The 14th President of Tufts University
Sunil Kumar assumed office on July 1, 2023. He is strongly committed to preserving, and furthering, the university’s mission of being a student-centered research university that is dedicated to the creation and application of knowledge, and to providing transformative experiences for students and faculty in an inclusive and collaborative environment, where creative scholars generate bold ideas, innovate in the face of complex challenges, and distinguish themselves as active citizens of the world.
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.
About President Kumar
President Kumar also serves as a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University’s School of Engineering.
Kumar previously served as the 15th provost of Johns Hopkins University (JHU). In this role, he was the chief academic officer and second-ranking member of the senior administration, responsible for promoting and coordinating Johns Hopkins teaching and research mission. He oversaw the university’s nine schools as well as several interdisciplinary programs and academic centers. Kumar focused on increasing interdivisional 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 chaired the university’s inaugural Tenure Advisory Committee (TAC).
Prior to his role at JHU, 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 M.B.A., 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 Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.