Recently retired after more than 20 years as a leader at Deloitte, Ken DeJarnette is excited about starting a new phase in his illustrious career – as first-time professor at Dominican University of California teaching data security, ethics, and risk management.
“Hopefully I can teach by sharing experience,” says DeJarnette, who was a Deloitte partner and former Chief Risk and Reputation Leader (CRO) for Deloitte’s Global Risk Advisory business.
“I’ve seen things done right and wrong. I’ve had good and bad ideas. I’ve struggled with ethical dilemmas, often with no clear choices. Conversely, I am certain I will learn from our students, who are probably far more current than I am on many issues. At my stage in life, I think that is what is the exciting thing about teaching.”
DeJarnette connected with Dominican through Dr. Yung-Jae Lee, Dean of the Barowsky School of Business. Dr. Lee launched a new MS in Business Analytics program and invited DeJarnette to meet with BSB faculty – knowing DeJarnette was interested in eventually teaching. Dr. Lee then offered him an opportunity to teach a course that covers the fundamentals of being an ethical business data analyst.
DeJarnette is ready for the moment.
“The pace of change brought about by data science is incredible, with its practitioners bringing forth significant benefit to society,” he says. “Yet without a solid ethical footing, data professionals can also do great harm. Not only do data professionals need to think about what they can or cannot do with data, but what they should or should not do with data.”
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For career-seeking business students, data analytics is an intriguing avenue. Students in DeJarnette’s course will learn about various ethical, legal and policy issues associated with data analytics, including dominant ethical standards, laws and codes of conduct, data security and privacy, property rights, accuracy and fairness, and risk management strategies. The course will also explore issue spotting and event response, such as security and privacy breaches.
“Honestly, I think the business opportunities for well-rounded students who are versed in data science are endless,” he says. “I think for many students the challenge is to make certain they are balanced – that their communication and relationship skills are as good as their technical skills.”
DeJarnette brings an impressive resume to class. He currently serves on three boards: Informer, a public safety SaaS-based commercial entity; Classical Voice, a nonprofit journal covering the performing arts on the West Coast; and the Napa Valley Library. He is also a member of the Deloitte Retired Partner Advisory Committee.
He says the greatest lesson learned in a 20-plus year career with Deloitte was to listen.
“Often the best ideas are hidden in the crowd or blocked by ego,” DeJarnette says. “Encouraging inclusion, participation, questioning, willingness to hear and change are often the keys to success.”