Marisa Zuskar

Contact Marisa Zuskar

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.

About Marisa

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

Industries

  • Education & Research

Education & Certifications

  • B.S., Northwestern University

Insights

  • Affirmative (In)Action in Higher Education: The Pitfalls of Failing to Review Institutional Policies

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    Affirmative action sits at the forefront of one of higher education’s most critical compliance issues, posing a challenge for admissions leaders and compliance professionals alike.

  • Navigating Foreign Influence in Research Compliance

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    Higher education leaders who position risk management and compliance as a foundational capability will protect the integrity of their institutions.

  • Huron Point of View and FAQ: Sponsored Research Post-Award

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    These recommendations outline best practices for monitoring and tracking non-salary COVID-19 related expenditures.

  • Ensure Smooth Operations in 2020 by Brushing Up on FAR Regulations

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    Maintain smooth research operations in 2020 by reviewing FAR regulations and brushing up on the updated terms and conditions that impact federal contracts.

  • Campuswide Compliance: Moving Forward by Looking Back

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    When it is your institution in the headlines, your compliance and risk officers are thrust into a reactive mode, simultaneously doing damage control, meting out justice, and leading institutional reform.

  • COVID-19 Internal Controls Pre-Audit Questionnaire

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  • Research Compliance: A Resource Library

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    As research institutions face economic pressures and new policies and legislation, Huron’s compliance resources provide insight into how to reduce the risk of institutional noncompliance.

  • Research Compliance Organizational Structure: Achieving Operational Compliance and Managing Risk

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    This webinar covers various leadership options to achieve operational compliance and compliance oversight as an objective requirement to managing risk.

  • Foreign Influence Client Alert

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    On July 10, 2019, the NIH released a notice regarding policies on Other Support, financial conflicts of interest and foreign components.

  • A Self-Assessment for Internal Controls and the Single Audit

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    This self assessment for internal controls guide will help you understand your own controls before auditors arrive.

  • Huron Point-of-View: Managing Sponsored Projects and OMB Flexibilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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    These recommendations outline best practices for monitoring and tracking non-salary COVID-19 related expenditures.

4 out of 11

Insights

  • Research Compliance Organizational Structure: Achieving Operational Compliance and Managing Risk

    Read More

    This webinar covers various leadership options to achieve operational compliance and compliance oversight as an objective requirement to managing risk.

  • Campuswide Compliance: Moving Forward by Looking Back

    Read More

    When it is your institution in the headlines, your compliance and risk officers are thrust into a reactive mode, simultaneously doing damage control, meting out justice, and leading institutional reform.

  • Ensure Smooth Operations in 2020 by Brushing Up on FAR Regulations

    Read More

    Maintain smooth research operations in 2020 by reviewing FAR regulations and brushing up on the updated terms and conditions that impact federal contracts.

  • Huron Point of View and FAQ: Sponsored Research Post-Award

    Read More

    These recommendations outline best practices for monitoring and tracking non-salary COVID-19 related expenditures.

  • A Self-Assessment for Internal Controls and the Single Audit

    Read More

    This self assessment for internal controls guide will help you understand your own controls before auditors arrive.

  • Navigating Foreign Influence in Research Compliance

    Read More

    Higher education leaders who position risk management and compliance as a foundational capability will protect the integrity of their institutions.

  • Affirmative (In)Action in Higher Education: The Pitfalls of Failing to Review Institutional Policies

    Read More

    Affirmative action sits at the forefront of one of higher education’s most critical compliance issues, posing a challenge for admissions leaders and compliance professionals alike.

4 out of 7

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