Campus Messages

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

October 9, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF community,

The wildfires that are ravaging the counties of Northern California have brought devastation to thousands. Our thoughts go out to all those affected, including the approximately 450 UCSF employees and 1,200 alumni who live in the region, as well as the many family and friends who live there.

UCSF is actively involved in responding to this evolving situation. While two of our clinics were forced to close due to the fires, UCSF continues to staff the NICU at Santa Rosa Memorial, with one of our physicians serving as the Attending physician today. So far, we have received four adult transfer patients and one pediatric transfer patient from the area. Approximately 20 patients affected by smoke inhalation have been treated at UCSF.

For staff directly affected by the wildfires, our Human Resources team has prepared guidelines and resources, including information about our program that allows staff to request donations of accrued vacation, emergency loan programs through our credit unions, short- term and long-term housing rentals, and other resources. Faculty members who have been impacted should consult their department chairs.

I am not surprised that many of you have asked about ways to help; this concern for others—and outreach on their behalf—is consistent with our community’s values. HR’s guidelines include information for faculty and staff who want to donate accrued vacation to staff directly affected by the fires. Please also check the Global Disaster Assistance Committee...

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October 1, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are stunned and saddened by the loss of life and injuries sustained last night at the hand of a gunman in Las Vegas – now the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families as well as with the people of Las Vegas.

We applaud the efforts of all first responders, including the local police, FBI, and others and the teams of trauma specialists and health professionals who quickly acted in response to the mass casualties. Hundreds of wounded are receiving treatment and care at local hospitals, and UCSF Medical Center is inquiring as to the need for blood donations or other types of assistance.

Unfortunately, incidents like these happen all too frequently in our nation. America’s epidemic of gun violence is a public health crisis that is unrivaled in the rest of the developed world.

At UCSF, we prepare for crisis situations. If an imminent threat to life and safety, such as an active shooter incident occurred at or near UCSF, the UCSF Police Department would activate the WarnMe system to alert members of our community on their individual office and cell phone numbers. If you have not already registered with the WarnMe system, I encourage you to take a few minutes to do so.

I remind you that professional counseling and confidential services are available to members of our UCSF community who may feel distressed:

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September 4, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are extremely disappointed by President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, thereby denying an estimated 800,000 young people – including students at UCSF – temporary reprieve to work and study legally in the United States without fear of deportation.

In a statement released today, University of California (UC) President Janet Napolitano said she is deeply troubled by the decision and called upon Congress to immediately pass bipartisan legislation to “provide a permanent solution for these young people.” She stressed that UC will continue to provide support services to undocumented students and is immediately directing her advisory committee on undocumented students “to determine how best to support and protect University of California students who rely on DACA over the next six months and beyond.” International Students and Scholars Office Director Brian Groves and Jirayut “New” Latthivongskorn, MD Candidate, Class of 2018 and returning member on this council (and also the first Dreamer in the School of Medicine), are the UCSF representatives on this committee. You can read UC President Napolitano’s statement online.

UCSF began enrolling Dreamers across all four professional schools and the Graduate Division three years ago and fully supports UC President Napolitano’s continued leadership in support of DACA students. I share her belief...

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August 24, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

Over the next several days, tens of thousands of people are expected to attend rallies and demonstrations in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. In the aftermath of Charlottesville, many of us are concerned about the unpredictable nature of these events and what might unfold.

As a public university, UCSF defends the constitutional right of free speech. However, we condemn any action that threatens or intimidates people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ability, age, or other characteristic.

For those who choose to participate in events over the coming days, there are many opportunities to peacefully express a commitment to the values that define UCSF – diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect – and to reject bigotry and hatred.

The UCSF Police Department and UCSF Health emergency management are working to coordinate our emergency response plan with efforts across the University of California and with other agencies, both local and regional. For more information, please refer to the safety bulletin that UCSF Chief of Police Mike Denson issued yesterday.

I remind you that we are prepared to support members of the UCSF community who may be distressed or feel at risk. Many campus resources are available to provide professional counseling and other assistance:

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August 22, 2017
UC System

Dear Colleagues,

The California State Auditor yesterday released its audit findings on the University of California (UC) contracting practices. The review was conducted at the request of the state legislature.

UC President Janet Napolitano has expressed appreciation for the auditor’s recommendations, which recognized the strengths of UC’s contracting practices while also identifying areas for improvement. UCSF supports President Napolitano’s position and is fully committed to working with her office towards continuous improvement and establishment of effective best practices.

The full report, which includes President Napolitano’s comments, can be read here

The audit included a review of several UCSF service contracts, including a contract to outsource a portion of our IT services. The conclusion was that, overall, our contracts are substantially in compliance with UC policy and guidelines and followed UC’s collective bargaining agreements.

In regard to the IT contract, the audit report found that, per UC guidelines, we appropriately conducted a cost analysis “to justify the business and financial necessity” for the contracting decision, but that we did not provide a formal, written notification to the Office of the President (OP) justifying the outsourcing decision. The report noted that both UCSF and OP believed that an in-person presentation to OP by UCSF had met that particular guideline. Finally, the audit report found that all personnel policies had been satisfied.

In those limited instances where the audit found that a UCSF...

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August 20, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine L. Gilliss, PhD, RN, FAAN, as our new dean for the UCSF School of Nursing and associate vice chancellor for nursing affairs, effective September 25, 2017.

Catherine has extensive leadership experience from serving as dean of the schools of nursing at both Duke University and Yale University. Her background is in psychiatric and primary care, and her research focus is examining the impact of behavior on the recognition and management of illness.

Catherine’s foremost priorities as dean of the UCSF School of Nursing are development of a sustainable business model and further integration of its people and programs within the overall UCSF Health enterprise. Her responsibilities include advancing the School’s commitment to combining research and scholarship with high quality clinical education at the graduate level, developing new ways to maintain the school’s growth, enhancing the school’s strong dedication to diversity, and being a key thought leader in the national and international nursing community.

This is a homecoming for Catherine after a twenty-year absence. She served as chair of the Department of Family Healthcare Nursing from 1993–1998.

I extend my deep gratitude to Dr. Sandra Weiss, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and Robert C. and Delphine Wentland Eschbach Chair in Mental Health, co-director of the UCSF Depression Center, and professor in the school’s Department of Community Health Systems, who served as interim dean, once again, and who will return to her many research and professional commitments as a member of the faculty. Sandra guided the School of Nursing for the last year, keeping...

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August 16, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are writing to pay tribute to two of our most highly regarded faculty members, Drs. Jeffrey Pearl and Art Ablin, who passed away in recent days.

An outstanding surgeon

Dr. Pearl is most remembered for his indefatigable dedication to UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, where he served as associate dean and associate medical director and was a tireless advocate for its patients and their care. Jeff held the Fishbon Endowed Chair in Ambulatory Surgery and was a committed teacher to students and trainees. He also was an enthusiastic participant at our annual UCSF Founders Day luncheon where he presented the UCSF at Mount Zion Milton and Helen Pearl Award for Outstanding Service. The recipients were selected based on their exceptional willingness to render additional service of distinction to others.

A world-renowned pediatric oncologist

Dr. Ablin was a role model and mentor, advancing the careers of countless students, trainees, and junior faculty. Not only will we remember his kindness, integrity, and tenacious spirit, we are eternally grateful for his generosity. With his visionary commitment to patients and their families, he founded Family House, which provides a place for families to stay during a child’s medical treatment. He also was the impetus for several philanthropic gifts that resulted in the Roma and Marvin Auerback Distinguished Professorship; Deborah and Arthur Ablin, MD, Endowed Chair in Pediatric Molecular Oncology; and Mildred V. Strouss Endowed Chair in Translational Research in Pediatric Oncology.

Both Drs. Pearl and Ablin were steadfast professionals with an unwavering...

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August 14, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

The incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend has once again focused our country on the reckless actions of those who seek to inflict hatred, intolerance, and violence in our communities and on our college campuses. UCSF absolutely and unequivocally condemns these actions and stands firmly in support of the values that are deeply ingrained within the University of California – diversity, respect, and inclusion.

UC President Janet Napolitano, speaking on behalf of the entire UC community yesterday, publicly condemned the hateful actions of the white supremacists, and voiced strong solidarity with our colleagues at the University of Virginia (UVA) who denounced the abhorrent display and “stood up to a crowd bent on violence.” We applaud President Napolitano’s leadership.

We also applaud the efforts of student leaders across this country – including the leadership of UCSF’s Graduate and Professional Student Association – in voicing support for the students of UVA and reaffirming their commitment to speak up in the face of injustice.

In the wake of the events in Virginia, School of Medicine Executive Vice Dean Catherine Lucey sent an email to the school’s faculty, students, and staff yesterday reminding them to stay strong. “We, on the side of equality, justice, liberty, and inclusion, are powerful as a community,” she wrote.

As a community, we do have power. We urge all of us to continue to come together and build on our collective strengths to ensure that everyone – no matter who they are – is...

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August 10, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

This past spring, the television show 60 Minutes ran a story critical of the federal H-1B visa program, which allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. The story referenced UCSF’s decision to contract out a portion of its IT services. 60 Minutes has notified us that it intends to air again the original story this Sunday, August 13, as part of its normal rerun schedule during the summer months.

As background, the decision to outsource a portion of our IT services was the result of a comprehensive, two-year review of all of our IT services and requirements. This change will help reduce rapidly rising IT costs and give us the ability to continue investing in increasingly sophisticated IT services and capabilities critical to our education, research, and patient care missions. UCSF is projected to save $30 million over five years as a result of the outsourcing.

UCSF retains 80 percent of its IT work in-house and continues to grow IT jobs, especially in specialty areas supporting research and clinical care.

The change also involved the layoff or termination of the employment of 49 career UCSF employees. All impacted career employees were given six months’ advance notice and were eligible for severance packages. We provided job placement assistance and helped employees find other employment opportunities at UCSF, other UC campuses, and outside organizations. Of the 49 affected career employees, more than 30 have secured other employment or chose to retire.

Among the workers impacted by this decision, some questioned our decision to ask them to train employees from HCL America, the firm...

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June 20, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you about several upcoming changes within the leadership of the University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) organization.

First, Vice Chancellor John Ford has informed me that he will retire at the end of 2017, as was his plan when he joined UCSF in September of 2012. John brought forty years of development experience to UCSF, including twenty years as vice president at Stanford. With that background, John has made significant contributions to our university, both as the leader of UDAR and as a member of my leadership team. I am grateful for John’s service to UCSF. He has helped my team and many members of the faculty understand how development can be integrated into the fabric of the university and support the overarching goals of the university while helping individual faculty members advance their programs. John has encouraged many of us to think boldly about the future and has helped shape the ideas that have inspired some very big gifts to UCSF.

Second, I am pleased to announce that Associate Vice Chancellor Jennifer Arnett will be John’s successor. Jennifer is well positioned to lead the UDAR organization, having served as second-in-command since November 2012.

Together John and Jennifer have built a strong team at UDAR while growing private gifts and grants dramatically. Cash receipts totaled $595 million this past fiscal year, placing UCSF among the top five universities in gifts received for the second consecutive year. UCSF was the only public university among the top ten institutions in fundraising results.

In partnership with Bill Oberndorf, chair of the UCSF Board of Overseers, they have helped reorganize...

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