Prosecuting Attorney to Teach Criminal Justice at William Woods

A former senior special prosecuting attorney with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office is now an assistant professor at William Woods University.


Robert J. Ahsens began teaching part time in the criminal justice program this semester. It is not the first time he has taught at WWU, however. He has been an adjunct faculty member, teaching business courses in the Graduate & Adult Studies program.


A 1972 graduate of Westminster College, he then served five years as a commissioned officer in Europe and the United States, rising to the rank of Captain. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, graduating in 1979.


Ahsens was an attorney in private practice and then spent eight years as an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Cole County Prosecuting Attorney’s office before joining the Missouri Attorney General’s Office in 1990. He retired from full-time service this year.


The university’s criminal justice program, established a few years ago, was revised to provide a homeland security emphasis in 2005.


According to Cynthia Kramer, director of the university’s legal studies program, WWU’s criminal justice program provides “a unique approach to national security issues by focusing on an understanding of the historical, sociological and psychological aspects of terrorism, combined with the practical legal and forensic framework of criminal justice.”


She feels that WWU’s Criminal Justice program is more law-focused than many programs and she sees that as a real advantage for her students. A majority of other criminal justice curriculums are focused on policing and corrections, she said.