Campus Messages

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

October 30, 2020

Dear UCSF Community,

On Tuesday, UCSF lost a great member of our community with the passing of former Chancellor Philip Randolph Lee, a visionary advocate for health policy research and social justice who served under two U.S. presidents.

As UCSF’s third chancellor, from 1969 to 1971, Dr. Lee served during a time of great transformation in our nation’s history. He was an early advocate for health equity and is widely regarded as UCSF’s first chancellor to champion diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dr. Lee was the first person to serve the nation as Assistant Secretary for Health, playing a leading role in implementing Medicare during President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. At UCSF, he was a beloved mentor and colleague, not only guiding the growth of our biomedical research enterprise, but working in the vanguard of health policy research by advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the field.

He was appointed by then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein as the first president of the San Francisco Health Commission, the governing body for the city’s health department. Dr. Lee served in that role from 1985 until 1989, during the height of the AIDS epidemic. He is remembered for formulating crucial public health guidance that saved many lives during that public health crisis.

Dr. Lee established an institute at UCSF, now known as the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, that became a nationwide model for bringing evidence to bear on policy making decisions.

He remained a leader among the UCSF faculty until 1993, when he returned to Washington, DC, to again serve as Assistant Secretary of Health, this time under President Bill Clinton.

Dr. Lee will...

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