close window Close Window

Dean Sunil Kumar Marks His First Year at Chicago Booth

I have completed an exhilarating year as Dean of Chicago Booth and consider myself extraordinarily lucky to work among such talented individuals in an institution with a long history, set of deeply held values, and outstanding track record in creating and disseminating knowledge in business and management, and respect for the individual.

Chicago Booth’s greatest advantage is our faculty, a world-class collection of scholars whose fundamental research and discipline-oriented education produce ideas and leaders that shape the world of business. The outstanding minds that are influencing thought and practice globally also are teaching in our classrooms, here in Chicago and at our campuses in London and Singapore. At Chicago Booth, our students learn directly from the source.

Chicago Booth’s emphasis on academic rigor has long allowed us to attract the most talented students. Intellectual debate and in-depth analysis are hallmarks of not only the business school but also the broader University. “Question everything” is more than just a T-shirt slogan here. It is a basic tenet practiced by students and faculty alike.

At Chicago Booth, “competition” is a good word. It keeps us focused on being the best at what we do, and it provides our students with many curricular advantages. One area in which our full-time, evening and weekend MBA programs stand out is their flexibility. While some of our peers provide a structured, lock-step curriculum, we use a light touch when it comes to course requirements. We believe that our students have the right to decide what they will study based on their individual interests and career aspirations.

Challenging one another and supporting one another go hand-in-hand. To this end, our culture emphasizes collaboration and community, based on a meritocracy of ideas. We question one another because we want everyone to get better and to succeed. I find this combination of competition and collaboration makes for an exhilarating experience. Our community extends beyond Booth. We are part of an outstanding university, and our students are encouraged to take advantage of the intellectual, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities the University and the wonderful city of Chicago have to offer.

The impact that Chicago Booth has on management practice and public policy is driven by the activities of Chicago Booth’s extraordinary faculty as well as the achievements of its many illustrious alumni. Our students’ relationship to Chicago Booth doesn’t end at Convocation. We take seriously our responsibility not just to train students, but also to help launch their careers so they will have significant impact with the training that they receive here. A cohesive community of alumni, who remain active in the life of the school, helps to amplify and spread this impact. We are committed to supporting our students’ aspirations while here and beyond, and I am happy that many of our network of 45,000 alumni feel a lasting affection for and connection with the school. Many of our alumni give back in more ways than philanthropy – they mentor students and provide career advice and support.

As I look to the future of Chicago Booth, I am excited about the opportunities to explore bold, new directions. We are expanding what we do, while staying true to our values and culture, which is to provide a rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education that respects the individual.

I am proud to be part of Chicago Booth. I find it exhilarating to be part of a community where ideas – and the constant questioning of them – matter above all else. I look forward to helping the school to continue to produce outstanding, confident business leaders and shape the future of management on the world stage.

Sunil Kumar
Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management