Blog

Campus Messages

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

July 6, 2021
Administrative
Community
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are writing to share a brief summary of results of the 2021 UCSF Staff Engagement Survey conducted in May. Thank you to all of the staff who voiced your opinions. This survey is important because it helps us understand your experiences at work and our progress toward our shared goal of making UCSF a great place to work.

We achieved 67% participation, compared to 72% participation in 2019, across the UCSF campus, including UCSF Fresno, UCSF Health West Bay, and Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Our grand mean score, on a five-point scale, decreased slightly by .01 to 3.92 in 2021, compared to the .01 increase between the 2018 and 2019 surveys.

In some ways, this year’s survey is even more important than in years past, since the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges and prevented us from conducting the 2020 survey. The 2021 results reveal where we need to continue our efforts. The gap between populations of employees who are more or less engaged remains significant and a key area of focus across UCSF.

Although the last 18 months have been difficult, especially when also considering the national reckoning on race, our engagement results held strong and are a testament to our UCSF community. Staff remain steadfast in their strong connection to the UCSF mission and their dedication to quality work. Additionally, as in years past, teams that used survey results to engage in conversations, planning, and addressing areas of weakness showed strong improvement in engagement and higher overall satisfaction.

Highly engaged staff correlate to positive improvements in all areas of an organization. We are making progress and know...

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June 18, 2021
Administrative
Community
UC System

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, President Joe Biden yesterday established Juneteenth as a federal holiday. We are pleased to share the news that this morning UC President Michael Drake added this day to the University of California’s calendar of holidays. This year all UC campuses will observe Juneteenth on Monday, June 28. In 2022 and thereafter the University will celebrate the holiday according to the federal calendar.

Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas finally learned that they were free from enslavement, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation became law. As we wrote yesterday, UCSF is heartened to see this historic event recognized nationally.

The speed with which this legislation was introduced, approved by Congress, and signed into law has been gratifying. We are working quickly to implement the new UC holiday, with a focus on ensuring that all those who rely on us, including our patients, are served without interruption.

We hope you take the time to celebrate – and also to reflect on how the inequities of the past extend into the present. We know that there is more work to be done to create a campus and health system free of bias and discrimination. However, we also know that we will achieve this if we commit ourselves fully and continue to work together.

Sincerely,

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

J. Renée Navarro, PharmD...

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June 17, 2021
Leadership

Dear UCSF Community,

After more than four decades of remarkable contributions to the field of pharmacy, as well as to UCSF, our students, faculty, staff, and the patients we serve, School of Pharmacy Dean Joe Guglielmo has decided to retire at the end of 2021.

Joe joined our faculty in 1979, after completing his residency here at UCSF in pharmacy practice. Those were the early years of clinical pharmacy – a field founded at UCSF – in which pharmacists serve as part of the clinical team in hospitals to guide therapeutic decisions for patients.

Early in his career, Joe recognized the tremendous need for antibiotic management in hospitals, where drug resistance had already become a significant danger. He went on to become a nationally recognized expert on the use of drugs to control infection. He turned that knowledge into direct improvements in the care we provide, creating and leading the antimicrobial management program at UCSF Medical Center, which became a model for hospitals nationwide.

Joe’s contributions to the School of Pharmacy will have a lasting impact. Over the course of his career, he has been a leading clinical pharmacist, researcher, teacher, and administrator. As chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy – which he assumed in 2006 – and now as dean, Joe has led the transformation of the curriculum for the School’s doctoral program and the way pharmacy is taught. It is widely viewed as one of the preeminent programs in the nation and has continued to evolve under his leadership as dean.

In research, Joe has built upon the School’s stellar record in innovative science, recruiting top-tier faculty and overseeing a 40% rise in the School’s NIH funding...

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June 17, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

On June 19, 1865, enslaved people of African descent in Galveston, Texas were finally told that they were free from slavery—nearly 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them. Since that time, June 19 has come to be known and celebrated as Juneteenth, the date marking the end of slavery in the United States.

“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It's a celebration of progress. It's an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.” – Former President Barack Obama

Last year, Juneteenth coincided with the long-overdue national reckoning on anti-Black racism. This year, we are thrilled with the news that President Joe Biden has signed a bill establishing June 19 as a federal holiday, Juneteenth National Independence Day, a significant step toward acknowledging the grave historic injustices committed against Black people in this country. At UCSF, we applaud this decision. We also renew our commitment to Black lives and to dismantling systemic racism in our own organization through the UCSF Anti-racism Initiative.

In observance of Juneteenth, we encourage the UCSF community to reflect on the full and enduring significance of June 19: a day of...

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June 11, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) will soon be issuing a policy to require all UC faculty, staff, students and trainees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – except for rare exemptions – as a way to protect the health of everyone on campus.

This decision follows UCOP’s announcement of the proposed vaccination policy in April and the conclusion of a public comment period. UCOP has informed us that the final vaccination policy with guidance on its implementation will be issued by July 15.

If you have already been vaccinated at UCSF or have submitted proof of your vaccination at a site outside UCSF, you have met this obligation. If you previously declined a vaccination, you will need to be vaccinated or get approval for an exemption under the new UCOP policy. More information on the approved exemptions will be forthcoming.

While we do not yet have all the details, below are key highlights of the new policy:

  • Beginning July 15, faculty, staff, students and trainees already working on campus must be vaccinated and those not yet working must be vaccinated at least two weeks before coming to a UCSF...
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June 10, 2021
Partnerships
Philanthropy

Dear UCSF Community,

I want to share some exciting news about a new initiative we are launching that will bring together UCSF’s significant scientific and clinical expertise to help transform therapies for patients with the most challenging diagnoses.

The UCSF Living Therapeutics Initiative (LTI) will serve as a catalyst for developing innovative new therapies based on living cells. This is akin to selecting or programming living cells to perform specific tasks that will help patients overcome debilitating or deadly diseases and conditions. The initiative aims to advance both the science and the treatments available to our patients and others around the world. I have asked Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, president of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, to direct this effort.

UCSF is a world leader in the basic science behind cellular therapies and we have already begun to use them in our clinical practices, including exciting work in treatments for some cancers and sickle cell disease. This initiative will expand upon these and other therapies to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions, such as brain tumors, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, immune disorders ranging from asthma to multiple sclerosis, and diabetes, offering new hope for patients.

Over the past few years, we have raised philanthropic gifts and made institutional investments totaling more than $250 million to support these efforts across the University. And just last month, we...

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June 7, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

June is Pride Month, and this year it is especially important to reaffirm our support for the LGBTQIA+ community and our commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable UCSF, one where all people have equal access to opportunities regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Since January 2021, an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQIA+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country. These bills seek to roll back the progress the queer community has made over the last 50+ years and threaten basic human rights. Over 30 states have introduced more than 100 bills and measures that aim to curb the rights of transgender and non-binary individuals. These and other discriminatory and violent actions against the LGBTQIA+ community show the threat members of this community continue to face. At UCSF, we are committed to protecting the fundamental rights of LGBTQIA+ people--including access to health care. 

During Pride Month we honor the historic contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the fight for civil rights: locally, nationally, and globally. Pride’s origins date back to the...

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June 4, 2021
Community
People
UC System

Dear Colleagues,

The UC Office of the President has issued a draft Presidential Campus Safety Plan for transforming UC’s culture, policies, and practices so that all members of the UC community feel equally welcomed, respected, and protected from harm. UC President Michael V. Drake has asked each campus to collect and share feedback, which he will consider before issuing a UC-wide plan this summer.

We invite you to review the draft plan (see attached pdf) and provide comments via the following survey link, which will be available until June 30:  https://ucsf.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d6YPSi3v1dDnlZk.

As background, the UC Office of the President developed the draft plan with extensive input from diverse groups of UC stakeholders, including Campus Safety Task Force members, participants in the campus safety symposia held earlier this spring, and numerous conversations with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

You may recall that Chancellor Sam Hawgood appointed our own UCSF Safety Task Force last year to develop recommendations for refining UCSF’s practices around community safety. To read the Task Force’s initial report, click on the Chancellor’s message from November 13, 2020:  https://chancellor.ucsf.edu...

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May 27, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

A wave of antisemitic attacks has erupted on social media and against Jewish communities across the nation in the past two weeks, following several years of escalating antisemitic incidents. Like most of you, we find this surge in hatred and violence abhorrent and reflective of the vicious assaults against so many members of our community who are targeted based on their identity.

We are also deeply concerned by the increase in anti-Muslim content on social media, and reports of assaults, harassment, and destruction of both mosques and synagogues.

At UCSF, we condemn discrimination, prejudice, and hatred in all forms, and we pledge to stand in solidarity with all targeted communities as one. For our faculty, staff, and learners who belong to these communities, please know that we support and value you. As President Biden said earlier this week, “It’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.”

This weekend, as we pause to honor the individuals who have given their lives in service to their country, we hope that everyone will find time to reflect and recharge. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to each other and to the communities we serve.

Sincerely,

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

J. Renée Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor, Office of Diversity and Outreach
Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care

May 26, 2021
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

Just two months ago, I wrote to you after a week of mass shootings across America. Today, we are left grieving once again over a tragedy that, this time, is much closer to home. As the news continues to emerge, we have learned that this morning’s shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose has taken the lives of eight innocent people, plus the gunman. Multiple others are injured.

This is the 15th mass shooting this year across the United States and the deadliest one in the Bay Area in nearly 30 years. I want to acknowledge that for many of you, this may feel different, or add further to the emotional exhaustion of the past year. I invite you to make use of the resources that are available here at UCSF to support you:

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