The 14th President of Tufts University
On November 17, 2022, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to elect Sunil Kumar as the 14th president of Tufts University. Dr. Kumar, who currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of Johns Hopkins University, will assume office on July 1, 2023. He will be the first Asian American and the first person of color to assume the Tufts presidency.
Learn More About President-Elect Kumar
To be Tufts is to take the original mission seriously—to be the light on the hill...not to show off that it is brighter than others, but to make sure that it provides light that others can use to advance their own lives.
Sunil Kumar is the president-elect of Tufts University and will assume office on July 1, 2023. He will be the 14th president of Tufts and the first person of color to hold the office.
Kumar currently serves as the 15th provost of Johns Hopkins University (JHU). In this role, he is the chief academic officer and second-ranking member of the senior administration, responsible for promoting and coordinating Johns Hopkins’ teaching and research mission. He oversees the university’s nine schools as well as several interdisciplinary programs and academic centers. Kumar has focused on increasing inter-divisional research and education collaborations across the University; recruiting exceptional faculty 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.
November 17, 2022
Dear members of the Tufts community,
It gives me great pleasure to share with you that earlier this morning, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to elect Sunil Kumar as the 14th president of Tufts University. Dr. Kumar, who currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of Johns Hopkins University, will assume office on July 1, 2023. He will be the first Asian American and the first person of color to assume the Tufts presidency.
Dr. Kumar is an extremely accomplished university leader who impressed the presidential search committee with his devotion to diversity and inclusion within higher education, his commitment to building collaborative partnerships among faculty and students, and his strong belief in the power of the university to positively impact society. He will bring to the Tufts presidency his experience as a leader of large and complex higher education institutions and his talent for building innovative programs while harnessing the strengths of the entire academic and administrative enterprise. I firmly believe that he is the perfect successor to President Anthony P. Monaco, who has set the university on an amazing upward trajectory of growth and success during his 11 years as president.
A first-generation American who immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s, Dr. Kumar’s rise from a graduate Ph.D. student to the Tufts presidency in a period of about three decades is truly remarkable. It is a testament to his academic brilliance, strong personal values, and his unique leadership qualities. I invite you to begin to get to know him by reading more about him on Tufts Now.
Dr. Kumar is a widely published expert on operations management and research. He studies systems affected by stochastic variability via mathematical models and investigates the performance evaluation of manufacturing systems, service operations, and communications networks. After receiving his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1996 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Kumar spent 14 years as a faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. At Stanford, he also served as senior associate dean for academic affairs, overseeing the school’s MBA program. He then served as the dean for the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business for six years before arriving at Johns Hopkins as provost in 2016. At Johns Hopkins, he has had particular success in recruiting exceptional faculty members through the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships program and the Faculty Diversity Initiative and has also markedly improved the student experience through improved student-focused services at the institution.
Dr. Kumar’s selection is the outcome of a rigorous global search process. The presidential search committee, aided by the search firm Isaacson, Miller, took great care in considering exceptional candidates from across the academic spectrum, which resulted in a very diverse pool of candidates through an inclusive and thoughtful process. I am truly grateful to the entire committee for its dedication to this important responsibility on behalf of Tufts.
To introduce Dr. Kumar to the Tufts community, we have planned a series of events, later today and tomorrow, to provide an opportunity for you to get to know him a bit. If you are nearby, and can do so, we hope that you can join us in person to offer a warm Jumbo welcome to Dr. Kumar. If you are remote, we have arranged to live stream the event later this afternoon.
Thursday, November 17
Medford/Somerville campus: 3-4 p.m. Breed Memorial Hall, 51 Winthrop Street, Medford
Friday, November 18
Grafton campus: 9-10 a.m. Agnes Varis Campus Center, 5 Jumbo’s Path, North Grafton
SMFA: 11 a.m.-noon. SMFA Atrium, 230 The Fenway, Boston
Boston Health Sciences campus: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Center for Medical Education, 145 Harrison Avenue, Room 114, Boston
Once again, I hope that you will join me in congratulating Dr. Kumar. I am delighted that he will be joining us as our 14th president in July and am confident that he will be the recipient of the Tufts community’s signature collegiality, warmth, and support in his years as president of our beloved institution.
Peter R. Dolan A78, A08P
Board of Trustees
President-elect Kumar was recommended to the Board of Trustees by a committee of 18 individuals – trustees, deans, faculty, staff and an undergraduate student – from across the Tufts community. To learn more about the committee and its work, please visit: