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 25, 2020
Administrative
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I wrote to you last week with an important message about new UCSF travel policies and return-to-work guidance that were put in place to help keep us safe during the holidays as COVID-19 surges nationwide. Today, I’m following up with information about where and how to get tested for COVID-19 before you return to on-site activities if you traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Starting Monday, Nov. 30, UCSF will offer COVID-19 testing to employees and students who are resuming on-site activities after travel. Testing plays a central role in keeping our community safe during this pandemic, so please review this update carefully.

Asymptomatic after Travel

After reviewing the UCSF travel guidance, if you determine a COVID-19 test is advised in your situation and you are asymptomatic, please visit the UCSF COVID-19 testing page—available starting Nov. 30—to access a tool that will guide you through the process of obtaining a COVID-19 test.

Symptomatic after Travel (or return before Nov. 30)

If you return from travel before Nov. 30 or have symptoms, please contact UCSF Occupational Health Services for further guidance.

Though UCSF continues to strongly recommend against all non-essential personal travel, we recognize that some travel may be impossible to avoid. If you must travel,...

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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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November 23, 2020
Administrative
Community
People
UC System

Dear Colleagues:

After receiving feedback from the campuses, UC President Michael Drake today announced a program to help the UC system preserve jobs and avoid COVID-19-related layoffs where possible. The program offers the campuses the flexibility to use a combination of options, including furloughs and curtailment, to achieve this systemwide goal. 

Because of the steps UCSF has already taken to steward our resources this year, we do not need to implement furloughs or a UCSF-wide mandatory curtailment at this time.

Our hiring and salary freezes, value improvement measures, redeployments, and staffing level adjustments to reflect fewer in-person activities have allowed us to reduce the pandemic’s impact on UCSF employees. The sacrifices our community has made have helped ensure our ability to serve our patients and communities, and I am grateful for all of your work.

I thank President Drake for his compassionate leadership. Aligned with his direction, we will continue to look for ways to minimize the hardships on our workforce and provide support where we can, as we continue to monitor this unpredictable pandemic and its long-term impact.

One effort we are expanding is the UCSF COVID-19 Relief Program, which provides employees at lower compensation levels with grants that do not have to be repaid. More information will be available soon, and we will be taking steps to help ensure that all eligible employees are made aware of the program.

As we prepare for the holidays, I want to...

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November 19, 2020
Administrative
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As the COVID-19 infection rate accelerates in California and across the country, Governor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Department of Public Health have issued public health advisories regarding holiday travel. To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the UCSF community, frontline care workers, and patients, UCSF is issuing updated travel guidance aligned with our state and local public health officials.

If you are considering travel outside of the 9 Bay Area counties (and Fresno) over the holidays, including domestic and international, it is important that you understand UCSF’s updated travel policy, as it may impact your plans or ability to return to on-site work and activities.

UCSF continues to strongly recommend against all non-essential personal travel. We recognize that making a decision not to travel during the holiday season may be difficult for many. However, avoiding travel in the midst of an expanding pandemic will help slow the transmission of COVID-19 and protect you, your family, and friends.

If travel is unavoidable, please visit the updated UCSF travel policy for important guidance and steps you should take before returning to on-site work and activities after traveling. 

The updated travel policy addresses:

  1. Guidance for on-site...
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November 13, 2020
Administrative
Advocacy
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

We are pleased to share with you the initial report of the UCSF Safety Task Force, a chancellor-appointed task force charged with reviewing and refining UCSF’s practices around community safety.

During the past few months the task force developed nine recommendations for strengthening UCSF’s security and policing protocols, guided by the leadership of Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dan Lowenstein and Vice Chancellor Renee Navarro. Their initial report includes improvements to current policies as well as new opportunities for ensuring a safe, secure, and welcoming environment for every UCSF community member and visitor.

Among the task force’s recommendations are proposals for increasing the use of evidence-backed de-escalation measures that can help defuse disruptive situations without police intervention. Another promising recommendation is to reimagine the recruitment, training, and role of our security guards. Increasing diversity within their ranks and enhancing their diversity, equity, and inclusion training will help us prevent racial profiling on our campus.

This initial report represents the first phase of an ongoing priority for UCSF. It is an important part of our Anti-racism Initiative. Next steps include a review of the task force’s recommendations by the Chancellor and his leadership team. In addition, the task force has been asked to continue its work and develop an implementation plan for the recommendations that will be adopted once approved.

As the next phase of work gets under way, we invite you to read the...

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November 9, 2020
Advocacy
Partnerships

Dear UCSF Community,

This morning, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced the establishment of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, the first step in their commitment to develop a national strategy aimed at bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. UCSF applauds the Biden-Harris team’s quick action to assemble a group of top public health advisors on this national and global public health crisis as Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris prepare to assume office on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021.

The Advisory Board will be co-chaired by Vivek Murthy, MD, the surgeon general under former President Barack Obama; Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, associate professor of internal medicine, public health, and management at Yale School of Medicine; and UCSF’s David Kessler, MD, JD, professor of pediatrics and of epidemiology and biostatistics, former dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor, and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Kessler led the FDA under the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Two other members of the UCSF faculty have also been named to the 13-person Advisory Board: Eric Goosby, MD and Robert M. Rodriguez, MD.

Dr. Goosby, professor of medicine, served as the interim Director of the White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy in the Clinton Administration and implemented the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in the Obama administration, among other senior leadership roles.

Dr. Rodriguez, professor of emergency medicine, works in the Emergency Department of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and in...

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November 4, 2020
Advocacy
Community
UC System

Dear UCSF Community,

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly two-thirds of eligible voters participated in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the most in 120 years. But what has followed is a contested election with narrow margins separating the candidates that reflect deep divisions in our society.

Voters in California were presented with a number of important ballot initiatives as well, including Proposition 16. I invite you to read President Drake’s letter to the UC community on his commitment to keep fighting for the expansion of “underrepresented groups’ access to a UC education” despite the failure of the initiative. To learn more about the national and state elections, join me at the Town Hall this Friday when we will spend a portion of our time on this week’s political developments.

The final results of the presidential contest may not be known for some time. The days ahead may prove to be challenging as the nation seeks closure to a highly charged election. I urge you to embrace our PRIDE Values and shared purpose at UCSF, even as you may encounter viewpoints that differ from your own. And I encourage all of us to do what we have done exceptionally well this past year, what we always do: serve our public mission in education, research, and care delivery without favor or bias. This responsibility could not be more important at a time of heightened partisanship....

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