Publication: The Times Of India Bangalore; Date:2010 Jul 30; Section:Times Global; Page Number 24


Another Indian don to head US B-school


Dean Sunil Kumar Is An IISc Alumnus




Washington: Yet another academic don of Indian origin has been named to head a prominent business school in the United States, marking the continued rise of Indians in this discipline. Sunil Kumar, who is currently Fred H Merrill professor of operations, information and technology and an expert in operations research at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, has been appointed the next dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the university announced this week.
   His five-year term as dean at Chicago Booth will begin on Jan 1, 2011. Founded in 1898, Chicago Booth is the second oldest business school in the US, the first such school to offer an Executive-MBA program, and the first to initiate a PhD program in Business. The school was renamed in 2008 following a $300 million endowment gift to the school by alumnus David G Booth and currently has has the third-largest endowment of any business school.
   “Chicago Booth has been consistently recognized among the top business schools in the world, and its faculty, students and alumni are global intellectual leaders who continue to shape the world of business and its disciplinary underpinnings,” Zimmer and Rosenbaum wrote in a joint email to the Chicago Booth community. “We are delighted that Sunil Kumar has agreed to serve as dean. He brings the right blend of vision, entrepreneurial energy and academic leadership that will build on the contributions of Chicago Booth at a time of tremendous momentum and achievement.”
   Kumar joined the Stanford faculty in 1996 after receiving his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He came to the US after receiving 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, Karnataka. In the US, he co-developed a widely-used factory simulator for teaching operations management. The simulator, ‘Littlefield Technologies,’ has been used in classes at more than 50 business and engineering schools.
   Kumar succeeds Edward A Snyder, who completed nine years as Chicago Booth’s dean on June 30. “I am excited to become dean of Chicago Booth,” Kumar said. “I share the school’s passion for the pursuit of ideas that hold up under careful scrutiny. I look forward to helping strengthen and enhance Booth’s outstanding research environment and its rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education.”
   Kumar’s appointment highlights a rather unusual trend of Indians heading prominent business schools in the US, including Harvard Business School, which recently named Nitin Nohria as its head, and University of Maryland’s Robert Smith School of Business, which has Anand Anandalingam as its dean. Dipak Jain headed Kellogg School of Business for 13 years till he stepped down in 2009.