Campus Messages

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

Vice Chancellor and Graduate Dean Elizabeth Watkins

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

I am proud to announce that Elizabeth Watkins, PhD, vice chancellor of student academic affairs and dean of the Graduate Division, has been named Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of UC Riverside (UCR), effective May 1, 2021. It has been my great pleasure to work closely with Dr. Watkins in her leadership roles and as a highly valued member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet and the Academic Senate Executive Committee.

As UCR’s chief academic officer, Dr. Watkins will oversee seven different schools and colleges, and be responsible for shaping and implementing the University’s vision for the future. She brings exceptional skills to this new position, and I am thrilled that UCR will have the opportunity to benefit from her leadership.

Among her many achievements at UCSF, Dr. Watkins oversaw the development of the Discovery Fellows program, which provides financial support to all of our PhD students in the basic and biomedical sciences. With a $100 million endowment, the program is the largest initiative for graduate student support in the history of the University of California.

She also expanded the Graduate Division’s initiatives to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, establishing UCSF’s first assistant dean position for diversity and learner success. Dr. Watkins’ dedication to equity and inclusion will flourish at UCR, which has been ranked first in the country by U.S. News & World Report for its ability to foster social mobility.

A historian of science, Dr. Watkins joined the UCSF faculty in 2004 as a professor in the Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine, where she directed graduate studies for the History of Health Sciences program. In 2012, she became dean of the Graduate Division, and thereby dean to nearly 1,000 PhD and master’s students — the largest single student population at UCSF — while also having oversight of UCSF’s some 1,100 postdoctoral scholars. In 2013, she took on the additional role of vice chancellor for Student Academic Affairs, responsible for the operations of 18 functional units that serve graduate and professional students alike, including the Registrar’s Office, Student Financial Services, Student Health, Student Life, and the Office of Career and Professional Development (which also serves postdocs and other trainees).

You can read more about Dr. Watkins’ career, including the scholarly work she conducted as a UCSF faculty member. We at UCSF will miss her wise counsel but are pleased that a sister school in the UC system will soon benefit from her steady hand and superb leadership.

Sincerely,

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

 

Corrected November 24, 2020