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.
As Provost, Kumar has focused on increasing inter-divisional research and education collaborations across the University; recruiting exceptional faculty to Johns Hopkins through the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorship program and the Faculty Diversity Initiative; enhancing the student experience by leading the Student Services Excellence Initiative, strengthening the career services function at the University for undergraduate and graduate students; and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across the divisions. Kumar also chairs the University’s inaugural Tenure Advisory Committee (TAC).
Prior to his current role, Kumar served as Dean of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, as well as the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management. Before joining the Booth School of Business, he 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 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.