Campus Messages

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

UCSF Hiring Freeze

Dear UCSF colleagues,

The uncertainty created by this pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of our lives. And as our entire UCSF community rallies to stop the spread of COVID-19, I want you to know we are making decisions based on our commitment to our patients and also to our staff, faculty, learners, researchers, and care providers.

To be sure, we will not understand the full scale of the pandemic’s impact on our societies for some time. Therefore, we must take prudent steps now to ensure our ability to lead through, and emerge from, this public health crisis.

This is why we are working closely with the UC Office of the President on policies that provide stability, such as the extended leave program and the commitment that there will be no COVID-19 related layoffs through the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2020.

Focusing UCSF Health’s efforts on the management of COVID-19 patients, and deferring and curtailing numerous UCSF research and educational programs, were the right decisions to make. However, the cumulative impact of these actions has created unprecedented financial challenges.

Because UCSF is largely a self-supporting campus, we have to make additional difficult decisions. Consequently, effective April 7, 2020, through June 30, 2021, UCSF will implement a hiring freeze on all open and new positions—staff and academic—across the campus and in UCSF Health.

During this period, we will consider exceptions, with a focus on positions that are essential to supporting our mission and operations through this crisis. The Deans, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Senior Vice Chancellor, UCSF Health President and CEO, and I, along with our delegates, will hold the authority to approve exceptions. Offers that were extended before April 7, 2020, are exempt from the hiring freeze. These include staff and academic positions, as well as clinical trainees (e.g., residents/fellows).

I recognize that this policy will create hardships across UCSF. To minimize its impact, I ask all departments and units to prioritize critical work across existing positions. Some current or planned work will need to be deferred. As we manage our work through the hiring freeze, I encourage all of our teams to explore what changes we may want to make permanently, and what additional changes we should consider in order to reduce our operating costs.

Some have asked whether the UC system or UCSF will need to consider layoffs. The reality is that we don’t know the answer to this question, but working to control costs through such measures as this temporary hiring freeze will help us improve our financial position.

These extraordinary times require tough decisions, and we are not alone in facing them. Many universities across the country, including all of the UC campuses, are implementing similar hiring policies. As we gain a clearer picture of the financial impact of COVID-19, I will provide updates on additional steps we may need to take, including adjustments to our budgets, for the next fiscal year.

The months ahead will prove challenging. I know you all are being asked to do more with existing resources. But the dedication and hard work shown by our teams every day, and our commitment to our PRIDE Values, will guide us through this crisis and help us rebuild on the strong foundation we have built over the years.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor