Blog

Campus Messages

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

December 14, 2020
Leadership

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

I am writing to share the news that Paul Jenny, senior vice chancellor for finance and administration, has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), effective January 25, 2021.

Since Paul joined UCSF in 2016, the University has undergone a period of rapid expansion, with significant growth in our clinical and research enterprises. During this period, UCSF also added more than one million square feet through capital projects such as the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Neurosciences Building, the Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building, and the Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision, to name just a few.

As UCSF has grown in size and complexity, we have benefited from Paul’s leadership and wise stewardship of resources. In leading UCSF’s Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) organization, he has helped to advance our public mission by strengthening UCSF’s operational backbone. During his tenure, Paul has led numerous critical projects spanning the entire UCSF enterprise, including those undertaken by Audit and Advisory Services, Finance, Campus Life Services, Real Estate, Human Resources, Information Technology, UCSF Police Department, the Program Management Office, and the Anchor Institution Initiative.

I have valued Paul’s strategic counsel over the years and will miss working with him in his roles on both the Chancellor’s Executive Team and Chancellor’s Cabinet. I have no doubt that he will make equally important contributions at CCMHC, which is one of most distinguished pediatric hospitals in the country.

In the coming weeks, we will be taking steps...

Read more »
December 11, 2020
Community
Leadership
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As we enter the final weeks of 2020, encouraging news on the COVID-19 vaccine front is helping to bring this difficult year to a close with a renewed sense of hope.

Yesterday, a vaccine advisory panel commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that the FDA grant Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA’s approval is expected any day, and preparations are already under way at UCSF.

Approval of the Pfizer vaccine will mark an important turning point, but it will take months before this and other vaccines become widely available. Even as the vaccine distribution expands, we must recognize the serious threat the coronavirus continues to pose to public health—especially at a time when community transmission, including in the Bay Area, is at an all-time high.

All of us, including those who have been vaccinated, must continue to adhere to public health orders, wearing masks, physically distancing, washing hands, and avoiding unnecessary travel and gatherings. Despite the fatigue we all feel, we must stay vigilant in taking all appropriate steps to slow the pandemic and avoid mistaking a vaccine for a cure.

Following FDA approval, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is expected to authorize use of the Pfizer vaccine in California. With the CDPH’s authorization, and aligned with public health guidance, UCSF will offer vaccinations to those on the front lines of the pandemic as early as next week.

As vaccine manufacturing capacity ramps up, a phased plan for distributing the vaccine is required. Initially, UCSF will offer the vaccine to those who have the highest risk of exposure to...

Read more »
December 10, 2020
Community
People
Philanthropy

Dear UCSF and BCH Oakland colleagues,

Earlier this month, we were able to relaunch the COVID-19 Relief Program for employees and learners who face economic hardships created by the pandemic.

We have received a very good response to the program, and we encourage all those who intend on applying to do so by the closing date of Friday, Dec. 11, at 11:59 p.m. If you have problems completing your application, please email [email protected].

The generosity of many donors enabled us to relaunch the financial relief program and expand the eligibility criteria to employees and learners who earn $95,000 or less. However, as we saw in the first round of relief funding, the number of applications for the tax-free grants of up to $1,000 will outpace the available resources, so I encourage you to apply if you need assistance.

We will keep you updated if additional resources become available for a third round of COVID-19 relief support. For those who are in a position to donate to the UCSF Qualified Disaster Relief Fund, we appreciate your generosity and support of our UCSF colleagues and community during these challenging times.

Sincerely,

Paul Jenny
Senior Vice Chancellor
Finance and Administration

December 3, 2020
Community
People
Philanthropy

Dear UCSF Community,

Throughout this year, we have been working on solutions to help support UCSF learners and employees who face financial hardships due to the pandemic. I am pleased to share with you that we will be providing a second round of COVID-19 relief funds, with a focus on those who earn $95,000 or less per year.

The additional funding we have secured enables us to provide up to $1,000 in tax-free funds to assist those in our UCSF community with the greatest need. The application process for this second round of funds will open on Monday, December 7.

This second round of relief funding is an extension of the UCSF COVID-19 Relief Program that we created in September to help members of our UCSF community who need help with expenses such as child care and housing payments. I am grateful for the generosity of our donors who helped us establish the UCSF COVID-19 Relief Program, and we continue to raise funds.

During this season of sharing, I encourage all those who are able to give to the UCSF COVID-19 Qualified Disaster Relief Fund to donate here. You can find details about eligibility for the new round of COVID-19 Relief Program funding on the coronavirus website. For questions about the program, please email [email protected]. We will continue to look for ways to help as many members of our UCSF community, as the pandemic evolves.

I am heartened by the...

Read more »
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,...

Read more »
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...

Read more »
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...

Read more »
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...
Read more »
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...

Read more »
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...

Read more »

Pages