Roy “Dr. D” Dejoie, a clinical assistant professor of management at the Krannert School, has been a teaching clinician long before the concept of “flipping the classroom” became part of the academic lexicon.
Born in England and living in New Orleans, Louisiana, for most of his early childhood, Dejoie began his journey into and beyond the classroom at Texas A&M, where he earned three degrees and served as an assistant lecturer in the Mays Business School for five years while a PhD student.
After completing his doctorate, Dejoie continued at the University of Oklahoma, where in 1992 he joined the faculty as an assistant professor of management information systems. “Oklahoma was where I got my nickname,” Dejoie says. “Students started calling me ‘Dr. D’ and it stuck.”
Dejoie went on to serve as director of the JCPenney Leadership Center at Oklahoma before he and group of former colleagues formed a small, web solutions startup firm in 1998.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial instinct and an interest in industry, and the time to make a change seemed right,” Dejoie says. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, however, the firm expanded into an organization with thousands of employees in just two years. “It no longer had that small-company, entrepreneurial vibe, so many of us from the original company left to work independently.”
While working as a private consultant, Dejoie began feeling the lure of returning to higher education. “My work in industry increasingly found me returning to the issue of professional development, which is really a form of education,” he says. “I realized that I missed the academic arena, but wasn’t necessarily interested in a research-focused position.”
As fate so often has it, Dejoie received a call in 2001 from his friend and former dean at Oklahoma, Rick Cosier, who had recently been named dean and Leeds Professor of Management at Purdue’s Krannert School. An offer to join the school as a visiting faculty member in management information systems quickly followed, and by that fall “Dr. D” was once again attending to students.
What began as a “visiting” position soon became “continuous.” Meanwhile, Dejoie has earned a growing list of honors during his nearly 17 years at Krannert, including the Purdue University Class of 1922 Award for Outstanding Innovation in “Helping Students Learn,” multiple Krannert Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Awards and numerous Distinguished Teacher recognitions at both the undergraduate and graduate school level.
Dejoie also has received several grants to help share his teaching skills with others, and in 2015 he joined the ranks of other classroom greats with his induction as a Fellow in the Purdue University Teaching Academy.
Fortunately for Krannert and its students, Dejoie doesn’t plan to leave the classroom anytime soon.
“In some ways, my current role provides more job stability than a tenure-track position and allows me to focus primarily on teaching, but it’s about more than that,” he says. “My wife and I had three of our five children here and my two oldest kids are now Boilermakers." Dejoie says. "I work with some of the greatest minds in my field. This is our home. Purdue is part of our family.”