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Dear Campus Community:

Over Thanksgiving Break, we received news of the sudden passing of one of our faculty members, Dr. Toru Sakaguchi, Associate Professor of Business Informatics. Toru passed away unexpectedly over the weekend while he was in Japan visiting his ailing brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Miho, and their daughter, Rise. Toru is remembered as a wonderful, kind person who was a joy to work with and always willing to help.

For those of you who did not know him, Toru joined the Information Systems faculty in 1999 right out of graduate school. He was part of the early planning phase of the College of Informatics and curriculum was always one of his great interests. Toru served as senior personnel on the interdisciplinary National Science Foundation CPATH grant in 2009-11, which led to the groundbreaking Principles of Informatics course.

Our sympathy also goes out to Toru’s students and colleagues in the College of Informatics. We know this news is heartbreaking to those learning from him and his friends who worked with him throughout the years. Losing a member of our campus community is deeply impactful, especially so close to the end of the semester and the holidays. Please know you are never alone. We encourage you to reach out and ask for the help and support you need. For our students, Health, Counseling, and Student Wellness’ counselors and support services can be reached by calling 572-5650. We also have a 24 hour crisis line at 859-572-7777, in addition to the national crisis line available at 1-800-784-2433 or by texting 741741. For our faculty and staff, University Wellness provides the Employee Assistance Program through Aetna. It offers online resources and counselors available anytime.

College of Informatics’ Dean Kevin Kirby remembered Toru as unfailingly positive. Let us all keep this positivity in our heart and look out for each other. As we head into a holiday season that is more distanced than in years past, please check on your fellow members of Norse Nation and let them know you are there if they need anything.

Our deepest condolences go out to Toru’s family, friends, students and colleagues.

Ashish Vaidya