Robert Wonnett

Robert Wonnett Headshot

Robert Wonnett

JD, MPA, Ph.D., Scholar in Residence
College of Public Service
ACAD 320
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Office Hours: by appointment

Biographical Information

Dr. Wonnett has over 36 years of public service in Colorado, primarily in higher education. His experience ranges from his first job as a police officer on the University of Colorado Boulder campus to Vice Chancellor of Student Success at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

He has a B.S. and M.Ed from the University of Colorado Boulder, a J.D. from the University of Denver, and a M.P.A. and Ph.D. (Architecture and Planning) from the University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Wonnett has taught at UCCS since 1996 including the Freshman Seminar Program and the College of Education's Student Affairs in Higher Education Program. He began teaching in the College of Public Service in spring 2012.

His research interest is on the constitutional intersection of civil liberties and public administration. The research examines the conflicts, controversies, and cases involving public governance and the civil liberties protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The research addresses how the relationship between the First Amendment and the governance process is guided and constrained through formal and informal process including executive authority, legislative action, judicial review, and the public opinion. His research examines the tension between governmental concerns to regulate space for safety and the individual rights for public expression.

His research interest specially focuses on the judicial interpretation of the multidimensional aspects of place and how those legal decisions shape the physical, social, and organizational character of the public space. This research approach combines a place-typing assessment with a public forum analysis, in order to examine multidimensional place settings in constitutional case law.

His public service experience also includes senior management of public services and safety for the state of Colorado including over 8 years of management experience in the Colorado Department of Corrections and Colorado Department of Human Services. His public management experience includes public safety services, emergency planning, human resources, audit services, training and development, policy and strategic operations, and administration of an interstate compact.

He has public policy and political advocacy experience that includes providing written and oral presentations to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. He has been a member of state commission and developed public polices by working with a broad range of constituencies, community groups, and citizen oversight committees.

Areas of Interest

  • Constitutional intersection of civil liberties and public administration
  • Public Forum Case Law
  • Urban Planning and Design
  • Administrative law
  • Local government management
  • Civic engagement

Curriculum Vitae