Blog

Campus Messages

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

November 22, 2021
Community

Dear Colleagues:

Each of us brings a special quality to UCSF, and your feedback will provide leadership with the information needed to make our university one of the best places to work and study.

To do accomplish this, we need to hear about your experience at UCSF through the 2021 UCSF Climate Survey. While you have through November 30 to take it, please don’t wait. We are in the home stretch with only a few days remaining.

We are currently at an overall response rate of 34%, and we need a stronger turnout. Help the University better understand your perceptions and experiences about the environment in which you work and learn. Make your voice heard and seize this opportunity to let us know how things are and are not working for you. If you’re part of that 34%, thank you! If you aren’t, then you should be receiving weekly reminders from Emma White Research with your unique survey link.

At UCSF we know that data is key to gaining insight to identifying gaps as well as successes. We are many different people with equally varying roles and responsibilities; therefore, it’s imperative that the data reflect the entire university, i.e., faculty and other academic appointees, staff, students, postdocs, fellows, and residents.

A weekly random drawing for twenty-five $50 gift cards is well underway, and at the conclusion of the survey, three individuals will be chosen at random to receive an iPad. (Because the value and cost exceed the non-taxable limit, the entire amount is subject to withholding as income.)

With full recognition that all members of the...

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September 17, 2021
Leadership

Dear Colleagues:

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Nicquet Blake will become the next leader of Student Academic Affairs (SAA) and the Graduate Division effective December 1, 2021. As Vice Provost of Student Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate Division, Dr. Blake will be a direct report to me in my capacity as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and she will be a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

Dr. Blake comes to UCSF after a fourteen-year career in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at University of Texas Health San Antonio, most recently as senior associate dean for admissions and student affairs. In that role, she was responsible for the recruitment, admission, and retention of students, and directed three NIH training grants. Dr. Blake has a resounding record of success in transforming the student body at GSBS to reflect the diversity of the surrounding communities and virtually eliminating first-year attrition of underrepresented students. With diversity as an integral factor to both her professional and personal goals, she is an expert community-builder and champion for students becoming their best self-advocates.

As graduate dean at UCSF, Dr. Blake will have broad administrative oversight of the master's and doctoral programs offered by the Graduate Division as well as postdoctoral training at UCSF. She will work closely with her accomplished staff, graduate program directors, fellow deans, partners across the University, the chancellor, and me to craft and realize a comprehensive plan that will ensure equitable access, inclusivity, and continued excellence in graduate education and postdoctoral training.

Among her many charges as...

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September 8, 2021
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

In recognition of the need to brighten our spirits and encourage wellness as we continue to face myriad challenges, I am delighted to announce that we are offering grants for projects that aim to promote the wellbeing of our UCSF community.

From September 13 to September 30, 2021, UCSF academic and staff employees and learners, based at campus or affiliate locations, may apply for funds for events or initiatives that aim to support our wellbeing in one or more of our pillars of wellness: emotional, physical, social, financial, professional, environmental, and spiritual.

This program is being led by a recently formed UCSF Wellbeing Committee, which includes faculty and staff representatives from across the campus and UCSF Health. The committee, guided by staff in Wellness and Community, a division of Campus Life Services, will review the proposals and base its funding decisions on the proposed impact of the projects.

For information on how to apply for these wellbeing grants, please see the Wellness and Community web page. Read more about this opportunity online. Questions about the grants may be emailed to [email protected].

As the executive sponsor of this program, I hope that it will have a positive effect on our lives during a time when we could all benefit from a boost in morale. Please think creatively on ways you can...

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September 2, 2021
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

Please join us in expressing gratitude to our veterans who served in Afghanistan and the Middle East for their courage and sacrifices that spanned four U.S. presidents over 20 years.

The departure of the last U.S. plane from Afghanistan on Monday marked the coda to a very long war. However, it may take more time before many people find closure. In the midst of the U.S. transition, we recognize that complicated feelings and questions have been raised about American involvement in Afghanistan. For those who have family or friends still in the country, the events of the past few weeks, including a bombing that took the lives of civilians and U.S. troops, are even more difficult to bear.

Chancellor Sam Hawgood recently shared resources for those who want to support the humanitarian relief effort in Afghanistan. In addition, Student Veteran and Military Support Services has compiled a list of resources for veterans who may need support at this challenging time. We provide both sets of resources below and encourage everyone to review and make use of them.

As we make sense of what comes next in Afghanistan, we want our veterans to know that UCSF is here to support you. We are proud of you and your family members who have been there in support of your service to our country. You are all an important part of the diversity that strengthens our UCSF community.

Sincerely,

Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MAS
Chief of Staff, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System
Associate Dean, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

...

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June 4, 2021
Community
People
UC System

Dear Colleagues,

The UC Office of the President has issued a draft Presidential Campus Safety Plan for transforming UC’s culture, policies, and practices so that all members of the UC community feel equally welcomed, respected, and protected from harm. UC President Michael V. Drake has asked each campus to collect and share feedback, which he will consider before issuing a UC-wide plan this summer.

We invite you to review the draft plan (see attached pdf) and provide comments via the following survey link, which will be available until June 30:  https://ucsf.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d6YPSi3v1dDnlZk.

As background, the UC Office of the President developed the draft plan with extensive input from diverse groups of UC stakeholders, including Campus Safety Task Force members, participants in the campus safety symposia held earlier this spring, and numerous conversations with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

You may recall that Chancellor Sam Hawgood appointed our own UCSF Safety Task Force last year to develop recommendations for refining UCSF’s practices around community safety. To read the Task Force’s initial report, click on the Chancellor’s message from November 13, 2020:  https://chancellor.ucsf.edu...

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November 24, 2020
Leadership

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...

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August 6, 2020
Leadership
People

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

We are proud to announce that after more than 35 years of distinguished service to UCSF, Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, has been selected to serve as the next director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Dr. Criswell will remain with UCSF through early 2021, at which time she will assume her new role as NIAMS director and begin serving the nation as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) leadership team.

Dr. Criswell has been a part of the UCSF community since 1982, and it’s been an honor to work alongside her over the years as she has distinguished herself as one of UCSF’s most admired physicians, scientists, educators, and administrators. Though we are certainly sad to see a close friend and long-time colleague depart, we are delighted that it is because Dr. Criswell is being recognized for her outstanding leadership and contributions to science and medicine.

As vice chancellor of research, Dr. Criswell has helped define the University’s research enterprise over the past three years, and the efforts she has set into motion will continue to shape our research agenda well into the future. Prior to her appointment as vice chancellor, she served as chief of the Division of Rheumatology and the Jean S. Engleman Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Criswell is renowned for her insightful research into the causes of human autoimmune disorders, and she is much admired for her devotion to the many students, residents, fellows, and faculty she has mentored over the years. We can think of no one who is better prepared to serve as NIAMS director than Dr...

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July 1, 2020
Community
Partnerships

Dear UCSF Community,

For the first time in 30 years, the bi-annual International AIDS Conference, known this year as AIDS 2020, will be held, albeit virtually, in San Francisco and Oakland, July 6-10, 2020.

Dr. Monica Gandhi, medical director of the pioneering Ward 86 at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG), will co-chair the conference with Cynthia Carey-Grant, an advocate for women, communities of color, and justice in Oakland.

AIDS 2020 will feature presentations, including plenary sessions and press conferences, by or including UCSF infectious disease experts, as well as national leaders, including Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx. Information about tuning into AIDS 2020: Virtual is available online.

The final two days of the conference will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic – an area in which many of our HIV researchers are now working – including its impact on HIV/AIDS research and patient care. Dr. Diane Havlir, chief of the UCSF Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at ZSFG, will talk about the dramatic progress against the HIV epidemic and what this means in the age of COVID-19.

For nearly 40 years, UCSF’s scientists and health care providers have worked with the community and public health partners to fight the effects of HIV/AIDS and to discover a cure. This conference serves as a reminder of the seminal role they have played, both at home and abroad –...

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April 10, 2020
Community

Dear UCSF colleagues,

The UCSF community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been nothing short of inspiring, and not at all surprising. We are humbled to serve a mission that is committed to advancing health for all people, with a fundamental emphasis on equity and inclusion in our patient care, education, and research, and within our University community.

This is why we strongly denounce recent instances of so-called “Zoombombing,” which have targeted members of our UCSF community with acts of hate, racism, and discrimination. These deplorable incidents have no place in our community or any other. They are intrusions and assaults on our colleagues who are targeted and on the values upon which UCSF and the University of California system are founded. We are committed to leading with compassion and solidarity, and we will not allow these intrusions to distract us from our public health mission—especially at a time when our UCSF community is rallying to serve those who are suffering during this public health crisis.

We know you stand with us, and we ask that you look after one another online, as we all are expected to do when we have the opportunity to work side by side, under different circumstances. Be an active bystander, recognize bias, make the decision to address the situation, and take action. To help you protect your meetings and your colleagues, please be sure to follow the updated Zoom security guidance developed by the UCSF IT team.

Thank you for all...

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October 29, 2018
Community
Emergency

Dear Colleagues,

The fabric of our nation has once again been frayed. Today, we struggle to comprehend what one federal law enforcement official called “the most horrific crime scene I have ever seen” – the carnage resulting from a mass shooting at a temple in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Each day, every one of us at UCSF comes to campus driven by a desire to heal and to improve the quality of life in our communities, our country, and around the globe. What are we to do in the wake of wanton acts of violence that leave our communities in pain?

We grieve for lives lost too soon. We pause in silence to give strength to the brokenhearted. We take a little extra time to tell our friends and colleagues that they are important to us. And we find solace in knowing that all of us, collectively, are committed to lessening the pain and suffering in the world through caring, healing, learning, and discovery.

Please remember that members of our community have access to professional counseling and confidential services:

The leadership of UCSF stands in solidarity with those throughout our country who are dedicated to achieving a society free of violence and hatred. Please join us in our...

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