Passing the Podium

2016 is an end of era for me. After nearly a decade of teaching in the Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business I have decided 2016 year will be my last year at the podium of the IT Governance, Risk and Controls (IT GRC) course. Since 2008, I have had the great privilege of teaching some of the most talented, insightful, smart, and dynamic students in the world.  During this time I have seen these students rise to become business leaders who are making the world a better place. I never thought that what Professor Ramesh and I started as case studies and guest lectures in 2005 would blossom into an eight year love affair with teaching. I have enjoyed every minute watching students grow, learn and open their minds to new ideas.

But admittedly, these were some of the most challenging and difficult years of my professional life, often working in excess of 90 hours per week to serve my clients and my students, and doing my very best to not shortchange anyone. In eight years, I never missed a class and never turned down a student in need; a commitment I was all too happy to make. Yet ironically, the people I shortchanged during this time were my wonderfully supportive family and my amazing wife, Katharine. Without Kat there is no way I would have been able to do half of what I’ve done. Period. Stop. End of story. Yet, as much of a personal sacrifice as it has been, teaching this class has been a life-changing experience I will always cherish. Kat knew I loved teaching from the first day I stepped into the classroom. She saw the passion in my eyes and the love in my heart for helping others; that’s why she was so supportive and that’s what continues to make her an incredible partner on our journey through life together.

But the MSIS story is not yet over… Not by a long-shot!

You see, this year I am not teaching the course alone.  I will be co-teaching the course and transitioning it to two of the most talented IT GRC professionals I know: Matt Stoltz and Meera Kesari. Matt is a manager in EY’s Cybersecurity practice and an MSIS alum. Matt is a former student of mine, therefore it is so fitting he takes on this important responsibility. In his day job Matt does battle with cyber-criminals and helps companies address their most critical IT risks.  Meera is a senior manager in EY’s Risk Transformation practice and brings unparalleled experience advising executives on IT risk management and IT governance. Her fastball is transforming companies’ reactive risk functions into forward-looking competitive advantages. In other words: turning risk into results. This dynamic duo of Matt and Meera (M&M as I have come to call them) will join me this year and we will deliver a freshly-revised course to a new batch of bright young minds in Bloomington, Indiana. We’ve been working hard all year on course revisions, case study tweaks, lectures, and ways to make the class even better for our students. I believe we have the strongest, most hands-on, industry-leading course on IT GRC out there. This year is going to be one for the record books!

But don’t worry alums, I’m not going too far. I still plan to oversee the course, advise on course curriculum and maybe even pop in for a guest lecture or two…if Matt and Meera will have me of course.

It’s with a heavy heart that I leave the classroom at the end this year, but as they say: if you love something, set it free. In this case, I am releasing this thing I love to two amazing people — the best of the best — who will continue to cultivate young minds and grow extraordinary talent.

To my former students: thank you for the honor and privilege of being your professor and friend. I am grateful for every class session and every student who sat through three hours and fifteen minutes of pure IT GRC goodness. You continue to make me proud every day.

To the incoming MSIS class: get ready for a fun semester ahead. The MSIS program will challenge and delight you in ways you never thought possible and will prepare you for a world where the lines between business and technology are not just blurring, they are disappearing daily. Matt, Meera and I look forward to meeting you this September.

And PS: don’t forget to do your pre-class reading!

I couldn’t resist… 🙂

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