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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.

September 28, 2018
Advocacy

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

As leaders of an organization that is deeply committed to improving the health of our communities and advancing health worldwide, we deplore a proposed rule by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would change “public charge” policies and greatly expand the conditions under which an immigrant applying for legal permanent residency (a green card) or seeking to immigrate into the U.S. can be denied.

I am bringing this to the attention of the UCSF community because it attacks our deeply held values of health equality and dignity for all peoples. U.S. immigration law has always barred immigrants at risk of becoming a dependent on certain public assistance from immigrating to the United States. However, acceptance of public health and nutritional benefits has been permitted since the 1990s. This proposal would bring sweeping change.

Under the proposed rule, the federal government would newly consider the use of certain public benefits – including non-emergency Medicaid, Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and various housing support programs – in determining an individual’s entry into the U.S. or adjustment to legal permanent resident status. In addition, medical conditions that are likely to require extensive hospitalization or institutionalization (cancer, heart failure, kidney failure, dementia, and many others) will weigh heavily against uninsured immigrant applicants.

We are against this proposed regulation for several reasons, including:

  1. It...
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June 19, 2018
Advocacy
UC System

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are extremely troubled by the growing humanitarian crisis on our nation’s southern border, where children are forcibly separated from their parents.

In a statement released yesterday, University of California President Janet Napolitano said that this latest crisis is “further indication of the urgent need for a real conversation around immigration reform.” She stressed that “our nation of immigrants is made stronger by its diversity. Congress and the administration must come together to pass legislation that reflects the values of our country, ensures the safety of our borders and provides a resolution for those brought to the United States as children who only know this country as home.”

On behalf of the leadership of UCSF, I want to convey my strongest support for President Napolitano’s statement and express solidarity with our colleagues at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine regarding the harmful consequence of separating children from their parents.

As we have stated repeatedly, a core tenet at UCSF, as well as UC overall, is that our strength as a public university stems from a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, and welcomes and respects every individual regardless of immigration status. UCSF remains committed to providing compassionate care to children and fulfilling our efforts to foster an...

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March 28, 2018
Advocacy

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

Last Friday, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, an annual funding bill that included a $3 billion increase in NIH research funding, as well as significant increases to the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and other important federal research programs. This remarkable growth in research funding reflects determined advocacy efforts that spanned the academic community.

We are especially proud that UCSF took an active role in supporting the funding of the NIH against proposed cuts that would have diminished scientific discovery and threatened our nation’s world-renowned research enterprise. Over the past year, our community came together in an unprecedented way to stand up for publicly funded science. And those efforts paid off, proving that our collective voices do matter.

We thank our students, faculty, and staff who engaged with elected officials over the last year through advocacy training, UCSF’s Stand up for Science events, postcard campaigns, and phone banks, which were ably organized by UCSF’s University Relations team. We also commend our students and faculty that traveled to DC to lobby our federal representatives, including the 45 students and faculty who participated in the first UCSF in DC day last April. As always, Keith Yamamoto, UCSF’s vice chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy, was a constant presence on Capitol Hill and expertly defended NIH funding in numerous meetings with members of Congress and a critical hearing before the House Appropriations Committee.

While we take a moment to enjoy this victory for biomedical research, the fight...

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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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September 4, 2017
Advocacy

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are extremely disappointed by President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, thereby denying an estimated 800,000 young people – including students at UCSF – temporary reprieve to work and study legally in the United States without fear of deportation.

In a statement released today, University of California (UC) President Janet Napolitano said she is deeply troubled by the decision and called upon Congress to immediately pass bipartisan legislation to “provide a permanent solution for these young people.” She stressed that UC will continue to provide support services to undocumented students and is immediately directing her advisory committee on undocumented students “to determine how best to support and protect University of California students who rely on DACA over the next six months and beyond.” International Students and Scholars Office Director Brian Groves and Jirayut “New” Latthivongskorn, MD Candidate, Class of 2018 and returning member on this council (and also the first Dreamer in the School of Medicine), are the UCSF representatives on this committee. You can read UC President Napolitano’s statement online.

UCSF began enrolling Dreamers across all four professional schools and the Graduate Division three years ago and fully supports UC President Napolitano’s continued leadership in support of DACA students. I share her belief...

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August 24, 2017
Advocacy

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

Over the next several days, tens of thousands of people are expected to attend rallies and demonstrations in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. In the aftermath of Charlottesville, many of us are concerned about the unpredictable nature of these events and what might unfold.

As a public university, UCSF defends the constitutional right of free speech. However, we condemn any action that threatens or intimidates people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ability, age, or other characteristic.

For those who choose to participate in events over the coming days, there are many opportunities to peacefully express a commitment to the values that define UCSF – diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect – and to reject bigotry and hatred.

The UCSF Police Department and UCSF Health emergency management are working to coordinate our emergency response plan with efforts across the University of California and with other agencies, both local and regional. For more information, please refer to the safety bulletin that UCSF Chief of Police Mike Denson issued yesterday.

I remind you that we are prepared to support members of the UCSF community who may be distressed or feel at risk. Many campus resources are available to provide professional counseling and other assistance:

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August 14, 2017
Advocacy
Emergency

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...

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June 8, 2017
Advocacy

Dear Colleagues,

I am happy to report that NIH announced today that it will not implement the Grant Support Index (GSI) plan first made public at the beginning of May (see my June 1 email). This decision was in response to substantial feedback and concerns received from the community; UCSF was very active in that discussion, and many will be pleased with this outcome.

Also announced following yesterday’s Advisory Committee to the [NIH] Director meeting is a new effort, the Next Generation Researchers Initiative, which seeks to “increase the number of NIH-funded early-stage and mid-career investigators and to stabilize the career trajectory of scientists” (https://grants.nih.gov/ngri.htm). This plan will extend the payline for early-stage and mid-career scientists, at an estimated cost of $210 million in the first year, ramping up to $1.1 billion in year five, using funds obtained from “rearranging priorities in other categories.” Greater emphasis also will be placed on existing NIH programs that serve scientists in these career stages.

While NIH will not move forward with GSI, they intend to pursue “the development and testing of metrics that can be used to assess the impact of NIH grant support on scientific progress.” We will track those plans closely, with the expectation that stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide input in the process similar to what occurred with the GSI concept.

Sincerely,

Keith R. Yamamoto, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy

May 31, 2017
Advocacy

Dear Colleagues,

Many in the UCSF community are aware that NIH has been seeking ways to assess the value of NIH grant support, and in particular wants to determine “whether it might be possible to fund more investigators with a fixed sum of money without hurting overall productivity.” [1, 2] On the premise that there are diminishing returns after achieving a given level of total support, NIH Director Francis Collins announced on May 2, 2017 a plan [3] to limit the number of grants held by any one investigator. In that scheme, a Grant Support Index (GSI) would assign point values to various grant mechanisms (e.g., an R01 grant is valued at 7 points), and any applicant who would exceed a GSI of 21 would be expected to adjust his/her grant portfolio if the new application were to be funded. Based on an initial analysis carried out by our Office of Sponsored Research, at least 42 UCSF investigators currently exceed 21 points, and at least an additional 18 are at 21 points precisely.

Not surprisingly, there has been much concern within the research community about the GSI policy as initially announced. I have been in active discussion with NIH leadership about these issues, as have many others across the nation. Direct communications to me, as well as a recent press article [4], suggest that substantial changes are being made. Unofficially, I have been told that GSI point assignments will be limited to R-mechanism grants, and that T, P and U mechanisms will no longer be included. I also have been assured informally that the 21-point line will not serve as a formulaic cap, but rather will flag an application and applicant for consideration of whether exceeding 21 points is merited by...

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March 26, 2017
Advocacy
Partnerships

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

As a public university, UCSF is firmly grounded in the belief that the expansion of knowledge, through scientific discovery, is core to our society’s freedom and prosperity. We also believe that our strength as a university stems from a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, and respects every individual regardless of his or her religion or national origin.

To reaffirm and celebrate these values, UCSF will “Stand Up for Science” in solidarity with other members of the academic and scientific communities, including the Gladstone Institutes and the California Life Sciences Association. On Saturday, April 22, two morning events are scheduled to take place at Mission Bay:

  • “Stand Up for Science” Teach-In (8-10 a.m.), featuring UCSF faculty members who, during their careers, have pursued research that has clashed with political sentiments. Listen to stories from those experienced in advancing evidence-based health policy when politics interfered or presented seemingly immovable obstacles. RSVP to attend this event. The teach-in will be available via livestream.
  • “Stand Up for Science” Rally (10-10:45 a.m.), with the local life sciences community to speak out for our shared values of diversity and inclusion in advancing scientific discovery.

...

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