Ludman to retire after nearly four decades at Emerson


Updated April 2

Ronald Ludman, who has been Emerson’s dean of students for 33 years, will retire at the end of June, according to a campuswide email from President M. Lee Pelton.

His position will be filled on an interim basis by Sharon Duffy, currently the associate dean of students, starting July 1, while Emerson conducts a nationwide search for a permanent replacement, according to Pelton.

Ludman started at Emerson in 1978 as the director of career services, then quickly ascended the student affairs ranks, promoted to assistant dean of students, then associate dean, in 1980. Two years later, he was promoted to his current role. 

“Ron has served Emerson and the thousands of students who have attended the College and their parents and guardians during his tenure with integrity, tireless energy, compassion, and commitment,” Pelton wrote in his email.

In his tenure, Ludman founded the college’s first counseling center, expanded the health services program, applied for and managed three grants from the Department of Education, and oversaw the opening of seven dorms, according to Pelton. Recently, he led a committee that worked to improve athletics.

He is currently Emerson’s longest-serving senior administrator.

Ludman is among several defendants in two lawsuits filed by former students alleging Emerson mishandled their rape cases. He will be the third of those defendants to leave the college. David Haden, the former associate dean and director of housing and residence life, and Danielle Mastronardi, a former residence director, both left the college in January, according to their LinkedIn profiles.


Clarification: An earlier version of this article stated Ludman is the third school administrator to leave Emerson after a second lawsuit was filed. In fact, he is the third school administrator named in the lawsuits as a defendant to leave the school.