Marisa ZuskarContact Marisa Zuskar
Marisa has over 16 years of experience assisting research institutions with operational improvements and administrative transformation, as well as addressing a variety of research compliance challenges. Marisa focuses on organizational transformation of sponsored programs across the award life cycle, with specialized expertise in pre-award, post-award and research regulatory compliance.
Transformation is achieving and sustaining positive change through on-going and continuous effort. It is not permanent or final, but a milestone to be celebrated, as well as a trigger point for defining the next phase of effort towards excellence.”
Marisa has nearly two decades of experience partnering with her clients to transform sponsored programs administration operating models, incorporating organizational alignment, roles and responsibilities, business processes, and enabling technology, across all functions of the sponsored program life cycle. Marisa’s passion for performance improvement via performance measurement has led her to develop Huron’s research compliance data analytics service offering and spearhead Huron’s RADIUS benchmarking survey.
Throughout her career, Marisa has:
- Stabilized sponsored projects services units, with teams of two to 40 individuals, through consistent operational management and leadership, hiring new talent, enhanced staff training, and subject matter expertise.
- Improved operational performance through initiatives focused on reducing outstanding sponsored accounts receivable, minimizing delinquent financial reports and expediting award setup and closeout.
- Strategized and prepared responses to federal Office of Inspector General audits, focusing on high-risk compliance areas, including summer salaries, post-period transactions, improper cash allocation, cost sharing, and equipment and charge allowability.
- Prepared detailed financial analyses to quantify risk, provide defense support and strengthen the institutional response to sponsor and federal government investigations and audits of sponsored programs.
- Assisted multiple institutions in addressing and implementing the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR Part 200) and other federal regulations through policy review and revision, training, and business process transformation.
- Designed operational, performance, and compliance management metrics and reports for institutional leadership to monitor research operations and maximize productivity in research administration.
- Assisted research institutions in identifying and evaluating functional business requirements to assess and select grants management software platforms for implementation.
Marisa has spoken at numerous industry conferences, including the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) Annual Meeting, the Financial Research Administration Conference, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Higher Education Compliance Conference, and the Society of Research Administrators International Annual Meeting.
Marisa holds a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University.
Areas of Expertise
- Advisory Services
- Managed Services
Education & Certifications
- B.S., Northwestern University
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