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Campus Messages

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

January 27, 2023
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

The news coming from Memphis is heartbreaking. Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black father and son, died after being beaten by five police officers following a traffic stop earlier this month. Like many across the country, we are struggling to understand how another Black person has died in a situation many of us would never consider life-threatening. Our thoughts go out to the Nichols family and his friends.

The familiarity of this tragic narrative is beyond frustrating. Though efforts to strengthen policing practices across the nation have been made since the passing of George Floyd, further constructive changes are needed. For what we witnessed in the death of Tyre Nichols was more than a catastrophic failure in policing, it was an attack on our humanity. We grieve and know that it is not enough.

The coming days will be a trying time as more information about the circumstances of Mr. Nichols’s death becomes public. The videos of how the Memphis police confronted Mr. Nichols are difficult to watch. For many, this incident may trigger traumatic feelings, and we urge you to connect with others if that would be helpful. You may also reach out to UCSF’s counseling resources for students, faculty, and staff for additional support.

As always, please take care of yourself and those around you.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

J. Renee Navarro, PharmD, MD...

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January 23, 2023
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

On Saturday evening, at least 11 people were killed and nine more were wounded in a mass shooting at a dance ballroom in Monterey Park, a Southern California community with a sizeable Asian American population. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed or injured in yet another act of gun violence.

While much is not yet known, it appears that many of the victims were of Asian heritage in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, including the deceased gunman. This tragedy is compounded by the fact that it took place on the eve of Lunar New Year, which many in the Asian American Pacific Islander community celebrate. 

It is hard to make sense of the ongoing gun violence epidemic that has claimed the lives of so many people in our communities, including some of the most vulnerable such as the young and elderly. If you or someone you know could benefit from UCSF’s support services, please reach out to one of the following teams for assistance:

As more information about this tragic event becomes available, I encourage all of us in the UCSF community to look out for each other and provide comfort and support to those who need it.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

January 13, 2023
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, January 16. This federal holiday offers us dedicated time to reflect on the meaning of Dr. King’s legacy—and to carry on his tradition of service to humanity. In his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Dr. King said:

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”

In today’s turbulent world, with pervasive racism and violence, climate change disasters, and a pandemic that is not yet over, Dr. King’s brilliant words can sustain and encourage us. At UCSF our mission is to advance health worldwide, and we understand deeply how inequity and injustice adversely affect the health of individuals and whole communities. We know—and learn more with each passing day—what is needed to facilitate health: food, housing, education, dignity, equality, freedom.

As members of this dynamic organization, we are committed to achieving health equity by addressing the underlying causes of health disparities; we also have pledged to dismantle structural racism within the University. Across UCSF, individuals and teams are working on a wide array of projects in service of the inextricable goals of health and justice. You can see some recent highlights in this report.

To celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, we encourage all members of UCSF to participate in one...

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January 5, 2023
Leadership

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to let you know that Barry Selick, PhD, who has served as vice chancellor for business development, innovation and partnerships at UCSF since 2017, will step down from his post on January 8.

I am deeply grateful for the leadership Barry has demonstrated in his five-plus years as head of Innovation Ventures and the ways it has improved our ability to work with our partners in industry. As a basic scientist who spent many years in biotech, Barry knew that the efforts of our faculty inventors would have a better chance of commercial success if they were more fully developed before we tried to license them.

Under his leadership, Innovation Ventures strengthened and expanded the support provided to our translational research community in funding and helping to manage proof-of-concept studies of drug molecules, device prototypes, digital health applications and more, to gather evidence on which inventions are most likely to help patients and address significant unmet medical needs. This effort has been reflected in the quality of UCSF start-up companies that benefit from both the technology as well as the hands-on support that the Innovation Ventures team provides to our faculty founders.

For example, the Catalyst Program, which has supported 264 projects over the past 12 years, has realized a return of more than 50 times its $10 million in funding, with more than 25 companies having licensed intellectual property. The InVent Fund, which Barry started, has funded 18 projects, all of which remain active. Both programs offer mentoring and access to more than 150 volunteer advisors, who have given our faculty invaluable help. Charles Hart, PhD, and...

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January 4, 2023
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, UC San Francisco staff, faculty, and learners are asked to meet a new vaccination requirement to receive the COVID-19 bivalent booster shot (if eligible), or formally opt out, by Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland employees, please see below.

The bivalent booster, which the FDA approved this past fall, is effective against COVID-19 and its subvariants. Studies show that the bivalent booster increases protection against severe COVID-19 disease, even for those who have had COVID-19 or have received a prior booster shot. UCSF’s internal data show significantly lower infection rates among UCSF faculty, staff, and learners who have received the new bivalent booster compared with those who have not.

Required Action by Feb. 1, 2023

UCSF faculty, staff, and learners – who have already met the vaccine primary series and booster requirements – must take one of the following actions:

  • Submit documentation that you have received the COVID-19 bivalent booster

- or

  • Submit your decision to opt-out of getting the COVID-19 bivalent booster

You may submit your proof of vaccination or decision to opt-out via the Occupational Health Services portal or by email to [email protected]. Whether you received the vaccination at UCSF...

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December 20, 2022
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF community:

I am writing to share the outcome of some important work undertaken by our Program for Historical Reconciliation (PHR), which my office established to examine and report on moments in UCSF’s history that have raised questions about our past institutional practices.

The PHR recently examined clinical experiments performed at California prisons in the 1960s and 1970s under the direction of UCSF faculty in the Department of Dermatology. In its report, the PHR acknowledges the problematic and unethical nature of the research – despite its perceived acceptability to some at the time – and identifies a path forward focused on reconciliation and restorative justice. More information on the findings can be found in this story, published on the UCSF.edu website.

As a learning institution committed to equity and transparency, we believe it is important to acknowledge this historical harm and document the lessons we have learned, even if those lessons are realized years later. While the findings are troubling, I am heartened by this opportunity to hold our history accountable and affirm UCSF’s commitment to our community and ethical values as we continually seek ways to strengthen the way we serve our public mission.

Sincerely,

Daniel H. Lowenstein, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Dr. Robert B. and Mrs. Ellinor Aird Professor of...

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December 19, 2022
Administrative
People
UC System

Dear UCSF Community:

I am pleased to share that the University of California (UC) has reached tentative agreements with the two remaining United Auto Workers (UAW) bargaining units representing the Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) and Academic Student Employees (ASE). The tentative agreements follow recently ratified contracts with Postdoctoral Scholars and Academic Researchers, who reached tentative agreement with the UC in late November.

With these tentative agreements comes the expectation that picketing activity will cease. Please read a letter from UCOP Executive Director of Labor Relations Letitia Silas that provides more information about the tentative agreements.

As we move forward together, I am grateful that the UC and UAW have reached tentative agreements that value and balance the contributions of our graduate student researchers and academic student employees. I look forward to a bright new year with a renewed focus on delivering excellence in service of our shared UCSF mission.

Sincerely,

Daniel H. Lowenstein, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Dr. Robert B. and Mrs. Ellinor Aird Professor of Neurology

December 7, 2022
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community:

As we approach the end of the third year of the pandemic, UCSF recently assessed our collective response to this global health emergency. We focused on the actions we took together with our government and community partners to serve our diverse communities, and I am pleased to present our observations and findings in this report

This assessment augments the COVID Equity Work Group’s report published in March. It reflects the progress we have made together in addressing the health disparities and inequities vulnerable populations experience. 

The unprecedented scale of collaboration and coordination in our public health response to the COVID-19 crisis produced numerous lessons and adaptations that protected countless lives. However, we recognize that more must be done to address the health inequities facing underserved communities.

As we apply these important lessons to strengthen our impact, let us bridge the remaining gaps so that we can sustain and expand a health-equity approach for the benefit of all. My hope is that this resource will be useful to others in strengthening how they meet the care needs of the traditionally underserved.

Thank you for your ongoing leadership, collaboration, and innovation during three years of the global COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of how our UCSF community has met these challenges, and I am grateful...

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November 21, 2022
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

In Colorado Springs this past weekend, on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, five people lost their lives and at least 25 more were injured in another hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community. If not for the heroic actions of the patrons of the LGBTQ+ nightclub that was targeted, more lives undoubtedly would have been lost.

We at UCSF stand together with our LGBTQ+ colleagues, friends, and family.  

We will continue to love and support them as we call upon lawmakers to pass legislation to protect LGBTQ+ individuals who are facing the growing prevalence of hate-filled language and crimes. Our elected officials also must take more aggressive action to arrest the epidemic of gun violence, which too often is used against individuals and groups simply because of their sexual, gender, racial, religious, or political identity.

The tragic news out of Colorado Springs has been very difficult for many. For anyone who needs assistance, please avail yourself to the counseling and support of our UCSF resource teams:

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November 16, 2022
Leadership

Dear UCSF Community:

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Catherine Lucey, MD, as UCSF’s next executive vice chancellor and provost (EVCP). Her depth of experience, leadership savvy, and insight into our mission make her an excellent match for this role.

I recruited Catherine as vice dean for education when I was dean of the School of Medicine, and in the decade since, she has been instrumental in ensuring UCSF’s success. As a practicing physician, an educator, and a key member of the leadership group under Dean Talmadge E. King, Jr., she has helped to oversee every part of UCSF’s mission: education, patient care, research, and public service.

As School of Medicine executive vice dean and vice dean for education, Catherine co-chaired our recent highly successful UCSF: The Campaign, led a redesign of the school’s curriculum, and co-chaired the Differences Matter initiative. When the pandemic struck, she was part of a core group that found ways to sustain our educational mission through the disruption.

Please join me in congratulating Catherine on her new role, which will take effect in the new year. She will be a strong partner to help us continue moving UCSF forward in the years to come.

Read more about Catherine’s career and her aspirations as EVCP.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

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