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The Michael I. Luger Award for Applied Scholarship on Competitive Economies

The Michael I. Luger Award for Applied Scholarship on Competitive Economies was established by the chair in 2023 to honor and in memory of Professor Michael I. Luger. 

Dr. Luger was a Professor of Public Policy, Planning and Business at UNC for more than twenty years. He served as the Carl H. Pegg Professor of Planning and Public Policy and as Chair of the Curriculum in Public Policy Analysis. His research focused on regional economic development, infrastructure finance, and science and technology policy. He advised the public and private industry sectors on topics including economic and technology development, leadership, and change management. His commitment to community engagement led him to create and serve as founding Director of the Center for Competitive Economies at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. In 2006, Dr. Luger left UNC to become Director of the University of Manchester (U.K.) Business School. He continued his interest and involvement in the work of his Carolina colleagues and former students.

Dr. Luger believed that economic development was a powerful means of economic self determination for communities seeking to achieve progressive outcomes for their citizens. His goal was to always provide such communities with rigorously researched and actionable policy information. Dr. Luger believed that academics had a responsibility to engage in public service. He exemplified this perspective in his own research and instilled it in the work of the colleagues and students whom he inspired and guided Their academic and professional careers in public service are a legacy that continues to honor Dr. Luger’s contributions.

Dr. Luger received an AB in Architecture and Urban Planning and an MPA in Public and International Affairs at Princeton. He received a Master’s in City and Regional Planning (MCP) and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

The Luger Award for Applied Scholarship on Competitive Economies will recognize a dual undergraduate-graduate Master of Public Policy (MPP) student who has demonstrated an ability to use research and analysis to advocate for policy change and a demonstrated commitment to competitive economies.

The MPP Committee will recommend a recipient, and the recipient will be recognized at each June MPP graduation.