Blog

Campus Messages

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

November 18, 2021
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

As the nation awaits the outcomes of two murder trials with race-related implications, we are reminded of just how incomplete our society’s reckoning on race and racism is.

Ahmaud Arbery’s death at the hands of three white men who chased and killed him in the street while the 25-year-old was out for a jog in Brunswick, Georgia, painfully underscores the too-often fatal consequences of being Black in this country. In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse killed two men and wounded another while they attended a Black Lives Matter rally to lend their support for racial justice.

News headlines of these tragedies will come and go, but the trauma of living with racism is constant for some in our UCSF community. Reliving these horrific killings will be difficult. We write to our entire UCSF community to express our support for all who may be feeling stress and anxiety as the legal proceedings in these trials play out.

Our society has so much work to do to eradicate racial inequity and inequality. The only way to make meaningful progress is through an unrelenting engagement with these issues, however difficult it may be in moments like this.

On December 2, UCSF will host another town hall discussion focused on what we are doing to dismantle systemic racism at UCSF through our Anti-Racism Initiative. We hope you are able to join us. In the meantime, please reach out to one another and stay connected, especially with those who may be struggling with the added stress these trials have triggered. If you or someone you know could benefit from counseling and...

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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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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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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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March 24, 2021
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

On Monday, a gunman took the lives of 10 people in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket in yet another episode of gun violence. I write to you, once again, grieving over the senseless loss of life and with a growing frustration over the political gridlock that perpetuates this public health crisis.

The tragedy in Boulder marks the seventh mass casualty shooting in seven days in our country. In Colorado, Oregon, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, gun violence has taken and changed lives forever. In these and too many past incidents, people have used guns to injure and kill, often targeting others for their beliefs, identities, and race. It is difficult to accept this spate of violence when we are still mourning the deaths of those murdered just one week ago in Atlanta, including six women of Asian descent.

As an organization dedicated to advancing health, we must do more than grieve. I encourage you to educate yourself about the unchecked threat of gun violence. We must urge our elected officials to pass legislation that puts the health and lives of all those in our country ahead of political affiliation and partisanship. To learn more about gun reform efforts, I encourage you to explore the work of the following organizations, which are but a few of the groups working at the federal and state level:

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January 7, 2021
Advocacy
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

The attack on the U.S. Capitol Building yesterday was in plain terms an attack on democracy itself—on the will of the people. I am deeply disturbed at what unfolded in our nation’s capital. But I am also resolute in our responsibility to strongly condemn this act and the actions of those who seek to further divide the country.

Despite the angry mob’s attempt to overturn the lawful results of the presidential election, our democratic institutions and process were not deterred, and the will of the people prevailed. The peaceful transition of power was only temporarily disrupted. Congress confirmed the election of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the early hours of January 7.

As President-elect Biden reminded us yesterday, democracy is fragile.

This is why we must speak up—to protect and tend to our democracy, for everyone. In this, UCSF has a unique privilege and obligation. We are an institution that exists to serve the public, empowered by the will of the people of California to serve all without bias.

As we have throughout the past year, I encourage you to look after yourselves and one another. If you need support, please make use of the health and well-being resources available to the UCSF community. Also, make time to connect with each other, something especially important as we all continue to manage the challenges of physical distance and isolation.

With the new year come hopeful signs of change. The vaccine rollout will accelerate as supplies and distribution increase, and the incoming White...

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January 4, 2021
Advocacy
Community
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

With the start of the new year, we are pleased to share with you that UCSF has reached an agreement in principle on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City and County of San Francisco on our plans to modernize our Parnassus Heights campus.

Over the past several months, UCSF worked closely with San Francisco on the MOU to align the community investment opportunities that UCSF and the City will collaborate on as part of the Comprehensive Parnassus Height Plan (CPHP).

The MOU includes investments in housing, transportation, and open space, which were among the priority investment areas we identified in dozens of meetings with our neighbors and the UCSF community during our extensive community engagement process over the past two years. It also includes our commitment to expand our long-standing partnerships with the City on community workforce development, education and equity opportunities, and behavioral health services, all in line with our Anchor Institution work.

Read this UCSF.edu story to learn more about the MOU, which UCSF and the City and County of San Francisco announced in a joint statement this morning.

City Commissioners and elected officials will be hearing updates on the MOU in the next week. We look forward to finalizing the MOU as we seek approval from the Regents of the University of California on...

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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...

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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...

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