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Campus Messages

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

December 11, 2017
Partnerships
People

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mayor Ed Lee. He was an extraordinarily decent, upbeat, and dedicated leader of San Francisco, and a staunch ally of UCSF in our mission to provide high-quality health care for all, teach the next generation of innovators and caregivers in the health sciences, and drive breakthroughs in research. I had the pleasure and honor of working closely with Mayor Lee over the past several years on a variety of UCSF-City partnerships.

Among his many contributions, the Mayor played an integral role in working with UCSF to enable us to construct the new UCSF Research and Academic Building at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and to purchase property at Mission Bay that will serve as the future home of the UCSF Center for Vision Neuroscience.

On behalf of UCSF, I will be sending heartfelt condolences to his family. Indeed, San Francisco has lost a very special person and one of its great champions.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

December 4, 2017
Leadership

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

I am pleased to announce that Jennifer Arnett, a longtime member of the UCSF community, will be our next vice chancellor for University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR), effective January 1, 2018. In her new position, Jennifer will report to me and serve as a member of the Chancellor’s Executive Team.

As UCSF’s chief fundraising officer, Jennifer will be responsible for designing and directing a comprehensive and dynamic development program for the University’s world-renowned basic and clinical research programs as well as for UCSF Health, including the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. In her new position, Jennifer will lead a team of 180 people with an operating budget of $40 million. Her responsibilities also will include serving as vice president of the UCSF Board of Overseers.

Since joining UDAR in 2010 as senior director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Jennifer has earned the confidence of our most generous donors, our committed volunteers, and our faculty. She understands the special qualities and characteristics of UCSF and is tireless in promoting the work we do. Since 2012, Jennifer has served as associate vice chancellor of UDAR, working closely with John Ford, vice chancellor of UDAR, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Michael Faber, currently assistant vice chancellor in UDAR, will succeed Jennifer as associate vice chancellor and second-in-command. Continuing to work closely alongside Jennifer and Michael will be Erin Hickey, who has served as assistant vice chancellor for Children’s Health, directing fundraising efforts for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals since February 2016.

I am...

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December 3, 2017
Honors and Awards

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to share the news that Peter Walter, PhD, professor and Howard Hughes Investigator in the School of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, has received a 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. This award recognizes him for “elucidating the unfolded protein response, a cellular quality-control system that detects disease-causing unfolded proteins and directs cells to take corrective measures.”

The prize committee acknowledged his work towards improved understanding of how the cell ensures that proteins are properly constructed, especially when the cell’s quality control system is overwhelmed. Because of this research, we now understand that when these basic systems malfunction, serious diseases can result, including type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s. This discovery has altered the field of biochemistry and is a perfect example of the importance of basic science in understanding both health and disease.

Peter Walter previously has been honored with a Shaw Prize and a Lasker Award in 2014, as well as the Vilcek Prize in 2015. Read more about Peter Walter’s work.

Now in their sixth year, the Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Anne Wojcicki, and “dedicated to advancing breakthrough research, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.” Information about this year’s other prize recipients, including Kazutoshi Mori, PhD, at Kyoto University in Japan, who also is a leading researcher on the unfolded protein response and who has shared many major scientific awards with...

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November 30, 2017
Leadership

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

As announced in February, at the end of the month, John Featherstone, MSc, PhD, will be stepping down from his roles as dean of the School of Dentistry and faculty member. I know that you join me in thanking him for his remarkable leadership and in wishing him well in his future plans.

I am pleased to inform you that Mark Kirkland, DDS, Health Sciences Clinical Professor, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, and associate dean for Clinical Affairs in the School of Dentistry, has agreed to serve as interim dean while the search for John’s successor continues. Mark will begin this post on January 1, 2018.

A UCSF alum, Mark earned his DDS here in 1983 and has been an active faculty member for 31 years. As associate dean for Clinical Affairs, he oversees all operations related to the School’s robust clinical enterprise, which includes general, restorative, pediatric, and implant dentistry as well as periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, craniofacial anomalies, oral & maxillofacial surgery, orofacial pain/TMD, and oral medicine.

As interim dean, Mark also will be a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet. I am grateful to him for accepting this important role during a time of transition. His exceptional leadership and expertise will sustain the important work of the faculty, staff, students, and trainees of the School of Dentistry.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

November 14, 2017
Advocacy

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

Tax reform is moving quickly through Congress. The bills being debated by both the House of Representatives and the Senate this week may have a significantly adverse impact on UCSF, the University of California (UC), and colleges and universities nationwide.

If you would like to voice your concern about tax reform, please consider calling your elected officials. Democrats and Republicans alike need to hear from their constituents that the proposed legislation will increase the costs of education, research, as well as health care for all Americans.

Specifically, the policies under consideration would make higher education more expensive and less accessible for students, which runs counter to UCSF’s strong commitment to a diverse and inclusive student body. These policies would negatively affect the university’s ability to support our tripartite mission to educate, provide quality patient care, and conduct cutting-edge research.

To provide a better idea of what is at stake this week, the House of Representatives is considering the following actions:

  • Ending tax-free tuition reimbursement;
  • Repealing the student loan interest deduction;
  • Repealing the Lifetime Learning tax credit;
  • Increasing the standard deduction and repealing the estate tax, which will reduce the incentive for charitable giving to institutions like UCSF; and
  • Repealing tax-exempt bond financing options, which UCSF relies on to make capital investments in buildings and facilities on campus.

While the Senate bill does not include provisions to repeal or...

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October 31, 2017
Leadership

Dear Colleagues,

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, as vice chancellor for research and of David Morgan, PhD, as vice dean for research in the School of Medicine. Both are effective immediately.

Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, is chief of the Division of Rheumatology and the Jean S. Engleman Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine, as well as a professor of Orofacial Sciences in the School of Dentistry.

In her new role as vice chancellor for research, reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP), Dr. Criswell will be working closely with the EVCP, the vice deans of research in all four professional schools, and the vice chancellor for science policy and strategy to help define UCSF’s overall research priorities and goals. She also will oversee research infrastructure, with a view to ensuring seamless and superior service to our researchers across campuses. Dr. Criswell will represent UCSF’s interests at the UC-wide Council of Vice Chancellors for Research.

Dr. Criswell received her medical degree from UCSF and her MPH from UC Berkeley. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in rheumatology at UCSF and joined the faculty of the UCSF Division of Rheumatology in 1992. In addition, she completed a DSc degree in genetic epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences. A renowned researcher in human autoimmune disease, her investigations focus on the genetics and epidemiology of human autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

With twenty-five years of UCSF service, her dual...

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October 29, 2017
Philanthropy

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On Friday, I announced the launch of UCSF: The Campaign in my annual State of the University address.

I send my thanks to those of you who gathered at Parnassus, Mission Bay, Oakland, and Fresno, as well as those of you who tuned in online. My appreciation also goes to Drs. Hana El-Samad and Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, who joined me to help explain the importance of this comprehensive fundraising campaign to our shared future. If you were unable to attend or watch live, you can watch or read about the event online.

While there were many important topics to cover, the launch of UCSF: The Campaign took center stage. Through this campaign, we will raise $5 billion to attract, retain, and support brilliant faculty members and students and solve the most challenging problems in biology and human health. Thanks to our visionary supporters, we have already raised nearly $3 billion, positioning us more than halfway to our goal.

As much as the campaign focuses on building the University’s endowment, it also helps us raise our voice in a new and vivid way. Together, we must revolutionize health care and improve lives in our communities as well as solve some of the most complex health problems around the world. We are speaking out for the most vulnerable and standing up for the importance of science. By raising our voice through this campaign, we have an unprecedented opportunity and...

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October 9, 2017
Emergency

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...

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October 1, 2017
Emergency

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:

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September 19, 2017
Emergency

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...

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