Sunil Kumar took office as the 15th provost of Johns Hopkins University on September 1, 2016. In this role, Kumar is the chief academic officer and second-ranking member of the senior administration, responsible for promoting and coordinating the university’s teaching and research mission. He oversees the university’s nine schools as well as several interdisciplinary programs and academic centers.
Provost Kumar previously served as dean of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, as well as the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management. During his tenure at Chicago, Kumar concentrated on broadening and strengthening the intellectual footprint of the business school, including expanding the faculty, supporting increasingly diverse student aspirations, and expanding the reach of the school’s programs. He also focused on forging stronger relationships with alumni and disseminating the school’s intellectual capital more effectively.
Before joining the Booth School of Business, Kumar spent 14 years on the faculty of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he was the Fred H. Merrill Professor of Operations, Information, and Technology. He also served as senior associate dean for academic affairs, overseeing the school’s MBA program and leading faculty groups in marketing and organizational behavior.
Kumar’s research includes performance evaluation and control of manufacturing systems, service operations, and communications networks. In particular, he studies systems affected by stochastic variability via mathematical models. He also studies the application of optimization methods and control theory to managerial problems.
Born in India, Kumar received a Master of Engineering degree in computer science and automation from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Mangalore University in Surathkal. He earned a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.