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University of Central Oklahoma


John Wood, Ph.D. is a professor of public administration. He was the co-coordinator of the MPA program from 2019-2023. He teaches classes in leadership, public policy, municipal management, urban sustainability, environmental policy and budgeting in cities and states, intergovernmental relations and urban politics.

Wood is the former vice mayor of Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Guthrie Public Works Authority (GPWA) member. He also chaired Guthrie’s finance and streets committee. On the state level, he served as vice chair of the Garber-Wellington committee for the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG), the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) Legislative Committee, as well as served on the Mayor’s Council of Oklahoma.

He was a former state of Oklahoma and was also UCO president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). He was also faculty senate president at Rose State College and led the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges (OACC) as its first board chair.

In addition to his teaching and service, Wood published the edited volume Taking Sides: Clashing Views in State & Local Government, coedited the 7th Edition of Oklahoma Government & Politics. He also serves as a regular contributing columnist for the Oklahoma Observer. He has also published 18 peer-reviewed articles in journals, such as Teaching Public Administration, International Journal of Public Administration, Journal of Transformative Learning Journal of Political Science Education, Journal on Policy and Complex Systems, Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, New Political Science: A Journal of Politics & Culture, Journal of Global Initiatives Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Oklahoma Policies Studies Review, Oklahoma Politics, and Civitas: The Journal of Citizenship Studies.

Since his time at UCO, he was awarded nearly $70,000 in grants for multiple student service projects and research at UCO.

He has also traveled to 37 countries, served in the Marine Corps during the Gulf War in 1990-91, and is married to his beautiful wife, Bonnie.

Honors and Awards

  • George Nigh Award, UCO MPA 2023, From the advisory board for organizing, staffing, and general maintenance of the UCO MPA Advisory Board from 2022-23 -- necessary for NASPAA accreditation.
  • Exceptional Group/Unit Service Award, Alignment and Allocation Working Group 2019-21. Won as a team to create a qualitative and quantitative tool for UCO’s budget.
  • Vanderford Engagement Award, for 24 problem-solving student group projects. August 2019. The University of Central Oklahoma, $1000.
  • First place winner of the 2018 Masonic Endowment for Transformative Learning Award, University of Central Oklahoma, for the “Generation Citizen UCO” project, $6,000 (with Marc Goulding and Justin Olmstead), Aug. 14, 2018.
  • LTC Oren Peters UCO Veteran Appreciation Award, University of Central Oklahoma, November 2017.
  • UCO AAUP Research Award, University of Central Oklahoma, May 2017.
  • Liberal Arts Service Award, University of Central Oklahoma, $500 April 2017.
  • UCO AAUP Service Award, University of Central Oklahoma, April 2016.
  • LA New Faculty Member of the Year, $1500 Liberal Arts College March 23, 2016.​​​​​​

Classes Taught

  • Public Executive Leadership
  • Introduction to Public Administration
  • Municipal Management
  • Urban Sustainability
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Capstone
  • Urban Government and Politics
  • Campaigns and Elections
  • Introduction to Public Policy
  • Introduction to Politics
  • Mass Media and Politics
  • State and Local Government
  • Comparative Politics
  • Environmental Public Policy
  • American Government

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

Edited Book

  • Co-editor, Jan Hardt, John Wood, Sharp, Brett S, & Christopher Markwood. 2020. Oklahoma Government & Politics: An Introduction. 7th Edition. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-5249-9396-2.  January 2020.
  • Editor, Taking Sides: Clashing Views in State & Local Government. 2011. Editor. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. ISBN 0078050057/978-0-078-05005-3.

Invited Articles and Chapters (Editorial Review)

  • “The Authoritarian Big Chill: Critical Race Theory versus Nostalgia in a Deep Red State.” Journal of Academic Freedom, November 2022 Volume 13,
  • “Oklahoma Environmental Policy,” In Sharp, Brett S, & Jan Hardt, John Wood, & Christopher Markwood. Oklahoma Government & Politics: An Introduction. 7th Ed.  Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing. January 2020
  • “Municipal and County Government in Oklahoma,” In Sharp, Brett S, & Jan Hardt, John Wood, & Christopher Markwood. Oklahoma Government & Politics: An Introduction. 7th Ed.  Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing. (with Deb Ferrell-Lynn), January 2020
  •  “Millennial Voting,” 2017. “Oklahoma Votes: Improving the Election Process, Voter Access & Informed Voter Engagement.” The Oklahoma Academy’s 2017 Town Hall: 114-115.

Encyclopedia Entries 

  • “E-Democracy,” In Harvey, Kerric and Golson, J. Geoffrey. Editors. Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. 2013. Volume 1. Sage Publications: 432-433. ISBN:9781452244716 (With Tony Wohlers).
  •  “Oklahoma - consumption, waste collection and disposal,” In Carl A. Zimring and William L. Rathje. Editors: 626-628. Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage. 2012. Sage Publications, ISBN-13: 978-1412988193.


  • “Pernicious Campus Polarization Over Critical Race Theory: A Case Study.” Spring 2023. Journal of Political Science Education. Volume 19 (2). (with Kenneth Kickham)
  • “How Managers View Public Service: The Theoretical vs. Practical Divide.” May 2021. Teaching Public Administration, Volume 39, (2), July: (with Ken Kickham). See
  • “Short-Term Travel Abroad to Uganda & Guatemala: A Preliminary Assessment of Student Transformative Learning,” July 2020. Journal of Transformative Learning, 7(1): pg. 81-93. (with Jarrett Jobe).
  • “Food or Thought? Assessing Internal and External Factors Effecting Evaluations of Instructor Effectiveness” November 2, (with Ryan Kiggins and Ken Kickham) Volume 13 (2). DOI 10.1080/15512169.2017.1329089
  •  “Systematic Power from a Complexity Theory Point of View.” Fall 2014. Journal on Policy and Complex Systems volume 2, number 2: 19-41. (with (with Michael Givel).
  • “Tragedy of the Commons Meets the Anti-Commons: Water Management and Conflict on the Southern Plains of the United States.” Spring 2014. (with Tony Wohlers, Aaron Mason, and Eric Schmaltz) Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 16, 1450005 DOI: 10.1142/S1464333214500057.
  • “Assessment of the Movement of Movements in America,” 2008. New Political Science: A Journal of Politics & Culture, Volume 30, Number 4: 475-492, December.
  • “Dawn of the Cosmopolitan: The Hope of a Global Citizens Movement,” (with Orion Kriegman), 2008. Journal of Global Initiatives Volume 3, Number 1, July.
  • “Mediation Styles: The Assessment of Mediators,” 2004. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 21(4): 437-450.


  • “The Gerrymandering of Black Voters in Oklahoma” 2022. Oklahoma Politics Volume 32, December 2022. (with Britney Hopkins, Bradley Paynter, Thomas Milligan, and Liz Lane-Harvard).
  • “Public Service Value Orientations: Practitioner Perspectives Informing the Classroom.” 2020. Oklahoma Politics. Volume 30, December: 1-38.
  • “Fallin’s Formal Powers in Transition: From Weak Governor to CEO.” 2016. Oklahoma Politics. Volume 26, November: 107-138.
  • “Student Engagement: The Development of Citizenship.” 2014. Civitas: The Journal of Citizenship Studies. Volume 2.
  • "Water Management in Oklahoma: Regulating and Competing For Limited Common Pool Resources." (with Tony Wohlers, Aaron Mason, and Eric Schmaltz) 2012. Oklahoma Politics. Volume 22, November: 41-72.
  • "Domestic Terrorists vs. Blackmailers: Unresolved Conflict Between Municipalities and Rural Water Districts." 2012. Oklahoma Politics. Volume 22, November: 73-109.
  • “What Is the Tea Party Phenomenon? An Exploration on Whether It Is a Political Movement, a Third Party, or Something Else?” 2012. Civitas: The Journal of Citizenship Studies. Volume 1: 39-71.
  • “Is the Fox Guarding the Hen House? Conflicts of Interest That Pervade the One Hundred-Year History of the Oklahoma Insurance Commission,” 2008. Oklahoma Politics. Volume 18, November: 75-88.
  • “Technobabble and Rights Talk: Dueling Frames Underlying Conflict About Illinois River Pollution,” 2004. Oklahoma Policies Studies Review, spring/summer 5(1): 19-22.


2018’s Most Charitable States, Nov 27, 2018, “Ask the Experts”

“Syllabi & Grades,” 2008. Expert Briefs for GradShare with ProQuest, Bethesda, Maryland.;

  • “Dealing with Student Complaints,” 2008. Expert Briefs for GradShare with ProQuest, Bethesda, Maryland.


 Co-PI, Planning & Oversight Faculty On-Campus Grant 2020-2021 program., “One Person - One Vote: Addressing Gerrymandering in Oklahoma Through Policy and Mathematics” $4549 2nd Award. (with Britney Hopkins, Bradley Paynter, Thomas Milligan, and Liz Lane-Harvard).

  • Co-PI, Planning & Oversight Faculty SOTL Grant 2019-2020 program., “Peer Observational Learning: A Transformative Experience?” $6,000 (with Jody Horn and Linda Harris.), 2019-20.
  • Co-PI, Planning & Oversight Faculty On-Campus Grant 2019-2020 program., “One Person - One Vote: Addressing Gerrymandering in Oklahoma Through Policy and Mathematics” $10,000 (with
  •  Britney Hopkins, Bradley Paynter, Thomas Milligan, and Liz Lane-Harvard).
  • PI, Planning & Oversight, STLR-funding - Creation of the 2018 Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits sector report to justify the economic and policy impact of nonprofits in Oklahoma (with the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and UCO), $5,120, spring 2018. Hired three students.
  • PI, Planning & Oversight, STLR-funding three grants: “UCO Democracy Coaches Engaging Oklahoma School Children" $6400 (Spring 2017) & $6400 (Fall 2017), & $4000 (Spring 2018). Working with Generation Citizen. Pays 8 undergraduate UCO students to serve in K-12 state standards-aligned action civics classes that give K-12 students the opportunity to experience real-world democracy during the spring 2017. Through student-driven projects, youth learn how to effect policy change by engaging with local government and leaders to solve community problems. Total $16,800.
  • PI, Planning & OversightSTLR-funding extension for a Teaching & Learning Student Project $1726. “Diversity of Human Nature Project.” Pays two students to conduct interviews and research, Summer 2017.
  • PI, Planning & OversightSTLR-funding for a Teaching & Learning Student Project $3740. “Diversity of Human Nature Project.” Pays two students to conduct interviews and research, Spring 2017.
  • PI, Planning & OversightStudy Tour Internship Award of $2500 by the Liberal Arts College Chairs’ Council, for Guatemala Habitat for Humanity student trip. The trip finalizes “Creating a Study Tour Leadership Experience (CaSTLE) Program,” training. March 2017.
  • PI, Planning, & TravelKirkpatrick Foundation, $10,000, October 2016. For Voting Initiative & Town Hall meeting 2017 (with Julie Knutson, Mark Kinders, and Janelle Grellner).
  • PI, Travel, & Attendance, AAUP Hopper Travel Award, $375, June 2016.
  • PI, Planning & Oversight, Study Tour Internship Award of $2500 by the Liberal Arts College Chairs’ Council, for Uganda student trip. The trip finalizes “Creating a Study Tour Leadership Experience (CaSTLE) Program,” training. May 7-21, 2016.
  • Co-PI, Planning & Attendance, Kettering Foundation’s 2016 Cycle of Joint Learning that will focus on Centers for Public Life, $4,000 (with Janelle Grellner), October 2015-Februrary 2017. For four sessions of public deliberation training in Dayton, Ohio.

Education and Certifications


Oklahoma State University

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Environmental Policy and Conflict Management, January 2007. 4.0 GPA.   
    • Emphasis on Public Policy, Environment, Globalization, Conflict, Management, and Government.
  • Master of Arts, Political Science, spring 1998. 4.0 GPA.
    • Emphasis on Congress, Presidency, Public Policy, and Mass Media.
  • Bachelor of Science, Journalism and Broadcasting (News/Editorial), summer 1994. 3.49 GPA.


  • Three-time 21st Century Pedagogy Institute, 1st May 2017 Most Distinguished Teacher-Scholar and 2nd May 2018, 3rd as a Distinguished Teacher-Scholar in 2021 through the Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning (CETTL) (in progress).
  • Two-time Outstanding Professors’ Academy at University of Central Oklahoma, 1st September 2005-May 2006 (Rose State College); 2nd September 2016-May 2017 (UCO),
  • Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) I & II, September 2016. STLR Refresher October, 2017.
  • Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP) certification, July 2015; July 2017.
  • UCO Study in Teaching & Learning (SOTL) Scholar 2016-2017; Mentor 2017-2018.
  •  “Creating a Study Tour Leadership Experience (CaSTLE) Program certificate,” Fall 2014-Spring 2016. Completed with an Internship, 1st trip- Gulu, Uganda with students in the Leadership minor program with Jarrett George.; 2nd trip-Habitat for Humanity in Retahuleu, Guatemala.
  • “Standards for Excellence Series” Workshops, the Oklahoma Center for Non Profits, Oklahoma City. September-October 2012. Four-part series.
  • Certified Municipal Officer (CMO) certificate from the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML), 40 hours of workshop training, October 2009-September 2010.
  • Oklahoma Agricultural Mediation Program (OAMP), certificate in Arbitration, Stillwater, Oklahoma, January 2000.
  • Early Settlement Mediation Program (mediator certification), Kingfisher, Oklahoma, June 1999. Mediated more than two dozen mediations at state courts in Oklahoma.


  • Tenured, Professor, Public Administration, University of Central Oklahoma, August 2021-present. MPA Co-director 2018-2023, Core Curriculum Committee; Assessment Committee; STLR departmental representative, SOTL scholar, and Praxis Club Adviser.
  • Affiliated Faculty, Swansea University, Wales, UK, Summer 2018 to present.

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.