Blog

Campus Messages

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

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 26, 2018
Community
UC System

To the UCSF Community:

This week it was reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is leading an effort to revise federal guidelines and define gender as “…. immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth”, which would effectively exclude transgender, nonbinary and intersex people from the protections and rights afforded in our country. 

UCSF is firmly committed to the rights, and to freedom from harassment and discrimination, of all individuals.

UCSF welcomes all races, religions, countries of origin, sexual orientations, genders, ethnicities and abilities. We stand alongside and unequivocally support the trans, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming communities, and their allies. 

UCSF is a member of the University of California, and UC policies ensure protection from harassment and discrimination. Additionally, state laws, including the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, prohibit employment discrimination and harassment of transgender workers by providing protections based on gender identity and gender expression. The Gender Recognition Act (SB179), which becomes law on January 1, 2019, will ensure that trans and nonbinary people can easily secure birth certificates and state-issued identification with a correct gender identity. 

UCSF leadership recognizes that proposals such as the one being considered by HHS cause pain and suffering, and work to undercut the bonds of diversity and inclusion that unify our communities.  We are in solidarity with you and are committed to the safety and well-being of each and every one of our community members.

As a reminder, we encourage everyone to prioritize self-...

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October 26, 2018
Community
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community: 

This week, UCSF was challenged with its second strike in 2018. The disruptions caused by these strikes were significant and affected the entire UCSF community – faculty, staff, trainees, students, visitors, and especially our patients. 

At UCSF Health, more than 5,000 appointments, including critical surgeries and cancer infusion treatments, were canceled, rescheduled or delayed, creating a serious impact on patient care. For those patients who remained in our hospitals or received outpatient services, it was disconcerting to receive care in an environment like the one we experienced this week. 

The strike ended early this morning, and we send our thanks to each of you who came to work this week as well as to every person who planned and helped UCSF through this trying time. We express our appreciation to the volunteers and the replacement workers who enabled UCSF to continue providing services across the campus and UCSF Health.

No matter your individual view about strikes, everyone in the UCSF family is bonded together by our PRIDE Values: professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, and excellence. We are grateful for the professionalism that was displayed throughout this period, including by those in our UCSF family who chose to participate in the strike. 

As we come together today and beyond in fulfillment of UCSF's mission, we ask that everyone recommit to these values. At UCSF, there will always be far more that unites us than can ever divide us. 

Along with the leaders at the other UC campuses and the UC Office of the President, you can be assured that we are committed to finding a resolution to these labor...

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October 18, 2018
Administrative

Dear Colleagues:

Over the next few weeks, University of California faculty, staff, and students will join millions of Americans across the country and fulfill their civic duty by casting their ballots for or against a wide range of issues and individuals seeking public office. I encourage all of you to participate in the electoral process. It is a privilege and a right that serves as the foundation for the laws that govern our nation.

I also want to remind the campus community that there are legal restrictions on University of California involvement in political campaign activities based on the status of the University as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and as a state entity. The University may not endorse, oppose, or contribute to political candidates, nor may University resources (including University-paid time or equipment) be used for campaign purposes in connection with ballot propositions.

I want to emphasize that the University does not restrict any member of the University community – student, academic appointee, staff employee – from exercising his or her right to engage in personal political activity. However, no member of the University community may use University facilities or resources (including time on the job) for political purposes, except as specifically permitted by University regulations. In addition, care should be taken to avoid creating any misperception of University endorsement of a particular political position. I encourage you to review the University guidelines regarding the restrictions that apply to University of California...

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October 12, 2018
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We have received notice from the AFSCME union that both of their bargaining units will strike or participate in a sympathy strike across the University of California (UC) system, including UCSF, beginning Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 4:00 a.m. and ending Friday, October 26, 2018 at 3:59 a.m. UC anticipates that other unions with expired contracts also may join AFSCME in sympathy. You can find strike updates on UCSF.edu throughout the strike.

As we have stated in advance of previous strikes, we respect our employees’ rights to representation and freedom of speech. That said, striking is a serious matter, especially when it directly affects vital public services such as patient care.

Labor actions significantly impact patients and their families. During the strike in May, thousands of patient appointments were cancelled, delayed, or rescheduled. Some of our patients had to see other providers for their care. In addition, strikes create very real tensions among colleagues.

Once again, we expect disruptions to services across UCSF, particularly at UCSF Health and the UCSF Dental Center, as well as those performed by UCSF employees at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

As always, our top priorities are the safety and security of the entire UCSF community – faculty, staff, learners, patients, and visitors. To support our work and minimize the impact of the strike, we have refined contingency plans based on our...

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October 2, 2018
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to share with you the good news that the University of California and the California Nurses Association (CNA) have reached an agreement on a new, four-year labor contract for nurses who work across UC.

We appreciate our nurses at UCSF for their professionalism, compassionate, evidence-based care, and teamwork that contribute to the clinical quality, research, and innovation that are hallmarks at UCSF. Their commitment to excellence at UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco led to the prestigious Magnet designation in both 2012 and 2017 from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, after rigorous evaluation in the areas of leadership, empowerment, exemplary practice, improvement, and innovations.

Our nurses make a tremendous difference in the care that our patients receive, and we thank all UCSF nurses and nurse leaders who every day redefine what’s possible for our patients and embody our UCSF PRIDE Values.

The highlights of the agreement, to be effective through October 31, 2022, with CNA are posted online.

We hope that UC and the unions are able to come to resolution for the other open contracts soon.

Sincerely,

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

Mark R. Laret
President and CEO
UCSF Health

September 28, 2018
Advocacy

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

As leaders of an organization that is deeply committed to improving the health of our communities and advancing health worldwide, we deplore a proposed rule by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would change “public charge” policies and greatly expand the conditions under which an immigrant applying for legal permanent residency (a green card) or seeking to immigrate into the U.S. can be denied.

I am bringing this to the attention of the UCSF community because it attacks our deeply held values of health equality and dignity for all peoples. U.S. immigration law has always barred immigrants at risk of becoming a dependent on certain public assistance from immigrating to the United States. However, acceptance of public health and nutritional benefits has been permitted since the 1990s. This proposal would bring sweeping change.

Under the proposed rule, the federal government would newly consider the use of certain public benefits – including non-emergency Medicaid, Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and various housing support programs – in determining an individual’s entry into the U.S. or adjustment to legal permanent resident status. In addition, medical conditions that are likely to require extensive hospitalization or institutionalization (cancer, heart failure, kidney failure, dementia, and many others) will weigh heavily against uninsured immigrant applicants.

We are against this proposed regulation for several reasons, including:

  1. It...
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September 12, 2018
People

Dear Colleagues:

We write to share the sad news that Alexander (Alex) R. Margulis, MD, former chair of the Department of Radiology and steadfast member of the UCSF community, passed away on Friday, September 7, at the age of 97.

Alex was a visionary radiologist. During his 26-year tenure as chair of the Department of Radiology, UCSF rose to international prominence in imaging research, clinical care, and education. Throughout this period of unparalleled discovery and innovation, UCSF became a top destination for leaders interested in enhancing the roles of digital imaging techniques.

Alex was a risk-taker. He invested in untested ideas, supporting the dreams of his faculty who went on to make astounding contributions to imaging in modalities including CT, MRI, ultrasound, ultrafast CT, PET CT, and SPECT CT. Under Alex’s leadership, the department acquired the second head CT scanner in any academic institution in the U.S. He was truly a man ahead of his time, and his vision for the future of imaging and image-guided therapy would ultimately shape the field of radiology at UCSF and beyond.

Alex was a beloved mentor and colleague. Innumerable radiologists and scientists who were trained and mentored by Alex went on to lead outstanding academic institutions across the U.S. and abroad. UCSF was deeply important to Alex; he maintained close ties over the years, attending the gala event of the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging’s alumni organization – the UCSF Margulis Society – and serving as mentor and colleague to many members of the UCSF faculty.

His many friends and colleagues at UCSF and throughout...

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July 26, 2018
Community

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,
 
We are writing to share a brief summary of results of the 2018 UCSF Staff Engagement Survey and next steps. Thank you to the nearly 70 percent of staff who voiced your opinions in this important survey, which helps us understand our progress toward our shared goal of making UCSF a great place to work.
 
Staff engagement appears to have plateaued with a slight increase in overall engagement. Our grand mean score, on a five-point scale, increased .01 from 3.93 in 2017 to 3.94 in 2018. While this is an improvement, we remain far from our goal to be among the best organizations in the country.
 
On the positive side, two of the areas that employees scored the highest were related to our mission and to our commitment to doing quality work. We also learned that those units that actively engaged their employees in discussing last year’s results, and how to improve, had significant improvements in their scores. 
 
The survey also identified areas that need attention. Of most concern, Black and Hispanic staff generally had lower engagement scores than Whites and Asians, and staff who are represented by unions generally felt less engaged than other staff. This is antithetical to our values at UCSF and something we intend to address fully this year.
 
You can read more about the survey findings and next steps in Pulse of UCSF.
 
Over the next few months, our Learning and Organization...

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June 19, 2018
Advocacy
UC System

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are extremely troubled by the growing humanitarian crisis on our nation’s southern border, where children are forcibly separated from their parents.

In a statement released yesterday, University of California President Janet Napolitano said that this latest crisis is “further indication of the urgent need for a real conversation around immigration reform.” She stressed that “our nation of immigrants is made stronger by its diversity. Congress and the administration must come together to pass legislation that reflects the values of our country, ensures the safety of our borders and provides a resolution for those brought to the United States as children who only know this country as home.”

On behalf of the leadership of UCSF, I want to convey my strongest support for President Napolitano’s statement and express solidarity with our colleagues at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine regarding the harmful consequence of separating children from their parents.

As we have stated repeatedly, a core tenet at UCSF, as well as UC overall, is that our strength as a public university stems from a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, and welcomes and respects every individual regardless of immigration status. UCSF remains committed to providing compassionate care to children and fulfilling our efforts to foster an...

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