Judith Ruderman received her bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her Ph.D. in English from Duke University as a Danforth Foundation Fellow. Before becoming Vice Provost in 1995, Ruderman was the Director of the Duke Office of Continuing Education and University Summer Programs for twelve years.
Ruderman has winnowed her responsibilities down for 2007/08 and 2008/09 in order to concentrate on reaffirmation of accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. (SACS) She heads the 2.5 year process, which includes a compliance certification and the development of a quality enhancement plan. She continues as a member of the University Schedule Committee, Undergraduate Leadership Group. Universities Coordinating Committee of the Robertson Scholars Program, and the Martin Luther King Planning Committee. She also serves as the Duke University Assembly representative to the Consortium on the Financing of Higher Education (COFHE). In addition, Ruderman was founding president and longtime member of the board of directors of the Freeman Center for Jewish Life at Duke and serves as cantor at high holiday worship services. She has been a premajor advisor for 18 years.
Ruderman is the author of D. H. Lawrence and the Devouring Mother (Duke University Press, 1984), William Styron (Ungar Books, 1987), and Joseph Heller (Ungar Books, 1991), as well as numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews. She was the first female president of the D.H. Lawrence Society of North America and is on the editorial board of the D.H. Lawrence Review and the Journal of Aging and Identity. As Adjunct Professor in the English department she teaches every spring semester, usually a seminar on D.H. Lawrence. Her research interests center on the role of minority groups in the formation of national and personal identities in England and America in the early twentieth century.