Campus Messages

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

University Relations Leadership

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you about several upcoming changes to the Office of Strategic Communications and University Relations.

Vice Chancellor Barbara J. French will retire from UCSF on June 27, after 14 years of exemplary service. As head of Strategic Communications and University Relations, Barbara has provided invaluable counsel to me and my leadership team as well as former chancellors on issues related to communications, media relations, brand stewardship, government affairs, and community relations. She has led an award-winning team in elevating how we tell the UCSF story to our communities and to the world during a critical period in the growth of our enterprise.

Under Barbara’s leadership, University Relations has played a crucial role in advancing UCSF’s strategic priorities, including fostering constructive relationships with Mission Bay and Dogpatch residents to inform and support the expansion of UCSF programs; partnering with Parnassus Heights neighbors to create and adopt a 20-year Mount Sutro Reserve Management Plan and lay the groundwork for engaging the community in the re-envisioning of our historic Parnassus Heights campus; engaging communities in Oakland and Alameda County in support of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals; revitalizing and strengthening the UCSF brand identity system; developing UCSF’s presence across a broad and rapidly changing digital landscape; collaborating to create opportunities for San Francisco residents to relaunch their careers through the EXCEL work-based learning and internship program; and supporting our community’s dedication to influencing public policy through the launch of UCSF Advocates.

I am deeply grateful for Barbara’s wise counsel over the years and her leadership in leveraging the power of communication and advocacy to advance UCSF’s mission areas.

With the accelerated growth of the University and the associated community impact, we must continue to strengthen our relationships with elected officials and the communities we serve, while highlighting our tradition of excellence throughout our organization. With that in mind, I have decided to create two robust units, an Office of Communications and an Office of Community and Government Relations, that will work closely together to achieve these goals. Both will be led by vice chancellor positions, and nationwide searches are currently under way.

I am grateful to Assistant Vice Chancellor Paul Takayama and Executive Director Nada Hansen who, in the interim, have agreed to lead the Office of Community and Government Relations and the Office of Communications, respectively.

Please join me in thanking Barbara for her outstanding service to UCSF and in wishing her well on her retirement.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor