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Calvin University selects new School of Business dean

Jim Ludema
Posted at 11:43 AM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 11:43:14-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Calvin University has appointed Jim Ludema as dean of its School of Business.

He’s a 1982 graduate of Calvin with experience as an educator, researcher and administrator, a news release said Thursday.

He’s also worked for companies like McDonald’s, John Deere, Allstate and Merck, among others.

Ludema is currently a professor in the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Business at Benedictine University, where he’s served since 1998, and also the director of the university’s Center for Values-Driver Leadership, which he launched in 2008.

“We see Jim’s extensive experience in business education, his proven ability to create and launch new programs, his collaborative approach to leadership and incredible reputation in the business community serving our current and future learners well,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University. “Those strengths, combined with his 20-plus years of demonstrating a commitment to integrating faith and business, make me excited about the future of business education at Calvin.”

Ludema said he was attracted to Calvin because of the university’s Vision 2030 plan, commitment to the business program and the momentum of the business program with the expanding and diversifying of its programming and the establishment of the new school and the current building project.

Most important to him, however, was Calvin’s institutional mission and its core values.

“I love Calvin’s mission and what it stands for: to equip learners to think deeply, to act justly and live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world,” Ludema said. “There’s no greater mission than that, and that’s inspiring for me.”

His goal is to help the School of Business be seen as a trusted partner both inside and outside the Calvin University community.

“We need to be an active partner with the other disciplines in the university,” Ludema said. “We need to collaborate in creating joint programs and supporting programs that already exist in order to best serve current and future learners. And I envision many dynamic forms of collaboration with the business community both in Grand Rapids, as well as nationally and globally, including establishing new programs that serve their needs.”

Ludema’s name rose to the top of a national search that yielded almost 50 nominations and applications.

He will start his tenure at Cavlin on July 1.