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Robert Coldwell Wood Edit Profile

political scientist , United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development , university professor

Robert Coldwell Wood, political scientist, former secretary of housing & urban development. Decorated Bronze Star; recipient Hubert H. Humphrey award, 1985.

Background

Wood was born on September 16, 1923 in St Louis, Missouri, the son of Mary (née Bradshaw) Wood and Thomas Frank Wood.

Education

AB, Princeton University, 1946. Master of Arts, Harvard University, 1947. Master of Public Administration, Harvard University, 1948.

Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University, 1950. Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), St. Bonaventure College, University Pittsburgh, 1965. Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, 1966.

Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Princeton University, 1969. Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Rhode Island College, University Massachusetts, 1970. Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 1971.

Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), University Maine, 1972. Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Hokkaido University, Japan, 1975. Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), North Adams College, 1977.

Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Boston University, 1978. Doctor of Laws or Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Stonehill College, 1979.

Career

From 1965 to 1969, Wood served as the Under Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and for two weeks as acting secretary of the department. After his return to MIT, he directed the Joint Center for Urban Studies at MIT and Harvard. He also had a joint appointment as head of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

He served as president of the University of Massachusetts (1970-1977), overseeing expansion of programs, including construction of a campus in south Boston. After graduating from Princeton University, Wood earned three degrees from Harvard: a master's in public administration, and a master's and a doctorate in government. Wood taught political science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1959 to 1965.

From 1965 to 1969, Wood served as the Under Secretary of the newly created Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Following the resignation of Robert C. Weaver as Secretary of HUD, Wood served briefly in the position for two weeks before George Romney took office. Wood returned to MIT, where he directed the Joint Center for Urban Studies at MIT and Harvard.

At the same time, he was appointed as head of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). From 1970 to 1977 he served as president of the University of Massachusetts. During these years, Wood led the expansion of the university, to include UMass Medical Center in Worcester and its Boston campus.

He also played a key role in bringing the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum to its site at Columbia Point, next to UMass-Boston. He also taught at Wesleyan University.

Achievements

  • He won a scholarship to Princeton University, interrupting his studies during World War II to serve in the U.S. Army. Wood saw action during Battle of the Bulge, won a Bronze Star, and rose to the rank of sergeant. In 1968, Wood was awarded the Wiener Medal for Cybernetics from the American Society for Cybernetics.

Works

Membership

Trustee College Board, 1979-1983, Kettering Foundation, 1971-1976. Member Commission on Academy Health Centers and Economy New England. Board directors Lincoln Institute Land Policy, 1976-1980.

Chairman Institute for Resource Management, 1982-1984, 20th Century Task Force Federal Educational Policy, 1983, Connecticut Governor's Coalition on Adult Literacy, 1986-1989. Member Governor's Commission on Quality and Integrated Education, 1989-1990. Served with infantry Army of the United States, World World War II, European Theatre of Operations.

Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences, American Political Science Association (Career Achievment award 1989), Cosmos Club Washington, Phi Beta Kappa.

Connections

Married Margaret Byers, March 22, 1952. Children– Frances, Margaret, Frank Randolph.

father:
Thomas Frank Wood

mother:
Mary (Bradshaw) Wood

spouse:
Margaret Byers

child:
Frances Wood

child:
Margaret Wood

child:
Frank Randolph Wood