Last month our medical students started a national movement called #whitecoats4blacklives in response to events in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City. They were able to connect with students across the country to bring attention to issues of race in medicine and health care disparities among underserved populations. More than 80 schools and thousands of students, faculty, trainees, and staff participated in December’s white coat “die-in.”

I am extremely pleased to announce that Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, an acclaimed cancer scientist, will become the new director for the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. His appointment will officially begin January 1, 2015.

I’m pleased to be writing to you today in my new role as Interim Chancellor of UCSF. UCSF is at an exciting point in its evolution, and I look forward to working with many of you in the coming months to continue to advance excellence across our mission areas of research, education, patient care, and community service.

As you know, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital has affiliated with Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (CHO). Together, the two partners will become even stronger advocates for young patients on both sides of the San Francisco Bay.

On April 28, you will receive a message from Gallup to participate in the third UCSF Staff Engagement Survey, which will be administered April 28 through May 16. UCSF leadership strives to build a work environment that supports staff engagement, one that is conducive to achieving our collective mission of advancing health worldwide. Gallup, known nationally for its excellence in data-driven research, will administer the 2014 survey.

I am pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new program at UCSF: a $100 million preterm birth initiative of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, which will be led by Larry Rand, MD, director of Perinatal Services at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco Fetal Treatment Center. Dr. Rand will co-direct the initiative with Jaime Sepulveda, MD, MPH, MSc, DrSc, executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced today the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Once again, UCSF faculty were included among those honored.

Finance3 went live on March 10. A major initiative affecting a significant and diverse population of campus, this effort included converting twenty-nine central systems to the new Chart of Accounts and launching MyReports and UPlan—two new financial tools that will benefit our campus by providing better and more robust data that will inform our decisions moving forward.

I am delighted and honored to share the news that Peter Walter, PhD, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the UCSF School of Medicine, has been named to receive the 2014 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine.

The tragic events that took place the night of May 23 in Isla Vista have had a severe and direct impact on the UC Santa Barbara community, as well as on the family and friends of the victims. We want to acknowledge that members of the UCSF community also are feeling a sense of grief, bewilderment and loss.

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