On Friday, April 10, 2020, my colleague Robert Sandusky passed away after a long battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife and two children. Bob was the Associate University Librarian for IT during my entire time at UIC thus far. He was my coworker, my co-author, and my friend.
Bob was a generous and tremendously supportive colleague, serving as a touchstone and a model for me over the years. As a DataONE PI, he was an early and constant advocate for data management, provenance, and sharing. At UIC, he was a driver towards establishing data education and sharing practices and moving data work forward. He laid much of the foundation of advocacy and good will that I now stand upon. He had my back and helped to prepare my future in so many situations.
Bob was incredibly private–NEVER a man to play poker with–but he was always paying attention. Early in my time at UIC, he and I were waiting to go into a meeting with Important People. During some polite chitchat, he commented about writing I’d recently done and I was momentarily stunned. That an AUL, an important colleague, had taken the time to know my work and to see and acknowledge it to me meant so much to me then and it still does now. I can remember being so proud that he knew and valued what I was doing.
Most recently, Bob had hoped to launch some new courses and maybe an undergraduate minor from the Library. He’d wanted to return to classroom teaching that I know he missed doing. As we as a College move forward with whatever credit-course decisions we make, it will be from his prompting and support.
He will also be incredibly missed on our Promotion and Tenure committee. Bob read each case with the greatest of care and brought enormous attention to detail as we evaluated peers and changed their lives. He was a caring and dedicated mentor.
And I will miss going to brunch with him and generally making plans and bouncing ideas off of each other. We had just in January published a column together in ACRL News. It was our first publication together but we’d intended to do more.
It was a privilege to work with him and I am grateful for the nearly ten years we had as colleagues.
Thank you for sharing your experience of Bob. He was a professor of mine at the University of Tennessee, and he kept in touch over the years since. I will never forget his thoughtfulness, his willingness to reconsider assumptions and perspectives, his consideration and openness to new ideas. He is one of those few people who actually *sees* you, and is responsive and encouraging. It is such a loss that he is gone. He contributed so much, in so many ways.