiatives and the Bush Administration (2004). While Dr. Weber published dozens of book chapters and articles in political science and law journals, he was especially proud of co-authoring articles and books with undergraduate and graduate students. Finally, Paul was instrumental in setting up the Religion and Politics section of the American Political Science Association.