Richard L. Wood serves as Interim Senior Vice Provost for Academic Mission at UNM. He is a Professor of Sociology and served previously at 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. 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.
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. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on democracy & political culture, religion, social theory, and ethnographic research methods. Wood studies the cultural and institutional dynamics that strengthen or erode democratic life, particularly those linked to religion. His books include A Shared Future: Faith-Based Organizing for Racial Equity and Ethical Democracy (University of Chicago, 2015; with Brad Fulton), winner of the ARNOVA 2016 Outstanding Book Award from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action; and Faith in Action (University of Chicago, 2002), recognized as best book of 2002 by the American Sociological Association’s religion section. Among a variety of other articles, his work with Ruth Braunstein and Brad Fulton in the American Sociological Review won the 2016 Clifford Geertz Award for best article in the sociology of culture from the American Sociological Association. Wood was raised in northern New Mexico and is an avid skier, flyfisher, and hiker; on a good day he also can shoot a basketball. Wood and his spouse Dana Bell raised their two now-adult children in Albuquerque.