News & Press: InSider

IS Community Mourns Loss of Pioneer Ralph Sprague

Wednesday, May 3, 2017   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Brook Pritchett

AIS is saddened to learn of the passing of Information Systems pioneer Dr. Ralph Sprague, who served as chairman or co-chairman of HICSS for the past 40 years.

Sprague published dozens of articles on the topics of Decisions Support Systems, Electronic Document Management and Management Information Systems. His framework article on Decision Support Systems was one of the 25 most cited works in the IS field in the 1980s and at the time he was regarded as one of the ten most influential authors in the field of Management Information Systems.

“Our information systems community has lost a giant in the field,” said Jason Thatcher, AIS President. “Ralph’s contributions to the study of information systems were immeasurable, but it was his work with colleagues and his service as a mentor to so many where his impact will most be missed.”

Sprague was the founder and chairman of the Department of Decision Sciences at the University of Hawaii and was rated the top department in the U.S. in the field of Decision Support Systems under his tenure. He was the founder and former director of the Pacific Research Institute for Information Systems and Management (PRIISM), an institute that investigated the primary issues in IT in the Asia/Pacific Region.

“The HICSS community celebrates the life and legacy of Ralph Sprague with its continued research excellence,” saidTung Bui, HICSS conference chair.


Laku Chidambaram says...
Posted Friday, May 5, 2017
Ralph recruited me to Hawaii and gave me my first job. I was told how Ralph would make an offer. And he did not disappoint. At the end of my interview visit, he invited me to sail on his boat, which I was thrilled to do. Then, off the coast of Oahu, Ralph made me an offer on the Pacific Ocean. An offer I could not refuse. He was a wonderful mentor for me and our cohort of young Turks--Bill, Tim, Ken, Rosemary, Jack and Beth--and he will always be remembered. Laku Chidambaram (

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