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 16, 2020
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

In 1619 the first enslaved people of African descent arrived on the shores of what is now Hampton, Virginia. While the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863, the orders did not reach all parts of the confederate south until nearly two-and-a-half years later, on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This year, Juneteenth brings great significance as our world continues to confront both overt and systemic anti-Black racism. 

“Of all Emancipation Day observances, Juneteenth falls closest to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, when the sun, at its zenith, defies the darkness in every state, including those once shadowed by slavery.”
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

In observance of this important day and to further our campus commitment in affirming that Black Lives Matter, the Office of Diversity and Outreach is hosting a special event featuring keynote speaker Dante King, who will explore the history of anti-Black racism in the United States from the colonial period to the present. We encourage all members of the UCSF community to attend this event and stay engaged throughout this important moment in time. Our office is working to curate events to facilitate healing and learning, and we encourage people to stay connected by subscribing to our newsletter.

Furthermore, we are working with all to center the voices of our Black community members to develop our plans for transformational change that dismantles anti-Black racism at UCSF.

Anti-Blackness and Its Link to White Racism, Privilege and Power presented by Dante King...

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June 9, 2020
Community
Leadership
People

Dear Colleagues,

In the last two weeks, our nation has gone from outrage and grief over the racial injustice seen in the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery to the extraordinary calls for addressing the systemic racism that underlies these tragic deaths and the many that preceded them.

At UCSF, we have a responsibility to speak out against violence, including police violence, that is racially motivated. It is anathema to the core values of our community, which stands firmly against bias and discrimination of all kinds. Violence of this nature, along with other elements of systemic racism, is a public health issue. We denounce it and we must take action to eliminate it.

More broadly, as I stated in my message to the community on May 31, we at UCSF must continue the hard work of dismantling the structural barriers of racism in education, research, employment, and health care. As we undertake this long-term work, we can learn from the leadership of our colleagues here at UCSF calling for change today.

Members of the global STEM community have organized a day of reflection tomorrow, June 10, called #ShutDownSTEM, to draw attention to the impact of systemic racism and injustice on Black people in STEM and academia. We support this movement, and encourage you to take time tomorrow to reflect on what each of us can do in our lines of work to address racism.

In addition, members of our campus community are organizing peaceful sit-ins on Thursday to bring further campus attention to these issues.

At a leadership level, the Chancellor’s Cabinet will be...

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June 5, 2020
Community
People
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

The past weeks have exposed, in undeniable ways, a problem that has been festering in this country – the unjust treatment of people of color.

We are all feeling pain and anger in different ways. Some of you have spent a lifetime taking daily precautions in order to safely navigate society in ways a white person never has to consider.

For others, who don’t ever worry about getting pulled over by police when simply out driving – and how to respond - or ways to shop without aggravating suspicions of a store manager, the recent deaths of black people jogging outside, sleeping in their homes, and now, under a policeman’s knee, are exposing horrendous gaps in how people of color are treated in our country.

Racism and injustice are pervasive problems that require societal solutions that start with each of us. At UCSF Health, we must accelerate our work to reduce health disparities, and the inequities in our own culture that have been brought to light in recent engagement surveys.

There are actions we can take that are in our immediate control. As a start, I ask everyone at UCSF Health to join me in doing three things: listen, learn and lead.

I have been reaching out to colleagues to ask them how they are doing. Please respect that everyone may be processing events differently. Use your best judgement to let colleagues and teams know you are there for conversation and support. Race and ethnicity can be difficult topics to discuss, and it may be uncomfortable, which is precisely the reason it is so important for us to do. We may use the wrong words at times. But if the outreach comes from a place of genuine compassion and concern, we can listen to...

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May 31, 2020
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

In Minneapolis on May 25, George Floyd died under circumstances that have become too familiar and frequent, but as difficult to accept as ever. The manner of his death has released torrents of anger and sorrow across the country. The grief we feel is compounded by the deaths of Breonna Taylor in March and Ahmaud Arbery in February. Like Mr. Floyd, both were killed in situations that are hard to comprehend, one in her home and the other while jogging in his neighborhood.

What these tragedies have in common is that all three victims are black. These incidents expose the double standard of racism that provides privileges to some, and denies them to others, based on the color of their skin. It is a double standard all people of color face, but that black people experience most painfully. Those of us who are not black cannot fully understand what the black experience is in this country. We are privileged to do things without concern that black people simply cannot. This inequitable system of privilege is so pervasive and foundational in our society that it is accurately described as structural racism.

As I watched the events in Minneapolis unfold this past week, I struggled for words to serve my heartbreak. How many times must we mourn another black person who died doing everyday things that many of us take for granted. Once again, we must unite in a clear voice to condemn racism and discrimination of all kinds.

For those of us who benefit from privilege, I encourage us to go beyond denouncing acts of racism and hate. We must examine our own bias and have honest, courageous conversations with one another. We can grow to recognize racism and bias the way...

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May 7, 2020
Community
Honors and Awards
People

Dear UCSF Community,

Perhaps now more than ever, it’s important for us to take the time to celebrate the extraordinary work we do at UCSF in service of our public mission. I invite you to join me on Friday, May 22, at 12 noon for the virtual 2020 Founders Day Awards Celebration.

While we can’t physically come together for our traditional luncheon, I am excited to bring this event to our entire community online, giving us an opportunity to honor 13 faculty, staff members, and learners who exemplify our UCSF PRIDE Values, and share their inspiring stories.

The event will recognize recipients of the following awards:

  • Chancellor Award for Public Service, Thomas N. Burbridge Public Service Award, and Edison T. Uno Public Service Award
  • Chancellor Award for Exceptional Management
  • Chancellor Award for Exceptional Service
  • Distinguished Nurse Award

To view the celebration, please register. The Zoom details will be emailed to you closer to the event date.

I hope you will join us for this special occasion.

Sincerely,

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

July 16, 2019
Leadership
People

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointments of two key leadership positions: Won Ha as vice chancellor for Communications and Francesca Vega as vice chancellor for Community and Government Relations.

Won and Francesca will lead teams that formerly made up the Office of University Relations. As I previously announced, the accelerated growth of the University and its associated community impact highlighted a need to create two robust units – the Office of Communications and the Office of Community and Government Relations. Staff in these two offices will continue to work closely together to strengthen our relationships and to raise the visibility of UCSF’s excellence across our enterprise.

Won Ha joins UCSF from the Energy Foundation, where he is currently vice president of Strategic Communications, setting the strategic vision and communications objectives for policy and public engagement regarding the foundation’s climate change advocacy programs. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Won is deeply rooted in the health care industry, having previously worked at Kaiser Permanente for many years. At Kaiser, he successfully led national issues and brand management for the integrated health care system – hospitals, health plans, and physician groups – in eight states and the District of Columbia. He also advised leadership amid evolving competitive and legislative changes during health care reform and the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Won’s broad experience building and leading strategic communications and managing complex issues in large, decentralized organizations like UCSF positions him well to serve as vice chancellor for Communications. ...

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June 20, 2019
Leadership
People

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you about several upcoming changes to the Office of Strategic Communications and University Relations.

Vice Chancellor Barbara J. French will retire from UCSF on June 27, after 14 years of exemplary service. As head of Strategic Communications and University Relations, Barbara has provided invaluable counsel to me and my leadership team as well as former chancellors on issues related to communications, media relations, brand stewardship, government affairs, and community relations. She has led an award-winning team in elevating how we tell the UCSF story to our communities and to the world during a critical period in the growth of our enterprise.

Under Barbara’s leadership, University Relations has played a crucial role in advancing UCSF’s strategic priorities, including fostering constructive relationships with Mission Bay and Dogpatch residents to inform and support the expansion of UCSF programs; partnering with Parnassus Heights neighbors to create and adopt a 20-year Mount Sutro Reserve Management Plan and lay the groundwork for engaging the community in the re-envisioning of our historic Parnassus Heights campus; engaging communities in Oakland and Alameda County in support of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals; revitalizing and strengthening the UCSF brand identity system; developing UCSF’s presence across a broad and rapidly changing digital landscape; collaborating to create opportunities for San Francisco residents to relaunch...

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February 20, 2019
People

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

I am writing to share some exciting news with you regarding Ron Vale, PhD, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. Ron has been named executive director of the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), in Ashburn, Virginia, and an HHMI vice president. He will begin this new post in early 2020 and will continue to hold a faculty appointment at UCSF.

A gifted and versatile researcher, Ron has made fundamental contributions to biology and is a champion of openness and clarity in communicating research, whether among scientists themselves or between scientists and the general public. We are privileged to count him as a colleague, and he is an ideal choice to lead the world-class scientific enterprise at Janelia.

For his seminal research on the molecular motors known as kinesin and dynein, Ron has received some of the most prestigious prizes in biomedical research, including the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the Shaw Prize in Life Sciences and Medicine.

Our faculty are world-renowned, and their accomplishments are a source of great pride for the university. UCSF is known for attracting great leaders, but just as importantly for celebrating those who embark on a new chapter.

Please join me in congratulating Ron Vale on his remarkable achievements and in sending him our best wishes for continued success.

Read more online about Ron’s career at UCSF and his HHMI appointment.

Sincerely,

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

September 12, 2018
People

Dear Colleagues:

We write to share the sad news that Alexander (Alex) R. Margulis, MD, former chair of the Department of Radiology and steadfast member of the UCSF community, passed away on Friday, September 7, at the age of 97.

Alex was a visionary radiologist. During his 26-year tenure as chair of the Department of Radiology, UCSF rose to international prominence in imaging research, clinical care, and education. Throughout this period of unparalleled discovery and innovation, UCSF became a top destination for leaders interested in enhancing the roles of digital imaging techniques.

Alex was a risk-taker. He invested in untested ideas, supporting the dreams of his faculty who went on to make astounding contributions to imaging in modalities including CT, MRI, ultrasound, ultrafast CT, PET CT, and SPECT CT. Under Alex’s leadership, the department acquired the second head CT scanner in any academic institution in the U.S. He was truly a man ahead of his time, and his vision for the future of imaging and image-guided therapy would ultimately shape the field of radiology at UCSF and beyond.

Alex was a beloved mentor and colleague. Innumerable radiologists and scientists who were trained and mentored by Alex went on to lead outstanding academic institutions across the U.S. and abroad. UCSF was deeply important to Alex; he maintained close ties over the years, attending the gala event of the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging’s alumni organization – the UCSF Margulis Society – and serving as mentor and colleague to many members of the UCSF faculty.

His many friends and colleagues at UCSF and throughout...

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June 18, 2018
People

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

It is with sadness that we share the news that Lloyd “Holly” Smith, Jr., MD, professor and chairman emeritus of the UCSF Department of Medicine, passed away yesterday at home at the age of 94. Holly was a luminary in the fields of medical education and research, and his absence will be felt not only at UCSF but well beyond.

When Holly joined UCSF in 1964 as the chairman of the Department of Medicine, there were only fifty full-time members (it now numbers approximately 750). He led the department through a period of exceptional and unprecedented growth, recruiting and mentoring faculty in record numbers, many of whom went on to be outstanding leaders in their fields.

Known for his witty aphorisms, Holly once said, “Experiment. Take some chances. Remember the Peter Pan Principle, ‘most things peter out but some will pan out.’” Undoubtedly, many of UCSF’s greatest successes were realized as a direct result of Holly’s innovative ideas and unwavering devotion to leading by example.

Despite receiving innumerable awards and accolades throughout his career, Holly always emphasized his debt to his colleagues and UCSF for his successes. His humble nature, humor, and grace are exemplified by the recipients of the annual Lloyd Holly Smith Award for Exceptional Service to the School of Medicine, established in 2000 to recognize outstanding career service that has resulted in broad and long-lasting benefit to the School of Medicine. To learn more about Holly’s remarkable life and career,...

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