Campus Messages

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

November 21, 2018

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

After almost two weeks of extremely poor air quality as a result of the devastating Camp Fire in Butte County, the rain forecasted to improve air quality throughout the Bay Area has arrived.

Sadly, given climate change, the likelihood is very high that California will continue to face wildfires of similar magnitude. My leadership team will use this opportunity to review our response, with the goal of improving how we manage events like this in the future.

Firefighters, first responders, and volunteers involved in the wildfires in Northern and Southern California have exhibited immense heroism, strength, and compassion. I know that you join me in deep gratitude for their unselfish sacrifice and hope that they soon get the relief they need.

Our hearts go out to those whose loved ones have died or are among the missing, as well as to the tens of thousands displaced from their homes. Long after the last ember is extinguished, their needs will continue to be great. It will take months, if not years, to transform neighborhoods from the blackened and smoldering landscape to communities where residents can recover and rebuild.

I appreciate that many of you who are able will volunteer your time and expertise to assist the scores of people who need help. Donations to agencies such as the American Red Cross or the ...

Read more »
November 15, 2018

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

As you know, much of our state has been severely affected by the historic wildfires that continue to rage in several areas. The toll on families and friends who lost loved ones, their homes, and businesses is heartbreaking.

It is clearly evident that our region has been impacted by unprecedented poor air quality for the past week. We know that concerns about air quality have led many university and school officials in our region to decide to cancel classes and close their doors tomorrow as a means of minimizing student exposures to outdoor air.

After consultation with my leadership team and close review of regional outdoor air data, UCSF will remain open tomorrow. As a health sciences and graduate-level university, this institution is dedicated to a mission of serving our patients and advancing health through discovery and education. This mission is perhaps most important during times of regional health crises.

We know based on scientific evidence and guidance from government health agencies that the best place to be when pollutants fill the air is inside buildings with filtered air systems. The agencies’ advice is to limit outdoor exposure.

Since the fires began in Butte County last Thursday, we have carefully monitored the air quality in the Bay Area and at our campus locations. We continue to make our supply of N95 respirators available upon request to our most vulnerable patients and our employees who must work outdoors. We have also taken extra steps to ensure the air filtration systems in our buildings are working as effectively as possible.

For those of you who may find it difficult to come to work due to school...

Read more »
November 13, 2018

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are deeply saddened by the widespread devastation of the ongoing fires in Northern and Southern California. The Camp Fire in Butte County has claimed many precious lives and is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The Woolsey Fire, in Ventura County, is being called one of the largest fires to strike Los Angeles in more than 100 years.

We continue to monitor the fire situation throughout the state. Due to heavy smoke in the Bay Area from the Camp Fire, we urge you to monitor the air quality of your own community on the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow site.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by these fast-moving wildfires, especially to those who have lost loved ones, as well as the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced. We also are grateful for the tireless efforts of the thousands of hard-working firefighters, first responders, and volunteers.

I am heartened by the interest and response of the UCSF community to offer assistance. Over the weekend, School of Nursing clinicians answered an urgent need for licensed health care providers to assist in the evacuation sites through Caring Choices, a nonprofit agency that is assisting with rapid credentialing and background checks to help distribute health care workers where they are most needed. Volunteer clinicians may also go to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority to be credentialed as an official emergency responder.

If you are considering becoming a volunteer, we ask that you...

Read more »
November 8, 2018

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

Yesterday ended with yet another sad, painful, and disturbing tragedy when a gunman opened fire in a bar crowded with college students in Thousand Oaks, California. We learned this morning about the impact and loss of at least 13 lives, including a Ventura County sheriff sergeant and the shooter.

Here at UCSF, we prepare for responding to active shooter situations and offer training in defense skills to UCSF faculty, staff, students, and trainees to use if confronted with similar circumstances. For more information, please go to the UCSF Police Department website.

As guardians of health, we know all too well that gun violence is a public health crisis. Our experience equips us to be effective advocates for the safety of our patients and the communities we serve. Together, our advocacy efforts could result in lifting what amounts to a federal ban on funding research on gun violence.

Please also remember that UCSF provides members of our community access to professional counseling and confidential services in times of sorrow:

I hope you can find comfort in knowing...

Read more »
October 29, 2018

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...

Read more »
October 9, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF community,

The wildfires that are ravaging the counties of Northern California have brought devastation to thousands. Our thoughts go out to all those affected, including the approximately 450 UCSF employees and 1,200 alumni who live in the region, as well as the many family and friends who live there.

UCSF is actively involved in responding to this evolving situation. While two of our clinics were forced to close due to the fires, UCSF continues to staff the NICU at Santa Rosa Memorial, with one of our physicians serving as the Attending physician today. So far, we have received four adult transfer patients and one pediatric transfer patient from the area. Approximately 20 patients affected by smoke inhalation have been treated at UCSF.

For staff directly affected by the wildfires, our Human Resources team has prepared guidelines and resources, including information about our program that allows staff to request donations of accrued vacation, emergency loan programs through our credit unions, short- term and long-term housing rentals, and other resources. Faculty members who have been impacted should consult their department chairs.

I am not surprised that many of you have asked about ways to help; this concern for others—and outreach on their behalf—is consistent with our community’s values. HR’s guidelines include information for faculty and staff who want to donate accrued vacation to staff directly affected by the fires. Please also check the Global Disaster Assistance Committee...

Read more »
October 1, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are stunned and saddened by the loss of life and injuries sustained last night at the hand of a gunman in Las Vegas – now the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families as well as with the people of Las Vegas.

We applaud the efforts of all first responders, including the local police, FBI, and others and the teams of trauma specialists and health professionals who quickly acted in response to the mass casualties. Hundreds of wounded are receiving treatment and care at local hospitals, and UCSF Medical Center is inquiring as to the need for blood donations or other types of assistance.

Unfortunately, incidents like these happen all too frequently in our nation. America’s epidemic of gun violence is a public health crisis that is unrivaled in the rest of the developed world.

At UCSF, we prepare for crisis situations. If an imminent threat to life and safety, such as an active shooter incident occurred at or near UCSF, the UCSF Police Department would activate the WarnMe system to alert members of our community on their individual office and cell phone numbers. If you have not already registered with the WarnMe system, I encourage you to take a few minutes to do so.

I remind you that professional counseling and confidential services are available to members of our UCSF community who may feel distressed:

Read more »
September 19, 2017

Dear UCSF Community,

The recent and ongoing natural disasters in the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico have caused great loss of life and sorrow. In the last two days, Hurricane Maria has brought an onslaught of destruction to the Caribbean island of Dominica and the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In addition, Mexico experienced a major 7.1 magnitude earthquake yesterday that collapsed many buildings including hundreds of schools. This was the second significant quake in Mexico within a two-week time span, and UC President Janet Napolitano has expressed her support and solidarity.

Without time to recover from the initial hits, the citizens of these diverse areas are confronted with an emotional, physical, and economic toll of epic proportion. Our hearts and thoughts are with them.

The UCSF Global Disaster Assistance Committee (GDAC) is closely monitoring these situations and stands ready in the event that assistance is requested. At this time, UCSF has not received a request to provide relief assistance. Please visit the GDAC web page for updates about how you can help.

For those of us with family and friends in the affected locations, it is extremely difficult to be far away. Please know that UCSF has professional counseling services available through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and Student...

Read more »
August 14, 2017

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

The incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend has once again focused our country on the reckless actions of those who seek to inflict hatred, intolerance, and violence in our communities and on our college campuses. UCSF absolutely and unequivocally condemns these actions and stands firmly in support of the values that are deeply ingrained within the University of California – diversity, respect, and inclusion.

UC President Janet Napolitano, speaking on behalf of the entire UC community yesterday, publicly condemned the hateful actions of the white supremacists, and voiced strong solidarity with our colleagues at the University of Virginia (UVA) who denounced the abhorrent display and “stood up to a crowd bent on violence.” We applaud President Napolitano’s leadership.

We also applaud the efforts of student leaders across this country – including the leadership of UCSF’s Graduate and Professional Student Association – in voicing support for the students of UVA and reaffirming their commitment to speak up in the face of injustice.

In the wake of the events in Virginia, School of Medicine Executive Vice Dean Catherine Lucey sent an email to the school’s faculty, students, and staff yesterday reminding them to stay strong. “We, on the side of equality, justice, liberty, and inclusion, are powerful as a community,” she wrote.

As a community, we do have power. We urge all of us to continue to come together and build on our collective strengths to ensure that everyone – no matter who they are – is...

Read more »
June 11, 2016

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

As the news of the horrific tragedy in Orlando continues to filter in over the hours and days ahead, I know that our care and compassion are with the victims, their family and friends, members of the LGBT community, and the many other people in Orlando and across our nation whose lives have been forever changed by this unspeakable act of violence.

The event in Orlando, for virtually all of us and at varying levels, threatens our fundamental need to feel safe. This is an especially important time to reach out to our families, friends and colleagues to comfort them and make sure they are getting the help they need. For members of the UCSF community seeking professional assistance, please take advantage of the counseling services provided by the Faculty Staff Assistance Program and Student Health & Counseling.

My hope is that we, as a community devoted to improving the lives of those we serve, remain steadfast in our efforts to work every day for equality, justice, and peace.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor