Campus Messages

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

May 24, 2016

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

The safety and security of everyone who works, studies, receives care, and visits UC San Francisco is of paramount importance to us. We are writing to provide you with an update about the work and efforts underway to identify more ways to protect our community and proactively address security concerns based, in part, on the feedback received from your calls and emails.

Since January, we have been actively making improvements to enhance security around UCSF. The appointment and swearing in of UCSF Police Chief Mike Denson marks an important milestone. Chief Denson is a strong advocate of a community governance model where campus stakeholders and community members have a direct influence on policing initiatives such as increased police visibility, rapid response, and crime prevention measures across the University.

Among the recent changes to strengthen our security are:

  • Streamlined emergency and crime communication between campus police and medical center security by adding Med Center Security to UCPD police radio system for direct contact.
  • Improved interaction between police and UCSF community with increased visibility of police on campus and use of social media by the UCPD.
  • Increased collaboration at monthly meetings with senior leaders from UCPD, medical center security, and the safety office.
  • Improved security with the installation of identification badge readers for use during after-hours elevator access at medical office buildings at Mount Zion.
  • The launch of Transportation Services’ "See it, Report it!” campaign, which includes installing signs in all garages and parking lots with...
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April 25, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

UCSF is delighted to have received its largest single gift ever: a $185 million donation from Sanford I. “Sandy” Weill and Joan Weill to launch the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. This new institute will provide resources to our neuroscience researchers and physicians to advance our knowledge and treatment options for diseases affecting the brain and nervous system, including psychiatric disorders.

The gift, one of the largest ever to support neuroscience in the United States, will provide the lead investment for construction of a 270,000-square-foot building on our Mission Bay campus. This new building, the institute’s headquarters, will house state-of-the-art clinics and laboratories, including much-needed space for basic research programs in psychiatry. The UC Regents approved preliminary planning for the construction of the building last month.

The Weills’ donation also will support high-risk, high-reward research projects, as well as training for promising students in our Neuroscience Graduate Program. This institute is expected to be a magnet for attracting top scientists to UCSF, bolstering our recruitment efforts.

This gift builds on UCSF’s foundation of excellence across the spectrum of neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and basic neuroscience and will further unite all of our programs, allowing us to think and connect in new ways. This strengthened collaboration across the neurosciences will help UCSF forge a new path toward big breakthroughs that will benefit patients and their families.

Gifts of this magnitude garner recognition for UCSF’s overall excellence, shining a brighter light on UCSF for other philanthropists and...

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March 16, 2016
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share the news that the UCSF schools of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy received top rankings nationally in this year’s U.S. News & World Report survey of best graduate schools, with all ranked in the top three schools in the nation—positions they have held for many years. Graduate schools of dentistry are not ranked by the magazine.

It is a testament to the vision and dedication of our faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as the leadership of our Deans, that our schools continue to lead in their fields. The aim of each is to foster an environment that cultivates the next generation of compassionate, highly trained health care providers and researchers to advance patient care and discovery.

We can be very proud.

Read more and see a chart of the rankings at


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

March 14, 2016
UC System

Dear Colleagues:

I recently wrote with an important update regarding University policies and procedures pertaining to sexual violence and sexual harassment. As part of the University’s efforts to improve its prevention and response to sexual violence and sexual harassment, we are rolling out a comprehensive sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention training program for all UC faculty and staff. Each member of the University community has a responsibility to make our campuses free from sexual violence and sexual harassment. This training program will better prepare all of us to fulfill this obligation and learn about our role in these efforts.

To this end, starting immediately, all employees on payroll with active status as well as UCSF affiliates, regardless of previous training taken, will be required to complete training on sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention and response. Faculty and supervisors—who have been required to take such training for several years—will see new, updated content in their training and will maintain their current training schedule. Non-supervisory staff will be required to take sexual harassment prevention training that must be completed by May 1, 2016 or within six weeks for any subsequent new hires. Ongoing training for all non-supervisory employees will be required annually.

This training will be video based and delivery will be online through our UC Learning Center. Overall the training should take approximately 50 minutes to complete for non-supervisory staff. Faculty and supervisors will continue to take a separate training course with additional legally-required content that will take two hours to complete. You will be...

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March 13, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to share important changes to UC Policy regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment and to offer a reminder about the resources available to faculty, staff, students, and trainees. There are many policy changes underway, but a few recent updates deserve specific mention.

  • The UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment now requires that every UCSF employee, excepting confidential resources, notify the Title IX Office (Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination) when they receive information that a student has suffered sexual violence, sexual harassment or other prohibited behavior. This requirement applies to Graduate Teaching Assistants, Fellows, and all other student employees when disclosures are made to them in their capacities as employees. This requirement is in addition to the continuing mandate requiring all supervisors, managers, and faculty to notify the Title IX Office when they receive information of alleged prohibited conduct under the Policy.
  • The UC Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students (PACAOS) has been modified and describes current processes and procedures applying to sexual misconduct cases involving students.
  • UCSF now has Student Adjudication Procedures that implement the University’s Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment.

These new policies underscore UCSF’s...

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December 27, 2015

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a holiday concert at SF Jazz. The group sang powerfully of the need for peace on earth. For me their joyful, rocking performance was a stark counterpoint to the brutal inhumanity taking place throughout the year in wars that have resulted in mass migrations in the Middle East and North Africa as well as the continuing social injustice, violence, and growing bigotry and intolerance here at home.

Our students, joined by faculty and staff, remind us all that UCSF is not immune to social injustice and intolerance. Their voices for change have galvanized us to critically examine and address our individual biases and the barriers to unqualified inclusion still present in our own community. I am proud of the campus response in 2015 but know we have much more to do.

As 2015 draws to a close, I ask that as we reflect on the many achievements of the past year and think forward to 2016, we all commit ourselves anew to making UCSF a beacon of social justice, tolerance, and equity.

My best wishes to you for the New Year.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

December 9, 2015

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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December 1, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Making UCSF a great place to work is the purpose of UCSF’s Staff Engagement Survey. Conducted by Gallup in May of this year, the survey is a means to gather your feedback toward advancing this goal.

As I announced in July, UCSF’s overall engagement score increased .26 over the four surveys completed since 2011. All managers and staff are key to sustaining the strengths of their departments and addressing local challenges. To learn more, see Learning and Organization Development’s survey resources.

I have reviewed the results of the 2015 survey in detail with my Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet, including your responses to the question “What could UCSF do to make this an even better place to work?”

We identified several significant themes:

  • Continuing to enhance leadership and peer engagement actions in areas such as communication, teamwork, recognition, and continuous learning.
  • Challenges of living and commuting in the Bay Area, UCSF facilities, and work schedules.
  • Work resources, such as processes, systems, and budgets.

Your feedback is important, and the following UCSF-wide activities support our engagement objectives in response to your comments:

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November 23, 2015

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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November 17, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

I wanted to share some exciting news with you regarding Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. After 25 years at UCSF, Liz will be leaving to become president of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, effective January 1, 2016.

A wonderful colleague, collaborator, mentor, and friend to many, Liz has exemplified the values of UCSF, including inquisitiveness and a spirit of collaboration—reaching out to basic researchers and clinical researchers in different disciplines across our university and beyond. A role model for many, she has fostered the training and careers of countless students and postdoctoral scholars.

Her Illustrious scientific career studying telomeres and the enzyme telomerase, recognized in her receiving the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, has been an inspiration to many.

Her new appointment is very good news for the Salk, as she will be a superb leader. We will of course miss her daily presence at UCSF, but she assures us that she will remain in touch.

Liz’s tenure with UC began in 1978 when she joined the faculty at UC Berkeley. In 1990, she came to UCSF, and from 1993 to 1999, she served as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Our faculty members are world renowned, and their accomplishments are a source of great pride for the UCSF community. One of our strong points is not only attracting great leaders but applauding members who leave UCSF to embark on a new chapter of their lives.

Please join me in congratulating Elizabeth Blackburn on her tremendous achievements and sending her our best wishes for continued success.


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