Campus Messages

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

UCSF Seismic Safety Review

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

I am writing to provide an update on our ongoing seismic program to evaluate UCSF’s owned and leased buildings to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of our community — our faculty, staff, learners, patients, neighbors, and visitors.

As residents of California, we recognize the importance of taking steps to mitigate seismic risk. UCSF buildings are designed and constructed to the codes and standards that are effective at the time of their construction or major renovation. However, as seismic engineering and standards evolve, we work to update and enhance our facilities to meet the latest standards.

Our current seismic review is part of the University of California’s proactive initiative to update seismic performance ratings throughout the UC system. The UC-wide assessment bolsters our ongoing seismic program, which has invested many millions of dollars to make seismic upgrades across the campus and clinical enterprise. This voluntary effort goes beyond what many institutions across the state currently follow.

Today, we released the first batch of reports based on seismic building evaluations conducted by the UCSF Seismic Review Committee, our independent team of leading structural and geotechnical engineers. The reports are posted online and represent about 20 percent of UCSF’s buildings being evaluated. The seismic experts approved all of the buildings in this first collection for use by the UCSF community, including our patients and visitors. Most of these buildings meet UC seismic standards, while others require further analysis to determine the degree and type of retrofitting that may be needed according to UC standards.

In addition to reinforcing our existing buildings, we continue to build new facilities to support UCSF’s growth across the enterprise. The construction of new facilities provides our faculty, staff, and learners with modern environments that sustain our leadership as a global center of innovative research, education, and care delivery. You can read more about our ongoing efforts to increase our portfolio of seismically safe buildings on

My leadership team and I are working to ensure that all of our facilities meet today’s seismic standards. It is important to remember that these standards are updated from time to time, and work to ensure that our buildings meet current standards is an ongoing effort that comes with significant cost and requires long-range strategic planning and resource allocation.

As we proceed, our seismic review team will advise us on the most optimal option — retrofit, replace, or retire — for each building that requires remediation. In a related development, a Public Education Facilities Bond will be on the March 2020 ballot. If approved by voters, the $2 billion that the measure allocates to UC would provide funding to address critical infrastructure needs, including seismic retrofits.

We will keep you informed about the developments and decisions that are made about our seismic work. For more information about UCSF’s seismic review, visit the UCSF Real Estate website.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor