Dear Colleagues:

David Vlahov, PhD, RN, has informed me of his intent to step down as Dean of the School of Nursing to return to the faculty and focus on his research and passion for mentoring. Dean Vlahov came to UCSF in April 2011 from the New York Academy of Medicine, and his accomplishments over the past five years have had a significant effect on UCSF and the greater community.

During his tenure, David has fostered the School’s tradition of excellence and strong rankings. The School ranked #1 in 2015 among all schools of nursing in funding from the National Institutes of Health and, earlier this year, secured the #3 position on the 2017 US News & World Report Best Graduate Schools Rankings for schools of nursing.

His impact extends beyond UCSF. David joined forces with other deans across the country to advocate for better and more effective training of the next generation of health professionals to address the health risks their patients and communities face as a result of climate change. He encourages the nursing community to think globally and act locally, and he supported the School’s creation of a Center for Global Health. A long-time advocate of reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health, David also has added his voice to the public health crisis resulting from gun violence, supporting a lift of the NIH ban on funding of related research.

I am deeply grateful for all that David has achieved while Dean on behalf of the faculty, students, staff, and health professionals. David’s last day as Dean will be August 31. Like me, I know you will wish him well with his future endeavors. Read more about his tenure at

The School has my commitment for active engagement in a national search to identify a suitable successor. This search will commence immediately. I am grateful that Sandra Weiss, RN, PhD, FAAN, has agreed to serve as Interim Dean. Sandra, a longtime member of the UCSF community, is nationally recognized for her many contributions to academic nursing. She brings exceptional skills and experience as a leader to this role.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor