Sunil Kumar appointed to second term as dean of University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Sunil Kumar has been appointed dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business for a second five-year term, President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Eric D. Isaacs announced.


In their message to the Chicago Booth community, Zimmer and Isaacs commended Kumar for his energetic leadership, which has earned the respect of the school’s worldwide community.

“We look forward to working with Sunil in the years ahead to ensure that Booth remains a preeminent destination for business education and scholarship,” Zimmer and Isaacs wrote. “He has demonstrated a commitment to the success of Booth’s faculty individually and as a whole, and to the success of Booth students and alumni in Chicago and around the globe.”

Under Kumar’s leadership, Booth has broadened and strengthened its intellectual footprint, recruiting and expanding faculty with expertise in diverse areas ranging from marketing to operations management.  

Kumar has supported students in realizing their broader aspirations by expanding student scholarships and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as establishing the Social Enterprise Initiative and the Harry L. Davis Center for Leadership. Chicago Booth has continued to aggressively develop its highly ranked full-time MBA program.

During his first term as dean, Kumar has enhanced the school’s global presence, including a successful move of the Executive MBA Program Asia to Hong Kong in 2014, which resulted in a strong, geographically diverse student body.

In its effort to strengthen ties with alumni, Booth has created Reconnect, a weekend-long event that combines its popular management conference with class reunions and alumni celebrations. Kumar established an office to disseminate the school’s intellectual capital more effectively through its Capital Ideas website, videos, blogs and redesigned magazine.

Kumar’s leadership since arriving at Booth as dean in 2011 has brought strong alumni engagement and fundraising support for student scholarships, faculty chairs, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Social Enterprise Initiative and the Center in Hong Kong.

Prior to Booth, 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 has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. His research areas include performance evaluation and control of manufacturing systems, service operations and communications networks.

Kumar serves on the board of the Civic Consulting Alliance, Chicago, and the Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association of North America. He is a trustee of the University of Chicago India Trust, and the University of Chicago Hong Kong Trust.

Born in India, Kumar received a bachelor of engineering degree from Mangalore University in Surathkal, his master’s degree in computer science and automation from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.