I am pleased to share with you the results of the 2014 Staff Engagement Survey. UCSF’s overall score, or grand mean, increased from 3.72 to 3.81 points (0.09) on a five-point scale. Over the last three staff engagement surveys administered by Gallup, this constitutes an increase of .21, which marks meaningful progress.

Earlier this year, Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency and called on Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent. While UC San Francisco (UCSF) recognizes the severity of the situation, we already have taken actions that resulted in an actual reduction in our water use from 1990 to 2013, even as square footage increased by 74.7 percent over that period.

I am honored to have been appointed today by the UC Board of Regents as the tenth chancellor of UC San Francisco. It is a privilege to have the opportunity and the responsibility to lead one of the premier health sciences universities in the world. I believe deeply in UCSF’s public mission and our collective ability to transform health through research, education and patient care.

UCSF’s Staff Appreciation and Recognition Program (STAR) Program is an opportunity to recognize and reward exceptional work that helps UCSF successfully meet our common objectives. This program furthers UCSF’s Strategic Plan and, ultimately, our vision to advance health worldwide.

I am pleased to share the exciting news that UCSF Professor Peter Walter has received the 2014 Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, announced today. Popularly known as the “American Nobel,” this is one of the most prestigious honors in science and medicine.

I write to inform you that Bruce Wintroub, MD, has agreed to serve as interim dean of the School of Medicine, effective September 15, while we embark on the search for my successor. Dr. Wintroub, a distinguished dermatologist, has served UCSF for 32 years. Most recently he has served as Vice Dean – School of Medicine since 2004 as well as Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology since 1985.

We all have been deeply saddened by the events transpiring in West Africa, which is experiencing the worst Ebola outbreak in history. The disease has killed several thousand people, and without a massive international effort, it could kill tens or even hundreds of thousands more.

Over the next several weeks, University of California faculty, staff and students will join millions of Americans across the country and fulfill their civic duty by casting their ballots for or against a wide range of issues and individuals seeking public office. I encourage all of you to participate in the electoral process.

While there are no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola Virus Disease in California, today Governor Brown and the California Health and Human Services Agency will announce that all five University of California medical centers, including UCSF, have been identified as priority hospitals to treat confirmed patients with Ebola.

After nearly five years of outstanding service to UCSF as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP), Jeff Bluestone has informed me of his intention to step down. He will be focusing on his exciting research program in the Diabetes Center, while continuing to assist me and the University in a number of strategic ways.

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