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Campus Messages

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

July 1, 2020
Honors and Awards

Dear UCSF Community:

The UCSF Medal, initiated in 1975, replaces the granting of honorary degrees and is our most prestigious university award, celebrating extraordinary individuals for their achievements and contributions. This year, three UCSF Medals will be awarded to remarkable leaders who have advanced diversity and innovation in their fields through mentorship.

The medalists are:

  • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, MA, PhD—President, University of Maryland;
  • Afaf I. Meleis, PhD, DrPS, FAAN—Dean Emerita, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Professor Emerita, UCSF; and
  • John A. Watson, PhD—Faculty Advisor, UCSF School of Medicine

I invite you to join me for an inspiring conversation with this year’s Medal recipients, touching on prominent issues of our time. Please RSVP and on Friday, July 10 starting at 12 p.m. tune in online to watch the celebration.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

June 18, 2020
Advocacy
UC System

Dear UCSF Community,

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling blocking the Trump administration from immediately rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a significant victory, ensuring that some 700,000 young immigrants—including students at UCSF—can retain their legal status in the United States to study and work, without fear of deportation, for now.

The program, established by President Barack Obama in 2012, allows so-called Dreamers, brought to the United States illegally as children, to apply for a temporary status that lasts for two years and is renewable. While the Supreme Court’s ruling today is good news, advocates must work to prevent opponents of the DACA program from seeking a lower court to consider their arguments. The ruling also does not provide a path to citizenship for our DACA community, and we must work to ensure Congress takes up this action.

As we continue seeking equality and equity for all, we must continue to do more, on DACA and other key issues. We are in the midst of a critical conversation about race and discrimination, especially of Black Americans, in our country, and more must be done to advance LGBTQ rights, to name just two important challenges.

In celebrating today’s Supreme Court ruling on DACA, I express my gratitude for UC President Janet Napolitano’s leadership on this important issue. The University of California has been a key advocate for DACA and was the first university in the nation to file a lawsuit challenging the proposed rescission of the DACA policy. I invite you to read the ...

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June 15, 2020
Advocacy
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects all Americans from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a resounding affirmation of our belief that there is no place for discrimination of any kind in our society. 

June is Pride Month and even as we celebrate this victory for equality and dignity in the workplace, we also strongly denounce the Trump administration’s action on Friday to repeal protections for transgender patients against discrimination when seeking health care. This is directly at odds with UCSF’s core commitment to providing unbiased, equitable, and welcoming patient care for all, including transgender and non-binary people, and all LGBTQ individuals.

In California, where state laws prohibit many forms of LGBTQ discrimination, the impact of the rollback will largely have no impact. In 28 other states, however, the repeal of this protection will leave transgender individuals exposed to discrimination in health care.

At UCSF, we must continue pursuing our decades-long work of championing equity and the rights of all members of the LGBTQ community. Klint Jaramillo, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center is working to support and raise the visibility of the LGBTQ community through advocacy, education, training and, recently, by championing a pronouns campaign to increase awareness about using everyone's correct gender...

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June 9, 2020
Community
Leadership
People

Dear Colleagues,

In the last two weeks, our nation has gone from outrage and grief over the racial injustice seen in the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery to the extraordinary calls for addressing the systemic racism that underlies these tragic deaths and the many that preceded them.

At UCSF, we have a responsibility to speak out against violence, including police violence, that is racially motivated. It is anathema to the core values of our community, which stands firmly against bias and discrimination of all kinds. Violence of this nature, along with other elements of systemic racism, is a public health issue. We denounce it and we must take action to eliminate it.

More broadly, as I stated in my message to the community on May 31, we at UCSF must continue the hard work of dismantling the structural barriers of racism in education, research, employment, and health care. As we undertake this long-term work, we can learn from the leadership of our colleagues here at UCSF calling for change today.

Members of the global STEM community have organized a day of reflection tomorrow, June 10, called #ShutDownSTEM, to draw attention to the impact of systemic racism and injustice on Black people in STEM and academia. We support this movement, and encourage you to take time tomorrow to reflect on what each of us can do in our lines of work to address racism.

In addition, members of our campus community are organizing peaceful sit-ins on Thursday to bring further campus attention to these issues.

At a leadership level, the Chancellor’s Cabinet will be...

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May 31, 2020
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

In Minneapolis on May 25, George Floyd died under circumstances that have become too familiar and frequent, but as difficult to accept as ever. The manner of his death has released torrents of anger and sorrow across the country. The grief we feel is compounded by the deaths of Breonna Taylor in March and Ahmaud Arbery in February. Like Mr. Floyd, both were killed in situations that are hard to comprehend, one in her home and the other while jogging in his neighborhood.

What these tragedies have in common is that all three victims are black. These incidents expose the double standard of racism that provides privileges to some, and denies them to others, based on the color of their skin. It is a double standard all people of color face, but that black people experience most painfully. Those of us who are not black cannot fully understand what the black experience is in this country. We are privileged to do things without concern that black people simply cannot. This inequitable system of privilege is so pervasive and foundational in our society that it is accurately described as structural racism.

As I watched the events in Minneapolis unfold this past week, I struggled for words to serve my heartbreak. How many times must we mourn another black person who died doing everyday things that many of us take for granted. Once again, we must unite in a clear voice to condemn racism and discrimination of all kinds.

For those of us who benefit from privilege, I encourage us to go beyond denouncing acts of racism and hate. We must examine our own bias and have honest, courageous conversations with one another. We can grow to recognize racism and bias the way...

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May 19, 2020
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

In cities across the country the rhythm of daily life as we knew it only a few months ago is slowly beginning to return. In California, from the state capitol to city hall to UCSF, the focus on frontline response is broadening to include recovery efforts, even as we continue to watch for a resurgence.

As we address the financial damage created by COVID-19, we will face tough decisions. The economic uncertainty before UC and UCSF raises questions about budgets, staffing levels, and compensation, adding to the toll the pandemic has taken on everyone’s lives, especially the most vulnerable among us. These are important issues, and I want you to know that I will address them in a straightforward manner as more information becomes available.

Budgets

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a revised state budget that included a reduction for UC funding. Though we do not yet know the specific impact on UCSF, we must start preparing for potential budget cuts for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Continuing shortfalls on the campus and at UCSF Health only underscore the challenge before us. In response, I am instructing UCSF’s control points to start scenario-planning potential budget reductions of 5-10% in the allocation from the Office of the Chancellor. Additional updates will follow as this work develops.

Staffing and Compensation

At a time of uncertainty, I realize you have questions about potential changes to staffing and compensation. I have instructed the teams facilitating our recovery and resilience strategy to look for creative solutions to reduce costs on supplies and realize savings through the hiring freeze. This work is a shared...

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May 7, 2020
Community
Honors and Awards
People

Dear UCSF Community,

Perhaps now more than ever, it’s important for us to take the time to celebrate the extraordinary work we do at UCSF in service of our public mission. I invite you to join me on Friday, May 22, at 12 noon for the virtual 2020 Founders Day Awards Celebration.

While we can’t physically come together for our traditional luncheon, I am excited to bring this event to our entire community online, giving us an opportunity to honor 13 faculty, staff members, and learners who exemplify our UCSF PRIDE Values, and share their inspiring stories.

The event will recognize recipients of the following awards:

  • Chancellor Award for Public Service, Thomas N. Burbridge Public Service Award, and Edison T. Uno Public Service Award
  • Chancellor Award for Exceptional Management
  • Chancellor Award for Exceptional Service
  • Distinguished Nurse Award

To view the celebration, please register. The Zoom details will be emailed to you closer to the event date.

I hope you will join us for this special occasion.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

May 1, 2020
Administrative
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

After several challenging months, there may be reason for guarded and measured optimism. The rate of increase in local COVID-19 infections is moderating.

But this welcome progress has come with significant cost. The pandemic and the public health orders meant to slow it have taken a heavy toll on many in our community. It can be overwhelming to think about loved ones who have been separated or lost, and the livelihoods that have been devastated by a severely constrained economy.

Compared to other regions, however, the Bay Area has been fortunate. Encouraged by what they see, local and state officials are taking steps to begin relaxing the various shelter-in-place orders. 

In the coming weeks, UCSF also will begin a gradual process to resume some of our suspended operations. This includes a careful return to some activities on campus and increasing the number of non-COVID-19 patients at UCSF Health. Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we will move deliberately and dial up or down our activities as needed, in close partnership with public health officials. The work ahead will require us to coordinate in new ways across the campus and UCSF Health, and I am hopeful we can continue building on the efforts already under way.

Our focus remains on the well-being of our UCSF community and patients, and our actions will be guided by our own timetable, in alignment with local and state orders. For the foreseeable future, many of our current policies will remain in place. As an example, those performing their duties remotely will continue to do so, in order to help facilitate physical distancing for those who must be on-site. Those who can no...

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April 7, 2020
Administrative
Emergency
UC System

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...

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April 3, 2020
Administrative
Emergency
UC System

Dear UCSF Community,

This public health crisis has taken a significant toll on everyone’s lives, including the financial hardships it has created for many. In the face of the economic challenges brought on by COVID-19, we are doing what we can to support our UC community and provide stability during these uncertain times.

I, along with all the chancellors across the University of California system, joined UC President Janet Napolitano in signing a letter ensuring that there will be no COVID-19 related layoffs for career employees through the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2020. You can read the entire message online.

Each campus is working with the UC Office of the President (UCOP) to confirm the details of how this will be implemented. Details are forthcoming.

In the meantime, I hope you are taking care of yourselves and looking after one another. You all have my gratitude for your commitment to fulfilling UCSF’s public health mission, especially during this extraordinary time.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

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