Michael Ludwig appointed associate vice president for research administration

Michael R. Ludwig, director of Sponsored Program Services at Purdue, has been appointed associate vice president for research administration and director of University Research Administration at the University of Chicago, effective June 20, following a national search. He succeeds Carol Zuiches, who announced last October her plan to retire this spring. 

Ludwig will lead University Research Administration, a team of more than 25 professionals responsible for grant and contract management, research compliance, and review and institutional endorsement of all applications for sponsored funding, including clinical studies and trials and Material Transfer Agreements. Last year, UChicago received 2,168 awards totaling $450 million in sponsored research funding. The group also provides sponsored project information services and overall guidance, support and research administration training. 

During his 26-year tenure at Purdue, Ludwig served for nine years as associate director of Sponsored Program Services and six years as director, overseeing a staff of 75 with broad, pre- and post-award responsibility, including most areas of financial administration and reporting. Sponsored research funding at Purdue was $320 million in 2013. Two-thirds of total funding came from federal funders, the largest of which were the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. 

“Mike’s demonstrated success in leading sponsored research administration and improving departmental processes across all colleges and regional campuses at Purdue make him exceptionally well qualified to lead URA,” said Donald H. Levy, vice president for research and for national laboratories at UChicago.  

As director of SPS, Ludwig leads the team responsible for pre- and post-award support to faculty, including approval of sponsored program proposals; negotiation and acceptance of awards and other agreements affecting research activities; subcontract issuance and monitoring; account setup, invoicing, reporting and audits. Together with senior administrators at the university, Ludwig develops and implements policies and procedures to enhance services and assure compliance with federal regulations.

“I am honored to have been selected for this important position and look forward to the challenges and opportunities in providing world-class support to the talented faculty of the University of Chicago,” said Ludwig.

As associate director for Sponsored Program Administration at Purdue from 1999-2008, Ludwig led a staff of 65 professionals and implemented an effective, new organizational structure and pre- and post-award process to better serve faculty in response to significant growth in sponsored research funding that had growth 250 percent in nine years. He also oversaw the implementation of a new research administration system.

Prior to that position, Ludwig served as director of Academic Business Managers from 1993-99 and directed a staff of 200 providing business services support such as budgeting, payroll, purchasing and account management, to business managers in the schools, divisions and departments. He also led the development of new systems and procedures to enhance business services provided to faculty and staff. During this time, Ludwig participated in the development of the University’s annual budget plan that exceeded $1 billion; served as Purdue’ Public Records Officer; and served as interim director of personnel services from 1995-96.

A prominent and respected leader in his field, Ludwig represents Purdue in national organizations such as the Federal Demonstration Partnership, the Council on Governmental Relations and National Council of University Administrators. He is a member of COGR board of directors and serves on the Research Compliance and Administration Committee and the Steering Committee for Administrative Computing. He has served as committee member and presented and participated in workshops at NCURA Financial Research Administration’s annual conferences.

Ludwig received his bachelor of science in agricultural economics at Purdue.

“Mike’s competence, mission-orientation, extensive management experience in research administration and business, and his dedication to customer service will be a great asset to the University and our world-leading faculty.” said Levy. “He is also inheriting a highly competent and efficient team thanks to the exceptional leadership of his predecessor Carol Zuiches.”