Blog

Campus Messages

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

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 5, 2021
Administrative
People
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As more people get vaccinated and the overall level of new COVID-19 cases declines across the country, we are easing out of the worst public health crisis in a generation. We have come a long way in just over a year, developing new ways of working while serving our mission in education, research, and care delivery. One important lesson we have learned is that those whose responsibilities allow them to work remotely can do so effectively.

Looking ahead, I am pleased to announce that UCSF will incorporate a combination of telework and on-site work in our staffing plans for those job duties that can be performed remotely without compromising our mission. We will approach this new venture in the spirit of continuous process improvement, adapting as we learn from our experience.

Telework Guiding Principles

My Cabinet supports telework as part of our vision for the future, and we have agreed upon principles that will guide us in making decisions about telework. One of these principles is to prioritize equity, consistency, and accessibility to ensure that campus control points and UCSF Health leaders make decisions based on business needs. To support this goal, we have developed a standard tool to evaluate and identify positions for telework. In the weeks ahead, we will communicate these details and provide managers with resource materials.

As I mentioned at this past Friday’s town hall, I am extending the work-from-home guidance to October 1, 2021. This extension gives employees currently working remotely more time to plan for child and elder care, provides managers more time to...

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January 21, 2021
Administrative
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As a community of over 30,000 students, trainees, faculty, and staff, we come from many different backgrounds, we present different points of view, and we offer unique contributions. Embracing these differences and fostering an inclusive and equitable culture is essential to our individual and collective success. To help us reach our full potential, we will launch the Foundations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Training module to all UCSF members on January 25, 2021.

The DEI training is an important step we are taking together as an institution to cement our commitment to anti-racism, dismantling systems of inequities, and living the full meaning of our Principles of Community and PRIDE Values.

Developed by the Office of Diversity and Outreach and the UCSF Education Task Force, the training will provide the foundational knowledge and common language to better understand why diversity is core to our work. It will help us identify the actions we can take to promote a diverse, equitable, welcoming, and safe environment at UCSF—for ourselves and, importantly, for all of the patients and communities we serve. All current members of the UCSF enterprise will be expected to complete the training within the next 90 days.

Watch for an email from [email protected] on January 25 to access the training and please visit the...

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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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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October 30, 2020
People

Dear UCSF Community,

On Tuesday, UCSF lost a great member of our community with the passing of former Chancellor Philip Randolph Lee, a visionary advocate for health policy research and social justice who served under two U.S. presidents.

As UCSF’s third chancellor, from 1969 to 1971, Dr. Lee served during a time of great transformation in our nation’s history. He was an early advocate for health equity and is widely regarded as UCSF’s first chancellor to champion diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dr. Lee was the first person to serve the nation as Assistant Secretary for Health, playing a leading role in implementing Medicare during President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. At UCSF, he was a beloved mentor and colleague, not only guiding the growth of our biomedical research enterprise, but working in the vanguard of health policy research by advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the field.

He was appointed by then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein as the first president of the San Francisco Health Commission, the governing body for the city’s health department. Dr. Lee served in that role from 1985 until 1989, during the height of the AIDS epidemic. He is remembered for formulating crucial public health guidance that saved many lives during that public health crisis.

Dr. Lee established an institute at UCSF, now known as the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, that became a nationwide model for bringing evidence to bear on policy making decisions.

He remained a leader among the UCSF faculty until 1993, when he returned to Washington, DC, to again serve as Assistant Secretary of Health, this time under President Bill Clinton.

Dr. Lee will...

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