Campus Messages

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

UCSF to Remain Open November 16

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

As you know, much of our state has been severely affected by the historic wildfires that continue to rage in several areas. The toll on families and friends who lost loved ones, their homes, and businesses is heartbreaking.

It is clearly evident that our region has been impacted by unprecedented poor air quality for the past week. We know that concerns about air quality have led many university and school officials in our region to decide to cancel classes and close their doors tomorrow as a means of minimizing student exposures to outdoor air.

After consultation with my leadership team and close review of regional outdoor air data, UCSF will remain open tomorrow. As a health sciences and graduate-level university, this institution is dedicated to a mission of serving our patients and advancing health through discovery and education. This mission is perhaps most important during times of regional health crises.

We know based on scientific evidence and guidance from government health agencies that the best place to be when pollutants fill the air is inside buildings with filtered air systems. The agencies’ advice is to limit outdoor exposure.

Since the fires began in Butte County last Thursday, we have carefully monitored the air quality in the Bay Area and at our campus locations. We continue to make our supply of N95 respirators available upon request to our most vulnerable patients and our employees who must work outdoors. We have also taken extra steps to ensure the air filtration systems in our buildings are working as effectively as possible.

For those of you who may find it difficult to come to work due to school closures, sensitivities to air quality and/or impact on your family members, consult your supervisor to consider if sick leave, vacation, personal time off, or leave without pay is appropriate in accordance with applicable University policies and collective bargaining agreements. Please refer to the Human Resources website for additional resources for employees affected by these wildfires and air quality. If you wish to telecommute or work remotely because of an inability to get to your work location, please consult with your direct supervisor or manager.

For our students and trainees, please consult with your program leadership as to any specific needs you may have related to your studies. As mentioned above, as of now, our plan is to proceed with classes and other educational activities that are currently scheduled.

We will continue to monitor conditions closely and will inform you immediately if our plans or recommendations change.

The wildfires and resulting impact have been a hardship for everyone. Like you, I hope that containment of these fires comes soon. We continue to be thankful for all the first responders, health care providers, and volunteers working around the clock to serve and protect us.

I also am grateful for your efforts and commitment during this challenging time, including our clinicians and staff who are committed to serving our patients who depend on us for care and comfort.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor