June 14, 2022
Over his 35 years with Indiana University Bloomington, M.A. “Venkat” Venkataramanan has become as well-known for his incisive, solutions-oriented strategies and mathematical modeling as for his cheeky sense of humor (and appreciation of fine wine). In April, IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Rahul Shrivastav honored Venkat’s successful years of IU leadership and announced a faculty award in his name. Shrivastav delivered his recognition when Venkat decided to step down from his role as Executive Vice Provost for Finance, Budget, and Strategy this spring to return to the Kelley School of Business, where he is Jack R. Wentworth Professor and Professor of Decision Sciences.
Shrivastav described being in awe of Venkat’s wide-ranging, varied accomplishments and countless contributions to the university over the years.
More recently, he expressed his gratitude for the extra time Venkat has contributed during campus leadership changes, staying on months past his original plan to return to the faculty to help ensure a smooth transition.
“Venkat has a saying—‘We’ll get there … together’—that perfectly encapsulates his ethos,” Shrivastav said. “His brilliance has made a measurable impact on the lives of people in the IU community and beyond, from his creation of models that opened pathways to interdisciplinary graduate degrees and major research initiatives to his pursuit of global opportunities that brought new educational and research opportunities to our students and faculty.
“Quite simply, the campus and the university are better because of Venkat's work.”
Venkat Distinguished Service Award
The new Venkat Distinguished Service Award will recognize IU Bloomington faculty who also have administrative appointments. The award will be administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and will offer recognition to campus leaders who are ineligible for the Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award, which honors a faculty member or librarian.
Venkat graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering at Madras University in India. He received his Ph.D. in Business Analysis and Research from Texas A&M University in 1987 and joined the faculty of the Kelley School that year. He served as the chair of the Operations and Decision Technologies department from 1997 to 2003, the Lawrence D. Glaubinger Chair of Business Administration and chairperson of the Kelley undergraduate program from 2005 to 2009, and the Associate Dean of Academic Programs from 2009 until 2012, when he was appointed Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives. He was named Vice Provost for Finance and Strategy in 2016 before his most recent appointment as Executive Vice Provost.
Venkat is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and grants, and his work is featured in such publications as the European Journal of Operations Research, Mathematical and Computer Modeling, and Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, among many others.
Additionally, Venkat chaired several vital IU COVID-19 task forces and played a crucial role in campus response and restart initiatives and in the creation of Academic Metrics 360, a flagship project of the IU Decision Support Initiative. He has chaired important committees on budget models, health care, global strategy, rankings, campus dining, and housing.
In a People of IU story about Venkat in October 2021, he described the transformations he has seen on campus since his first visit in 1987. At the time of that interview, he said the best part of his position was working on the strategic plan for IU’s 2020 bicentennial and then watching it become a reality.
Reflecting on his 35 years at IU more recently, Venkat said he has most loved working with colleagues on creative solutions that improve campus life for current and future generations of faculty, staff, and students. “I know that when we pool our considerable resources, we can—and have—made positive changes both on campus, in Indiana, and all over the world,” he said. “I will forever be grateful for and inspired by the members of the IU community I have been fortunate to know.”