Friday Faculty Focus: Robert Woody


February 10th, 2017

Dr. Robert Woody (Photo courtesy Robert Woody)

On this week’s episode of Friday Faculty Focus, KVNO’s Brandon McDermott sits down with Dr. Robert Woody. Woody is a professor in the in the Psychology Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha as well as president of the UNO Faculty Senate.

Brandon: Dr. Robert Woody thanks for joining me on the show.

Dr. Robert Woody: Thank you.

Brandon: I noticed in 2005 you completed training at a basic police academy in Florida. Talk about your experience there and why you wanted to complete this training.

Dr. Woody: My first professional job was in, as you would guess from our previous discussions, Northern Michigan. Because I was the only psychologist for several counties around there, the judges and the sheriff started wanted me to do some psychology work for them. The county sheriff where I was housed in the county building deputized me and I got baptized into law enforcement thinking.

Years went by, I came here, earned my law degree it Creighton and by that time I was fascinated, always had been of course fascinated with the role of law enforcement in our society I had a year off for professional development leave to be more exact from UNO. I had heard about, after some investigation, the excellence at the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy in Tallahassee.

I enrolled there full-time, basically night-and-day for seven days a week – five months. My defensive tactics partner weighed 330 lbs., we still stay in touch by the way. The average age was probably 21 – my age was a bit older than that, as you would guess. They elected me president of the Academy for my tenure there. It was excellent, everyone treated me with the kind of respect, if you will, that they should – and in return – of course I did the same thing. I was fascinated with how the police academy at least Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy was focused in on modern social values. It was a great experience along that line not to mention I could pick up my 330 lb. partner and slam him. Of course he did it to me in return.

Brandon: You also have interests and governments’ influence on and regulation of health care services. How important is that now in the current political climate?

Dr. Woody:  Well, obviously from the news it’s a critical topic and obviously from reports and data on the health status of our population is a critical topic. My concern is that it’s been politicized so much by both sides of the aisle, if you will, that I’m afraid we have often lost sight of factual information. Right now we have this “fake news” issue floating around. I talked with one of our administrators or just yesterday and he thought it was one of the most frightening things our society has faced – the fake news aspect.

The health care itself – I’ve been concerned just in my health care or needs – how many employees, dentists – we can almost good on the list of every profession – the health care providers are uncomfortable with what’s evolved over the last eight years. A number of them have retired early or just said “I’m not going to do this anymore.” Figuratively and literally – I could name names. It’s one of those things that health care seems to be such a political football these days, that you and I and all of our Omahans are in jeopardy and the government has to deal with it.

Now here in Nebraska, it’s worthy of comment I believe that the state budget had far less revenues coming in than it had hoped for. Well, that spills over to where the money that did come in will be spent, how it will be spent and I’m afraid that health care is not going to be a very high priority for the politicians who will be making the decisions for you and me as we pay or taxes.

Brandon: Is there any other topic you’d like to talk about before we go?

Dr. Woody: The quality of faculty has improved at UNO and at Kearney in such a way – that the schism that existed at one time with UNL frankly bragging about being the flagship campus – them days are gone forever – to quote Gomer Pyle or somebody. The campuses are really collegial now thanks to Hank Bounds and I think we should all be please about the rapid and strong development that has occurred.

Brandon: Dr. Robert Woody, thanks again for coming on the show

Dr. Woody: And thank you.

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