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Coffee Break with Professor Sanjay Kumar | Valparaiso University

At Valpo, our students go on to be the best, because they are taught by the best. Each member of our dedicated faculty comes to our university with a background of expertise in their field and unique life experiences that provide a rich learning environment for our students.

And what better way to gain insight about a class than getting to know the professor that will be teaching it? Students who choose to enroll in our nationally ranked College of Business will quickly become familiar with Sanjay Kumar, Ph.D., professor of information and decision science and Richard E. Meier Endowed Professor of Management.

Professor Kumar is one of our established professors in the College of Business. He brings with him a world of experience, a wide array of field knowledge specifically pertaining to the business world, and the passion to pass on his knowledge to his students.

Professor Kumar created the curriculum for our supply chain and logistics management major, by personally crafting what is now an industry approved curriculum that will give Valpo students a cutting edge in today’s business environment.

We are the only university in the region that offers a supply chain and logistics management major,” Professor Kumar says. “And to do that, I benchmarked the curriculum to top universities and came up with a list of classes. I then took that to industry partners and said this is what we want to do. What do you suggest? Then we revised and revised, several times until we had the curriculum that we have now.”

Valpo is the only university in the region that offers a supply chain and logistics management major and we are also the only university in the region that has Professor Kumar’s unique expertise in the field. Professor Kumar completed his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering then went on to pursue his doctorate in supply chain and logistics management. So, when he looks at the business playing field, he is able to see it through the eyes of an industrial engineer and process it with the logistics of a supply chain manager.

“Alongside teaching, I do a lot of consulting projects,” hey says. “So, I’m involved with industries on multiple levels. Just to give you an example, I came into the discipline right after 9/11, which was a really big event world-wide and the disruptions in the business world were severe. At that time, I was working on a project for the Department of Homeland Security to essentially look at what would happen if there were disruptions in critical infrastructure in the country. So, I have been involved in the discipline in many ways and that gives me the knowledge and global perspective to be able to teach the discipline in my classes every day”.

Professor Kumar’s hometown is currently Valparaiso, but his studies and quest for knowledge have taken him to 40 countries around the world and earned him a prestigious spot as a visiting professor at Zhejiang University of Technology in Hangzhou, China.

China was a mystery to me until a decade back,” he says. “And I mean mystery as in I knew textbook knowledge, but textbook knowledge isn’t everything so I had to explore. I do high- quality research that gets me exposure all around the world, so that gives me a better platform to understand what’s happening in terms of business and supply chain management.”

Professor Kumar’s status as a visiting professor at Zhejiang also opens a door of opportunity for his Valpo students through a study abroad program.

“I teach a summer course in China as a visiting professor and if students in supply chain and logistics management here in Valpo wanted to sign up for that course they could through the university and all they would have to pay is their airfare,” Professor Kumar says. “The rest is covered by Valpo.”

Though he is an avid traveler, students are most likely to find Professor Kumar at his favorite spot right here on campus, the Harre Union. If you’d like to know more about Professor Kumar’s expertise, he always welcomes conversations with students and faculty alike. So, if you see him in the Union don’t hesitate to say hello, and if you are curious to know more about his experiences, he takes his tea with milk and no sugar.


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