Roger Paget, institutional professor emeritus of political economy and Asian studies, died April 1, 2018, of complications from ocular melanoma, at age 81.
Paget earned his bachelor’s degree with distinction from Wesleyan University in 1958, then joined the U.S. military, where he worked in Indonesia as a linguist and Southeast Asia specialist. He then served as an interpreter and translator of Indonesian/Malay at the U.S. Army Language School at Monterey, California. In 1962, he moved back east to Cornell University, where he worked as a research associate at the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project. In 1969, he completed his doctorate in government and Asian studies.
Over the course of his long career, Paget held academic positions at universities in both the United States and Australia, including the University of Colorado at Boulder, Curtin University of Technology, the University of Texas at Dallas, and finally, Lewis & Clark. He also served as founding dean of Lewis & Clark’s graduate school (then called the Graduate School of Professional Studies) from 1985 until 1987.
From 1978 through 1982, Paget held positions with the President’s Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies, the U.S. International Communication Agency (now the U.S. Information Agency), and the Washington Center, where he served as director of the graduate division.
Paget was an authority on Southeast Asian politics. In 1975, he published Indonesia Accuses! Soekarno’s Defense Oration in the Political Trial of 1930, the inaugural volume in the Oxford in Asia Historical Memoir series. Over the decades, he published a number of articles about Indonesian politics as well as international studies. He also lectured extensively in Indonesia, Australia, and the United States.
To hear Paget tell it, Lewis & Clark was the place where his love of teaching flourished. Two experiences truly stood out for him: teaching Basic Inquiry, the general education course for first-year students, and leading the 1994 Indonesia overseas study program.
Paget’s surviving family includes wife Tana, six biological children, two stepchildren, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Knowing that his condition was terminal, Paget had made it a point to be in close touch with his far-flung networks of family and friends in recent months. He had also been deeply involved in planning a reunion of all of the college’s Indonesia programs as part of Alumni Weekend. A celebration of his life will be held in conjunction with Alumni Weekend on June 22 at 1:30 p.m. in Agnes Flanagan Chapel.