Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Expand and accelerate the use of telecommuting in COVID-19 response

Dear UCSF Community,

Since my last message to you, only two days ago, we have seen more indications of how the spread of COVID-19 is requiring changes to our daily routines. From the cancellation of major events, to the suspension of professional sports, to the closure of many local school districts, the changing circumstances of the novel coronavirus are increasingly disrupting life in the Bay Area, as in many other places around the world.

I am writing to provide you updated guidance that reflects the rapidly evolving reality of living with COVID-19 in our community for the foreseeable future.

As soon as possible, I ask all managers and supervisors to expand and accelerate efforts to reduce the amount of work employees perform on-site at UCSF facilities. Managers and supervisors should prioritize alternatives such as telecommuting. During this dynamic time, we also may need to consider redeployment of staff from areas with higher capacity to support other areas with critical operational needs.

We must support every action that helps to “flatten the curve” of new COVID-19 cases. Having as many people work remotely, along with the recent changes to our travel, visitor, and event policies, will create fewer opportunities for community transmission and greater space for social distancing practices. Limiting the growth of new infections, while allowing those who are ill time to be treated and recover, will help our communities get control of COVID-19 and also help hospitals and clinics manage the increased demand for care.

I appreciate the significant efforts already underway across all of our operational and mission areas to support the continuity of research, education, and patient care while reducing on-site and in-person work and study where feasible. While some of you explore adjustments to where you work, be respectful and honor your colleagues whose responsibilities require them to be on-site in our clinical settings and on campus. Many of our UCSF colleagues, including care professionals and essential service staff, perform critically important duties that we depend on and that cannot be completed remotely.

To help managers and supervisors lead their teams in this uncertain time, I am including resources that provide guidance on a range of emerging issues, such as employee leave, leave pay, as well as telecommuting and related questions on remote access and equipment. There are two virtual town halls today, one for campus managers at 12:00 p.m. and another for UCSF Health managers at 4:00 p.m. I recommend that managers log into these events to stay current on UCSF guidance.

In addition, I encourage all of you to visit and bookmark the UCSF COVID-19 Resource Page, which is regularly updated with guidance on travel, visitors, events, telecommuting, and other topics.

The COVID-19 pandemic is requiring us to escalate our response, and I am proud of how our teams are rising to the occasion. Thank you for your tireless commitment. As we face this public health challenge, stay informed and stay healthy, and please continue to look out for one another.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor