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Dr. Richard L. Wood

rwoodInterim Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor, Department of Sociology
Director, Southwest Institute on Religion and Civil Society
The University of New Mexico


BA – Chemistry – University of California at Davis
MA – Theology – Graduate Theological Union, University of California at Berkeley
PhD – Sociology – University of California at Berkeley

Business/Research Background

Dr. Wood currently serves as interim provost & executive vice president for academic affairs at UNM and is a professor in UNM’s sociology department. Prior to his appointment as interim provost, he served as acting provost and as senior vice provost. Dr. Wood has previously served UNM as president of the Faculty Senate, co-chair of the Committee on Governance, chairperson of the Department of Sociology, director of the Religious Studies Program, special advisor for strategic initiatives in the Office of the Provost, and in various other committee roles at the college and university level.  Dr. Wood holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UC-Berkeley, an M.A. degree in theology from the Graduate Theological Union, and a B.A. in chemistry from UC-Davis.

Particular Knowledge and Skills

Dr. Wood’s research interests are in the areas of religion, social movements, global/transnational sociology, comparative sociology, community organizing, comparative civil societies (United States and Latin America), culture in social movements, and democratic theory.  His scholarly expertise focuses on the cultural and institutional bases of democratic life, especially those linked to faith communities.  His early work studied congregation-based community organizing in low-income neighborhoods of the United States, culminating in Faith in Action: Religion, Race, and Democratic Action in America (University of Chicago Press 2002); the book received the 2003 award for the outstanding book in the sociology of religion from the American Sociological Association. Dr. Wood serves as co-editor of a book series, Cambridge Studies of Social Theory, Religion, and Politics at Cambridge University Press, and has helped lead major nationally funded research projects on religion and democracy in the United States, Central America and the Middle East. He has served on a variety of community service boards at the local and national levels.