Dr. Kumar Palaniswami (1952-2012)
Professor and ex-chair of the Department of Management
28 years at CMU
Kumar passed away on December 23, 2012.
Kumar came to CMU
by way of a diverse educational background. One that served him well as a
and Department Chair:
- Industrial Management
- Electrical Engineering
- Operations Research
- Management Science
educational background gave him the knowledge base, skill and acumen to
investigate a broad range of societal challenges across the course of his
professional career. In fact it is a
career of accomplishment—one that can barely be summarized in the 20 pages that
represent the last curriculum vitae he prepared. Kumar’s most recent work
centered around United Nations Environmental Protection initiatives, yet
earlier in his career he investigated;
a host of other topics.
onset of electronic commerce
use of artificial intelligence in business planning
While at CMU Kumar
established the Center for Supply Chain Management through extramural
grant. That center
offered and delivered consulting services to Michigan firms and spurred
numerous Journal publications in the area of supply chain management for
Kumar and his colleagues.
the relationship with Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU). Since 2003, about 100 JNTU
students have earned their MBA degree at CMU.
Last but certainly
not least, Kumar served as Management Dept. Chair for 7 years (2000-07).
These were just a
few of the big things that Kumar did—they tell us something about the legacy
Kumar left. Yet often the smallest details give one the most heartwarming
insight into a person’s character.
Kumar fell ill
some time ago. This past year work became a challenge. Were it not
for the support of his family and his CMU family life would have been even more
difficult. Despite his illness, Kumar
was unfailing in his commitment to his teaching and his students. On good
days and bad, Kumar would summon the energy necessary to prepare and deliver
class. Last semester, health issues had
him hospitalized. As soon as Kumar was
dismissed from the hospital, he was on his way to class once again to shepherd
his classes through the material necessary to assure that they were well
prepared for their next class had a broad vision of the field of operations
will leave a void in the lives of many.
As the years go by the pain of his passing will lessen and we will focus
our memories on the enduring charm of his character and impact he had on the
literally thousands of students that he mentored.
His family should
know that Kumar’s spirit will remain with us for years to come. In the words of Irving Berlin: "The song
has ended, but his melody lingers on..."