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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.

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

May 1, 2020
Administrative
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

After several challenging months, there may be reason for guarded and measured optimism. The rate of increase in local COVID-19 infections is moderating.

But this welcome progress has come with significant cost. The pandemic and the public health orders meant to slow it have taken a heavy toll on many in our community. It can be overwhelming to think about loved ones who have been separated or lost, and the livelihoods that have been devastated by a severely constrained economy.

Compared to other regions, however, the Bay Area has been fortunate. Encouraged by what they see, local and state officials are taking steps to begin relaxing the various shelter-in-place orders. 

In the coming weeks, UCSF also will begin a gradual process to resume some of our suspended operations. This includes a careful return to some activities on campus and increasing the number of non-COVID-19 patients at UCSF Health. Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we will move deliberately and dial up or down our activities as needed, in close partnership with public health officials. The work ahead will require us to coordinate in new ways across the campus and UCSF Health, and I am hopeful we can continue building on the efforts already under way.

Our focus remains on the well-being of our UCSF community and patients, and our actions will be guided by our own timetable, in alignment with local and state orders. For the foreseeable future, many of our current policies will remain in place. As an example, those performing their duties remotely will continue to do so, in order to help facilitate physical distancing for those who must be on-site. Those who can no...

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April 10, 2020
Community

Dear UCSF colleagues,

The UCSF community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been nothing short of inspiring, and not at all surprising. We are humbled to serve a mission that is committed to advancing health for all people, with a fundamental emphasis on equity and inclusion in our patient care, education, and research, and within our University community.

This is why we strongly denounce recent instances of so-called “Zoombombing,” which have targeted members of our UCSF community with acts of hate, racism, and discrimination. These deplorable incidents have no place in our community or any other. They are intrusions and assaults on our colleagues who are targeted and on the values upon which UCSF and the University of California system are founded. We are committed to leading with compassion and solidarity, and we will not allow these intrusions to distract us from our public health mission—especially at a time when our UCSF community is rallying to serve those who are suffering during this public health crisis.

We know you stand with us, and we ask that you look after one another online, as we all are expected to do when we have the opportunity to work side by side, under different circumstances. Be an active bystander, recognize bias, make the decision to address the situation, and take action. To help you protect your meetings and your colleagues, please be sure to follow the updated Zoom security guidance developed by the UCSF IT team.

Thank you for all...

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April 2, 2020
Community
Emergency

Dear UCSF Community,

Our campus has taken critical steps to protect our community and prevent continued spread of the COVID-19 virus. These steps have included disseminating information through COVID-19 town halls and following directives from federal, state, and University leadership to reduce work performed on-site as much as possible and promote social distancing. At this time, it is crucial that we continue to take these actions.

The Office of Diversity and Outreach, UCSF CARE, the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD), Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP), Student Health and Counseling Services, and UCSF Police Department collectively recognize that sheltering in place at home and practicing physical isolation can have unintended consequences for members of our community who experience relationship or family violence. Survivors may be experiencing increased social isolation and danger due to physical distancing measures and stay at home orders.

UCSF is committed to maintaining a community free of all forms of harassment and discrimination based on protected categories, including domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual violence. UCSF takes reports of domestic and sexual violence seriously and will continue to respond promptly and effectively to such reports. All UCSF support services continue to be available, including assistance with workplace and academic accommodations.

Listed below are resources that are available to offer support and assistance to those in need:

UCSF Remote Resources

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March 25, 2020
Community
Emergency
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF community:

On behalf of UCSF Health President and CEO Mark Laret, Dean Talmadge E. King, Dean Catherine Gilliss, Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, Dean Michael Reddy, and Dean Elizabeth Watkins, I am sharing this video message to thank you for your leadership and courage at a time when our communities need us most.

If you would like to learn more about how UCSF is responding to the pandemic, join me for another UCSF Health and campus COVID-19 virtual town hall on Friday, March 27, at 4:00 p.m. For those in the UCSF community who are not required to work and will be observing Cesar Chavez Day, a recording of the town hall will be available on the UCSF COVID-19 website following the event.

Sincerely,

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

March 2, 2020
Advocacy
Community

Dear Colleagues:

Tomorrow, Californians will be voting in the 2020 Primary Election as part of Super Tuesday: March 3, 2020.

Find more information about what’s on the ballot, election deadlines, upcoming events on campus, and more at ucsf.edu/vote.

The approaching election provides us with an opportunity to review legal restrictions regarding employee involvement in political activities. Watch this short video to review UCSF advocacy guidelines.

Some important reminders:

  • Employees may not support or oppose candidates for public office or ballot measures when acting in University roles or with UC resources (such as UC email, letterhead, or campus facilities).
  • UC employees may participate in the political process using personal resources, on personal time, and without any inference of University endorsement. When taking a personal position, you may use your title for identification purposes but must offer a disclaimer to clarify you are advocating in an unofficial capacity, such as title for identification purposes only.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Assistant Vice Chancellor of Community and Government Relations Paul Takayama.

Thank you, and see you at the polls!

Francesca Vega
Vice Chancellor
Community and Government Relations

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