Blog

Campus Messages

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

September 21, 2021
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we head into influenza season, I am writing to emphasize that it is critically important to get a flu vaccine to avoid the risk of contracting the influenza virus.

We encourage everyone to be vaccinated to protect not only yourself and your family, but also our colleagues, our patients, and our neighboring communities. Please also remember to wear masks while indoors and when in crowded places outdoors, as well as to clean your hands regularly.

A normal flu season combined with a surge of COVID-19 could have an overwhelming impact on our health system, especially as we are experiencing a staffing shortage. We ask for your support by getting a flu vaccine to help keep our frontline care providers and all other faculty, staff, learners, and patients healthy this fall.

As a reminder, the San Francisco and Alameda Departments of Public Health require all health care workers to receive the annual influenza vaccine or to sign a form if they choose to decline vaccination.

You have a variety of options and locations available to get your vaccine, including on-site flu clinics, Occupational Health clinics, your primary care provider, and most pharmacies. Please visit the Occupational Health Services website for a full list of on-site clinic locations and dates, as well as additional free options for members of UC health plans. Please note that at this time, we...

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September 17, 2021
Leadership

Dear Colleagues:

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Nicquet Blake will become the next leader of Student Academic Affairs (SAA) and the Graduate Division effective December 1, 2021. As Vice Provost of Student Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate Division, Dr. Blake will be a direct report to me in my capacity as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and she will be a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

Dr. Blake comes to UCSF after a fourteen-year career in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at University of Texas Health San Antonio, most recently as senior associate dean for admissions and student affairs. In that role, she was responsible for the recruitment, admission, and retention of students, and directed three NIH training grants. Dr. Blake has a resounding record of success in transforming the student body at GSBS to reflect the diversity of the surrounding communities and virtually eliminating first-year attrition of underrepresented students. With diversity as an integral factor to both her professional and personal goals, she is an expert community-builder and champion for students becoming their best self-advocates.

As graduate dean at UCSF, Dr. Blake will have broad administrative oversight of the master's and doctoral programs offered by the Graduate Division as well as postdoctoral training at UCSF. She will work closely with her accomplished staff, graduate program directors, fellow deans, partners across the University, the chancellor, and me to craft and realize a comprehensive plan that will ensure equitable access, inclusivity, and continued excellence in graduate education and postdoctoral training.

Among her many charges as...

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September 10, 2021
Advocacy
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

As many of you know, last week the Supreme Court voted not to block Texas law SB8, which bans abortion after six weeks, including in instances of rape and incest. The law – a near-total ban on abortion and one of the strictest in the country – sets a deeply concerning precedent for other states. The law is uniquely insidious in that it is enforced by incentivizing private citizens with a $10,000 bounty to sue people who provide abortion care or help those who need it.

As leaders of an organization committed to improving the health of our communities and advancing health worldwide, we denounce this law. It attacks our deeply held values of health equality and dignity for all people, and for evidence-based health care.

This law infringes on basic human rights to reproductive autonomy and will have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities. History shows that laws like this result in greater numbers of women managing their own abortions, which could put them at risk for criminalization, or facing the health and economic risks of carrying unwanted pregnancies to term.

UCSF has a proud history of advocating for reproductive health and education – providing exemplary patient care to all women, especially those who face barriers due to systematic oppression; training and inspiring the next generation of reproductive health leaders; and improving policy and practice through research and scholarship.

As informed citizens, we have a duty to call out and work to eliminate laws that disadvantage our fellow people. And as health care professionals, we have a duty to advocate for evidence-based, comprehensive health care, including...

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September 9, 2021
Advocacy
Community
Partnerships
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As the humanitarian crisis worsens in Afghanistan, UCSF is working to bring Afghan scholars to our campus to support their education in the health sciences. I am pleased to share with you that we have identified two scholars and are now coordinating with other groups to secure their safe passage out of Afghanistan. 

Two Afghan Scholars Admitted to UCSF Programs

The first scholar is a physician with a master’s degree in public health who has earned one of the competitive slots in the PhD program in Global Health Sciences. Their research interests involve strengthening health systems and improving health for women and minority populations. The second scholar has been admitted to the master’s degree program in Global Health Sciences. This scholar graduated from a medical university in Afghanistan and has a research focus on reproductive health for women in Afghanistan.

We are hopeful that we will be successful in helping these scholars safely leave Afghanistan and arrive at UCSF. As we launch this program, we are coordinating with the national Scholars at Risk Network, including the UC-wide chapter, to identify other Afghan scholars whose skills and academic interests may be served by UCSF’s unique focus on the health sciences.

How to Support the Afghan Scholars Program

I am proud of the efforts of so many at UCSF working to bring over Afghan scholars at risk. The UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences and the UCSF Health and Human Rights Initiative have made preparations to accommodate Afghan scholars at UCSF, train them, and support their time with us. UCSF also is working with local and legal organizations to provide additional...

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September 8, 2021
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

In recognition of the need to brighten our spirits and encourage wellness as we continue to face myriad challenges, I am delighted to announce that we are offering grants for projects that aim to promote the wellbeing of our UCSF community.

From September 13 to September 30, 2021, UCSF academic and staff employees and learners, based at campus or affiliate locations, may apply for funds for events or initiatives that aim to support our wellbeing in one or more of our pillars of wellness: emotional, physical, social, financial, professional, environmental, and spiritual.

This program is being led by a recently formed UCSF Wellbeing Committee, which includes faculty and staff representatives from across the campus and UCSF Health. The committee, guided by staff in Wellness and Community, a division of Campus Life Services, will review the proposals and base its funding decisions on the proposed impact of the projects.

For information on how to apply for these wellbeing grants, please see the Wellness and Community web page. Read more about this opportunity online. Questions about the grants may be emailed to [email protected].

As the executive sponsor of this program, I hope that it will have a positive effect on our lives during a time when we could all benefit from a boost in morale. Please think creatively on ways you can...

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September 2, 2021
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

Please join us in expressing gratitude to our veterans who served in Afghanistan and the Middle East for their courage and sacrifices that spanned four U.S. presidents over 20 years.

The departure of the last U.S. plane from Afghanistan on Monday marked the coda to a very long war. However, it may take more time before many people find closure. In the midst of the U.S. transition, we recognize that complicated feelings and questions have been raised about American involvement in Afghanistan. For those who have family or friends still in the country, the events of the past few weeks, including a bombing that took the lives of civilians and U.S. troops, are even more difficult to bear.

Chancellor Sam Hawgood recently shared resources for those who want to support the humanitarian relief effort in Afghanistan. In addition, Student Veteran and Military Support Services has compiled a list of resources for veterans who may need support at this challenging time. We provide both sets of resources below and encourage everyone to review and make use of them.

As we make sense of what comes next in Afghanistan, we want our veterans to know that UCSF is here to support you. We are proud of you and your family members who have been there in support of your service to our country. You are all an important part of the diversity that strengthens our UCSF community.

Sincerely,

Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MAS
Chief of Staff, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System
Associate Dean, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

...

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August 24, 2021
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

The California Gubernatorial Recall Election on September 14, 2021 is fast approaching. All registered California voters were mailed ballots in mid-August. If you did not receive your ballot, please check that your voter registration is accurate by August 30.

At UCSF, we are committed to encouraging civic participation throughout our campus and community. For more information about the upcoming election, please visit the California Secretary of State’s website. You can vote early and track your ballot here. Please check with your County’s Department of Elections for in-person voting options and COVID-19 prevention measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing.

As a reminder, UCSF legally must remain nonpartisan, and UCSF employees cannot support or oppose candidates within their University roles or with UCSF resources. However, you may participate in campaign activities on your own time, with your own resources, and without any inference of University endorsement. You can watch this short video for more information about UCSF advocacy guidelines and connect with my office with any questions.

You can make a difference in our democratic process by encouraging your friends, family, and colleagues to have a plan to exercise their right and responsibility to vote.

Sincerely,

Francesca Vega
Vice Chancellor
UCSF Office of Community & Government Relations...

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August 20, 2021
Administrative

Dear UCSF Community,

As we monitor the evolving course of the pandemic, I have decided to extend the date of returning to on-site work, for those who have been working remotely, to March 1, 2022.

Our COVID-19 response team is continually assessing data about the pandemic and its impact on our community. Based on its guidance, I have determined that limiting the number of people on site to those whose work is performed on campus and in our facilities is the right course of action under current circumstances.

Remaining Flexible

This extension will help us reduce the impact of a potential winter COVID-19 surge and prepare for a cold and flu season that may be worse than last year due to greater social interaction. Cold and flu symptoms often resemble COVID-19, and this will strain our ability to meet the COVID-19 testing and contact tracing needs of our on-site workforce and patients.

It is important that we remain flexible in managing the pandemic, not only in patient care but also in our education and research activities. As new developments occur, we may revisit the extension. It is likely that some of our employees who are currently working remotely may be asked to return to on-site work in the months ahead to accomplish duties and responsibilities that cannot be performed remotely. We will keep you posted as we monitor the upcoming cold and flu season, school re-opening schedules, and possible COVID-19 vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds and booster shots for adults.

Get Vaccinated

In the meantime, remember that most COVID-19 infections are occurring in the community. Getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and practicing good hygiene will help...

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August 19, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

This past week has brought heartrending news from around the world. The tragedies unfolding in Afghanistan and Haiti have been difficult to witness, let alone fully understand. In addition, our sadness is amplified by the expanding wildfires across North America and another pandemic surge that is, once again, testing the limits of our valued care providers and frontline staff.

These crises touch all of us in one way or another, and I want you to know that you are not alone. Many of us also have families and friends who have been directly affected by these events. I realize that the scope of suffering we are seeing can be overwhelming. If you could benefit from the well-being and mental health resources below, I encourage you to make use of them.

Some of you have been exploring ways to support the relief efforts in Afghanistan, Haiti, and the communities impacted by the wildfires. In case it’s helpful, here are a few options you might consider:

Afghanistan
Haiti
  • ...
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August 3, 2021
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I am writing to provide you an update that the deadline for complying with the new UC-wide COVID-19 vaccination policy is Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. As required by the new policy issued by the UC office of the President, anyone coming onsite to any UCSF campus must be vaccinated or submit a request and get approval for an exception or deferral.

As you are aware, we are experiencing a surge of new COVID-19 cases in our community and at UCSF as the highly contagious Delta variant rapidly spreads in the Bay Area. We strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated, including those who work remotely. Vaccination against the virus that causes COVID-19 is very effective in preventing serious illness and death.

Please take the time to carefully read this message. It provides instructions on actions you must take, including:

  1. Who must comply with the policy
  2. What you are required to do
  3. How to request a vaccination exception or deferral
  4. What you need to do if your request is approved
  5. What happens if you don’t comply with the policy
  6. Where to get more information
  1. Who must comply with the policy
  • All faculty, staff, students, trainees, contractors, vendors and volunteers, as well as newly hired employees, who come to work or study on a UCSF campus, must comply with this vaccination policy.
  • Non-UCSF employees will be required to work with their employers to submit proof of vaccination or an approved exception to UCSF.
  • All new UCSF...
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