Kelley professor and alum receive innovative teaching award
January 22, 2010
Bloomington, Ind. -- Many business schools bring practitioners to campus to give a lecture on real-world topics and business issues. Not many schools or practitioners, however, are willing or able to collaborate for an entire course. But Justin Greis of Ernst & Young's Advisory Practice and Ramesh Venkataraman, Chair of the Kelley School of Business's Masters of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program, believe that training students for the field of IT governance and risk requires immersing them in the latest developments. And that requires having a practitioner in the classroom for a full seven-week course.
Justin Greis, left, of Ernst & Young and Ramesh Venkataraman, right, Chair of Kelley's MSIS program, received an award for their innovative class.
The award committee of the annual Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems (WITS) recognized the value of this collaboration as well. Justin and Ramesh were presented with WITS' annual Innovative Teaching Award for their work on the course "An Innovative Approach to Teaching IT Governance, Risk and Controls." The award was presented in December at the 19th annual WITS conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
The course, developed and taught by Justin with guidance from Ramesh on the level of rigor and methods of student evaluation, features a debate on a real-world case between a hypothetical firm's chief information officer (CIO) and chief financial officer (CFO). Students were required to develop an IT-based solution to the firm's problem, but they were not informed before class whether they would participate as the CIO or CFO, meaningrequiring them to prepare to argue both sides of the debate.
"There is great demand for students trained in IT governance and risk in the workforce right now," Ramesh explains. "By giving them access to a practitioner like Justin, we are producing some of the best-prepared students, who are successfully competing for the top jobs even with the economic downturn."
"It's also important to Ernst & Young to stay connected to academia and develop the pipeline of prospective employees in this area," Justin points out. "The firm is committed to giving back to academia, but it also benefits from a more highly trained pool of potential employees."
Justin and Ernst & Young give back to Kelley's MSIS program in another important way as well. Justin gives his earnings from teaching the class to the Ernst & Young, James E. Buckman Memorial Fellowship, which honors his late father in law. Ernst & Young matches these funds, which are amplified by gifts from other Kelley MSIS alums who work for the firm. Kelley is able to attract promising MSIS students by defraying their tuition costs, which further develops the pipeline of top-notch students and prospective employees; a virtuous cycle that has already paid dividends to everyone involved.