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 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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October 31, 2017
Leadership

Dear Colleagues,

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, as vice chancellor for research and of David Morgan, PhD, as vice dean for research in the School of Medicine. Both are effective immediately.

Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, is chief of the Division of Rheumatology and the Jean S. Engleman Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine, as well as a professor of Orofacial Sciences in the School of Dentistry.

In her new role as vice chancellor for research, reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP), Dr. Criswell will be working closely with the EVCP, the vice deans of research in all four professional schools, and the vice chancellor for science policy and strategy to help define UCSF’s overall research priorities and goals. She also will oversee research infrastructure, with a view to ensuring seamless and superior service to our researchers across campuses. Dr. Criswell will represent UCSF’s interests at the UC-wide Council of Vice Chancellors for Research.

Dr. Criswell received her medical degree from UCSF and her MPH from UC Berkeley. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in rheumatology at UCSF and joined the faculty of the UCSF Division of Rheumatology in 1992. In addition, she completed a DSc degree in genetic epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences. A renowned researcher in human autoimmune disease, her investigations focus on the genetics and epidemiology of human autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

With twenty-five years of UCSF service, her dual...

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September 19, 2017
Emergency

Dear UCSF Community,

The recent and ongoing natural disasters in the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico have caused great loss of life and sorrow. In the last two days, Hurricane Maria has brought an onslaught of destruction to the Caribbean island of Dominica and the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In addition, Mexico experienced a major 7.1 magnitude earthquake yesterday that collapsed many buildings including hundreds of schools. This was the second significant quake in Mexico within a two-week time span, and UC President Janet Napolitano has expressed her support and solidarity.

Without time to recover from the initial hits, the citizens of these diverse areas are confronted with an emotional, physical, and economic toll of epic proportion. Our hearts and thoughts are with them.

The UCSF Global Disaster Assistance Committee (GDAC) is closely monitoring these situations and stands ready in the event that assistance is requested. At this time, UCSF has not received a request to provide relief assistance. Please visit the GDAC web page for updates about how you can help.

For those of us with family and friends in the affected locations, it is extremely difficult to be far away. Please know that UCSF has professional counseling services available through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and Student...

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March 6, 2017
Advocacy

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, President Trump signed a new immigration Executive Order yesterday that restricts entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of six countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. While this order has been revised from the one issued in January, we remain opposed to such bans because they impinge on the free flow of knowledge and information, which is core to UCSF’s mission. We remain deeply concerned about the impact of this immigration policy on our faculty, students, trainees, and staff – and on their families.

We also are concerned with a policy change announced on March 3 that suspends premium or expedited processing services for H-1B visa applications beginning on April 3 for a period of up to six months. This announcement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service will have an impact on academic employees and trainees requiring initial H-1B status during the six-month period.

In the wake of these announcements, the University of California and UCSF reaffirm our utmost commitment to safeguarding and supporting the rights of all members of our community, especially those directly affected by these most recent actions to restrict travel and access opportunities here at UCSF.

During these times of uncertainty, we want you to know that we continue to monitor and analyze the impact of these and other executive actions, such as efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. We are consulting and coordinating with the UC Office of the President and our...

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December 9, 2015
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community:

Today we join our students in observing the first anniversary of White Coats for Black Lives, a demonstration to call attention to health inequities and increase awareness of racism and violence as public health problems. We are proud that UC San Francisco is one of the places where this movement started, inspiring similar actions around the country.

Developing and sustaining a culture of equity and inclusion is a high priority for UCSF. Chancellor Sam Hawgood is actively engaged with campus and faculty leadership to ensure that concrete steps are being taken to address the issues raised by our students. The Office of Diversity and Outreach is focused on increasing the recruitment and retention of diverse learners, faculty and staff, establishing a climate that is equitable and inclusive, and supporting education, research and patient care practices that facilitate health equity.

In January, the School of Medicine refocused its annual retreat on how race, whether as a social construct or a risk factor shaped by environmental forces, contributes to disease. Faculty and students also spoke of how discrimination has affected them personally. This fall, the School of Medicine devoted a significant part of the orientation for incoming medical students to communication about differences. Other projects, such as the Differences Matter initiative, are in progress.

All of our health professional schools and the Graduate Division continue to focus on these issues. The School of Pharmacy helps post baccalaureate students to improve their...

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November 23, 2015
Advocacy
Leadership

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to share some exciting news about a new position that has been established at UCSF, Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy. We are currently the #1 public recipient of NIH funding, having a distinct reputation for innovation and discovery. However, as we all know, the funding environment for science and research, as well as general public opinion, can be tenuous and volatile. To sustain and advance our mission, demonstrating proactive leadership in setting and influencing science strategy and public policy will be essential in the immediate and near future. This new position has been created to help UCSF do this.

I am very pleased to announce that Keith Yamamoto PhD, has been selected to serve in this vital role effective immediately. The Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy (VC-SPS), who will report directly to the Chancellor, will develop, oversee and implement policy, strategy and direction for UCSF, specifically with respect to the biomedical sciences. Working with the UCSF leadership and scientific community, the VC-SPS will engage with state and federal government agencies and other entities that impact scientific policy and control and disburse resources that are needed to translate policy into action. With the objective of influencing and shaping public policy for the future of life sciences, the VC-SPS will represent the full range of science-related interests of UCSF faculty, develop and articulate UCSF scientific strategies, and convey these interests and strategies to the appropriate entities in Washington, DC; Sacramento; and elsewhere. The position of VC-SPS will work closely with the Vice Chancellor – Strategic...

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